POTN Ambassadors: Celebrating Mother's Day in the Great Outdoors

POTN Ambassadors: Celebrating Mother's Day in the Great Outdoors

Mother's Day is a time to celebrate the women who have shaped our lives and the ones we love. For some, this means spending the day with their mothers, but for others, it may look different. Our Parents of the North Ambassadors share their experiences with the women who have shaped their lives and how they've incorporated the outdoors into their relationships with their children. From Sierra Roundy's outdoor adventures with her mother to Lo Rivas's appreciation for her mother's support in her athletic pursuits, these stories showcase the power of nature in strengthening familial bonds.  So, let's take a look and see what our POTN Ambassadors have to say about the special women in their lives and how they are shaping their children in the outdoors. Sierra Roundy with her mother and children with a mountain in the background

Let's chime in on how Sierra Roundy and her mother grew to love the outdoors together with this little Q and A. 

Q:  How did your mother inspire your love of the outdoors? 

A:  My mom taught me to love the outdoors in a very non-intentional (at least that is how it felt to me) way. She didn't preach about how we needed to be outside, or force me outside either. It was by her example! She spent a lot of time outside and took us on fun outdoor adventures. Walks, family hikes, working in the yard. We even did our school work outside a lot of the time (I was homeschooled for a few years)

Q:  What is your favorite outdoor activity that you and your mother enjoy doing together? 

A:  As a kid I probably felt very different, but as an adult I always love working in the yard with my mom. Something about being together outside, working hard, and just talking without any distractions is always something we love doing now.

Q:  How do you and your mother incorporate nature and the outdoors into your daily lives? 

A:  I think we spend most of our time together outside. When I had my son she would drive to where I lived to help me get out on walks with him. She knew how important the outdoors would be to my recovery and mental state as a new mom, so she joined me to make it more doable. This began my pattern with my kids to spend as much time outside as we could, big or small. To this day she and my dad still join us on family hikes whenever they can!

Q:  What outdoor destination or activity is on your bucket list to experience with your mother in the future? 

A:  My mother is on a church mission in Poland right now and as we prepare to go visit them in the Fall, they are already looking for great hikes and outdoor places we can explore together!

It's wonderful to hear that Sierra and her mom still enjoy spending time together outside, even as adults. It's clear that her mom's love for the outdoors has had a lasting impact on Sierra's life, and she's now passing that love on to her own children. It's also heartwarming to hear that Sierra's mom recognized the importance of getting outside for her mental and physical health after giving birth and even went out of her way to help her do so.

Alyssa Snyder with her mother in their BMX Bike racing gear at a competition

Alyssa Snyder's childhood was anything but typical as she and her mother shared a passion for BMX bike racing, a sport that required them to travel around the country to compete in various competitions. Growing up with her mother as a role model and competitor, Alyssa learned the value of hard work and determination, as well as the importance of pursuing her passions.  Let's see what Alyssa has to share about her mother during their many adventures. 

"My mom and I have always been thick as thieves. She had me young so she and I did a lot of growing up together. Up until I was five years old, it was just she and I running the show. There were times when we didn’t have a ton of money, but that never meant we were short on adventures. She always made sure to show me her love for the world and adventure which has definitely poured over into me.

Alyssa Snyder and her mother racing BMX bikes during a competition

We did a lot of desert and beach camping when I was very young. As I got older, a lot of those memories turned into cross country traveling for our BMX national races. It’s amazing that I get to say that. That was a majority of what my childhood looked like - tons of road trips, camping and seeing the country in a way that most kids my age haven't seen.

Although there are way too many amazing memories to just name one, something that I am so proud of would definitely have to be the fact that I learned to drive by my momma pulling a 22 foot BMX team trailer cross country. I have my momma to thank for so many incredible memories and monumental moments in my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her."

It sounds like Alyssa has had a lot of wonderful outdoor experiences with her mother, and it's great to hear how those experiences have influenced her life and who she is today. It's clear that her mother instilled a love of adventure and a passion for exploring the world around her, and it's amazing that they were able to share so many unique experiences together.

Lo Rivas as a toddler laying on the beach with her mother

Lo Rivas is a passionate outdoorswoman and athlete who believes in the transformative power of spending time in nature. As a mother and soccer coach, she has a unique perspective on the importance of the great outdoors in both personal and family life.  Let's dive into her Q and A.   

Q:  How did your mother inspire your love of the outdoors?

A:  My mom always had us playing outside and had us all in sports from a young age. She made me feel strong and confident and capable and she let me dream big with my soccer. I think her willingness to let me be outside and to dream and play soccer has given me the confidence to dive head first into other outdoor activities: camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing! I’m confident in my life because she let me be outside, play, imagine, dream, fail, succeed and she cheered me on every step of the way! 

Q:  What is your favorite outdoor activity that you and your mother enjoy doing together?

