A camping trip took a terrifying turn Friday when nine Girl Scouts were hit by lightning in the Minnesota wilderness, ABC News reports. The group was in St. Louis County near the Canadian border when heavy storms rolled in and electrostatic discharge lashed out of the sky. "The lead guide called in the lightning strike, per protocol, informed authorities of their exact location per the planned route, and said 'they believe that lightning struck the ground and they might have experienced ground current,'" Nancy McMullen, a Girl Scouts official, tells WDIO. Minnesota State Police sent out a plane to spot their location before the St. Louis County Rescue Squad reached the girls, aged 13-20, at about midnight.
Officials said all of the girls went to a hospital in Ely, a city of 3,500 known as an entry point for conoeing, hiking, and fishing in the area; two of the girls showed "acute symptoms that have us concerned" and were held overnight for observation and testing. By Saturday they were all back "at the canoe base and have changed into dry clothes and were sipping on warm beverages," says McMullen. One standout fact: The county's rescue squad sent a crew of eight that transported canoes via motorboat and went through five portages to reach the girls, a squad member tells the Star Tribune—and it hasn't gone unnoticed. "You are all amazing!" a user writes on the squad's Facebook page. "So thankful that you're available when needed." (Read more lightning strike stories.)