A summer tradition changes with the climate

Girl Scouts take part in a summer camp
Girl Scouts take part in a summer camp at Camp Lakamaga on Big Marine Lake, northeast of the Twin Cities.
CT Ryan Photography via Girl Scouts River Valleys file

Little has changed since Camp Mishawaka opened in 1910. The woodshop, bunks and canoes are still there. But one thing that has changed quite a bit — the temperature.

The Grand Rapids, Minn., summer camp sits in one of the fastest warming areas on the planet. Minnesota’s boreal forest has warmed twice as fast as the global average.  

Climate change is affecting everything from campers’ schedules — warmer nights lead to less sleep and later mornings — to the kinds of trees on the property. And Camp Mishawaka isn’t alone; a major insurer of summer camps has pulled out of the business as camps on the coasts lose property to wildfires and hurricanes.

Camp Mishawaka director Steve Purdum joined MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner on Climate Cast this week. Click play on the audio player above to hear their conversation.

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