A:  From the get go my mom had always had us outside! From growing up at the pool, at the soccer field and everything in between. While my mom didn’t like to get too far into nature she loved being outside and especially loved a hot summer day at an amusement park. Growing up in Canada we loved going to Canada’s Wonderland and those days are still my favorite. The hot sun, long lines, endless meaningless conversations waiting for your turn and the fun of rollercoasters can’t be beat! My husband even asked my parents permission to marry me at that amusement park!!

Q:  Can you describe a time when your mother taught you a valuable lesson while spending time outdoors?

A:  My mom was an all in kinda gal. When I first started playing soccer I was more interested in playing with my hair than playing soccer. I was four years old- who can blame me! My mom pulled me aside afterwards and said if I’m gonna play soccer I better PLAY soccer. It sounds intense but I really took it to heart and would consider myself very much an all in kinda gal now and am thankful for the ways she pushed me. She taught me to always give my best effort, to push myself and keep going and that I’m good enough to strive for more. 

Lo Rivas with both of her parents at a soccer game

Q:  How has spending time outdoors with your mother influenced your perspective on nature and the environment?

A:  Being outside all the time really encouraged me to be mindful about the environment- I want to be a good steward of where we live so we can enjoy it and allow others to do the same! 

Q:  How do you and your mother incorporate nature and the outdoors into your daily lives?

A:  My mother died about five years ago so I’m gonna answer this for myself and my baby girl Ruth: we try to go on walks and be outside every day and as the weather warms up we will swim all the time! Ruth comes to work and practice with my sometimes so she has some AMAZING female athlete role models to look up to. We live in Houston so adventuring outside isn’t always as mountainous as I want it to be, but we plan most of our family vacations to fun, wild, outdoor places!!

Q:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to explore the outdoors with their mother for the first time?

A:  If it’s with your mom, start small and make sure she feels comfortable and confident! If it’s you as a mom with your kid, do the same! Start small and gain confidence as you go :) 

Lo's story is a testament to the fact that anyone can make a positive impact in the world, regardless of their background or circumstances, and that the outdoors can serve as a powerful tool for personal growth and healing.

Despite the difficulty of Lo's loss, she continues to honor her mother by sharing her love for the outdoors with her own child and cherishing the memories they have together. Her story serves as a reminder that while this day may bring joy and celebration for some, it can also be a time of reflection and remembrance for others.

Lindsey Bull as a toddler sitting on the shoulders of her mother at a park in Arizona

As we celebrate Mother's Day, it's important to remember that this day doesn't look the same for everyone. For some, it's a day of celebration and joy, but for others, it can be a difficult reminder of loss, grief, or a strained relationship with their mother. Lyndsey Bull's story is a reminder that we need to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone has a traditional experience with their mother, and that we should honor and acknowledge all the different ways that mothers and motherhood show up in our lives.

"I grew up with a single mom in Tucson, AZ. This meant 1- she did not have a ton of free time and 2- most of the year it was 100+ degrees making it challenging to be in the outdoors. And while we do not have a ton of memories together, specifically in the outdoors, my mom taught me about resilience, people, passion, and the importance of positive energy.

I have spent the last 20 years of my life experiencing the outdoors through sun and snow, beaches and mountains, hiking, camping, and snowboarding. I spent my entire 20’s on the beaches of southern California and my 30’s in the mountains of Utah. When I met my person, we set roots in a small mountain town where I knew I wanted to have a family and raise my children in the outdoors. Different than my upbringing in the desert, but with the same amount of love that my mom had for her kids. She loved the life I was setting myself up for and was so proud of me and what the future held.

Lyndsey Bull pictured with her two children in a park

Two months after I found out I was pregnant for the first time in 2020, my mom and best friend in the entire world, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She passed away when my first son was 6 months old.

Being a mom is hard. Being a mom without a mom is even harder. My babies are now 2 ½ and 6 months old. I wish everyday that I could share with her the good and the challenges I face every day as a mom. It's lonely. It's incredible. Its every emotion you could ever experience. But I do my best to honor her every day by spreading love and positive energy to my kids and by raising them in an outdoor environment I know my mom was so happy that I had found. While this might not be a valuable lesson she taught while in the outdoors, because of her glow and love for life, it's engrained in me to raise my babies in the outdoors and to know that the best things in life aren’t actually things."

In conclusion, this blog post celebrates the diverse experiences and relationships that mothers and mother figures have with the outdoors. From BMX competitions to hikes in the mountains, these incredible women have instilled their love for nature and the outdoors in their children, and have inspired us to appreciate the beauty of the world around us. However, we must also remember that Mother's Day can be a difficult and emotional time for those who have lost their mothers or who have complicated relationships with them. It is important to be mindful and empathetic to these experiences, and to celebrate the mother figures in our lives in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to us. Let this be a reminder to cherish the women who have impacted our lives, and to honor their legacies by passing down their passions to future generations.