New Episode! Why Middle School Is So Tricky with Jessica Speer
Aug. 9, 2022

RADKidz: Resilient, Adventurous, and Determined


In this week's episode, we are joined by Abbey Edwards-Hill, founder of RADKidz. Abbey, a mother of two busy boys, left her middle school teaching career during the height of the pandemic after realizing how much her students were struggling with mental and physical health conditions while being stuck indoors and online only. 

Abbey started RADKidz, an outdoor enrichment, fitness, and adventure program for kids to re-engage with the outdoors and a platform to create meaningful friendships, connections, and confidence. 

RADKidz is the perfect combo of fitness, adventure, STEM, art, teamwork, exploration, friendship, and more! Listen to how this unique program has promoted positive growth for the kids in her community. 

Visit us on our Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/reallifemomz/, where we can continue to connect and share resources. 

Resources from the episode: 

RADKidz website: https://www.radkidzinc.com 

RADKidz Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radkidzincorp/

www.wonderschool.com  

Real Life Momz website: www.reallifemomz.com

It takes a lot of caffeine to keep up with kids, so if you would like to support the Real Life Momz Podcast, please buy us a cup of coffee at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/reallifemomz 

 

 

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/reallifemomz/support

Transcript

Welcome to Real Life Momz; I'm your host, Lisa Foster, and Real Life Momz is a podcast, that's all about moms having real conversations, sharing resources, and telling their inspiring stories. Our mission is to connect moms by talking about these topics. The parents deal with every day and to continue these conversations in our RealLife Momz , Facebook group, where we would love for you to become part of our community. And this week I'm honored to speak with Abbey Edwards-Hill, a mom of two busy boys, a middle school teacher who left her career at the height of the pandemic because she noticed kids were struggling physically and mentally. And she developed a program called RADKidz which it's a perfect combination of fitness, adventure, stem, art, music, teamwork, friendship, and much, much more.

Abbey, welcome to Real Life Momz  I'm so thrilled to have you on today to share your personal story with us. And I love your story because I feel like, you know, in the pandemic, a lot of us had to just reevaluate ourselves and what we've been doing. And personally, for me, my mantra was stretch myself, learn something new, do something different and just come out better than when I went in. And I feel that you did this actually like you saw a need in the community. Kids were struggling physically, and mentally, and you decided to do something about it.

Maybe just start tell us a little bit about yourself, your background.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you, Lisa. First. I want to say thank you so much for having me on and allowing me to share, and I love what you're doing for the community as well, especially for other women and moms. I think it's really inspiring and important. So I appreciate it,  it's a really important platform. So, I had been teaching up through the pandemic, um, almost 15 years, primarily in middle school. Ironically, I had been teaching online before everybody else did, for sort of the comfort of being able to be home with my young kids, and when the pandemic hit, and everybody was online, I had already been there done that.

Um, but I was already seen a lot of problems, pre-pandemic with a lot of kids and their, you know, social skills or emotional skills, their anxiety, their depression. And then when, when things really got bad, I really had to reevaluate like how I was serving my community, you know, serving my own children,  and the need to really just get outside and be a kid. So that's kind of the background of my education and my teaching degree.

And you also are very physical as well. I am. Yeah, I'm very active. I became more active during the pandemic.

Oh, good. Yeah. That's a change.

Well, I think for my sanity, I guess, so I think that's, you know, where that came from for me, but yes, I've always been very active. We've been a very active family, so that wasn't so hard. So I knew that I could teach children and allow them the space to be themselves, be outdoors, basically have as much of a normal childhood as they could during the pandemic and kind of go from there. So yeah, just started during that time and kind of growing.

So you started something called RADKidz at the time.

Initially it was called iron kids. Um, but you know, I went through like a transition phase and renamed it. Um, also there is already an iron kids out there run by iron man. So it wasn't really like my first choice. So yeah. So went through sort of a rebranding. Um, but  it let's see, I'll have been doing this program two years now come August, so it's almost two years.

Oh, wow. Yeah. Okay. So tell us a little bit about it. Yes  well RADKidz comes because a lot of people say that I do say that word, which I do, and it probably gets annoying at a point, but it does stick. And so what I decided was RAD would stand for, we want our children to be resilient. We want our children to be adventurous, and we want them to be determined in whatever they do in life. So that's what RAD stands for.

Okay. I had no idea.

I need to put that more out there.

Yeah. That was sorta my intention. Like whatever sport you're doing, whatever, if you're, you know, like if you're doing dance, if you're doing, um, track, if you're doing football, if you're doing art music, whatever, be RAD, be RAD about it. So yeah. So basically, that's what it stands for. And it's an outdoor enrichment and fitness program with the intention to support all kids, um, in their physical fitness, as well as their emotional and social wellbeing. And of course, you know, in their brain growth and development.

So I try to hit all the pillars in every class or camp.

These are after. I just want to clarify. Yeah. So these are after school programs, right? 

Well, it's morphed a lot since I started. So initially it was an after-school program. So remember where the kids were in the pandemic, they were in online school for like half the day. And then they had like, you know, endless amounts of time after that, where they were basically doing nothing. So they would meet us at the park and we were allowed to work at the park because we were outdoors and spaced enough and all of that. So it was an outdoor afterschool program. Um, it's still is that during the school year, but it is also morphed into more things like, um, this summer I've been doing week-long summer camps.

So full on weeks of summer camp. Um, I've done adventure camps where I took a group of older kids up to a local, I guess, activity area. And we camped and did an adventure camp outdoors overnight camping. It's becoming what it needs to become, I guess I should say.

That's awesome. That's awesome. And I see, I mean, I look on your Instagram and I see what you're doing and it's, it is truly amazing. I mean, you have things like yoga, you're taking nature walks. I don't know, mountain biking, pretty crazy karate and music. I mean, I've even seen, I think you guys doing like combination things like where they're doing an obstacle course, but then like also drumming a beat.

Exactly. Yeah. You totally nailed it. Yep. Yep.

Yeah. So, so cool. So tell me a little bit, how do you pick those? What is it working on?

Well, okay. So I guess, because I am a teacher and I have that foundation of education for years, it's easy for me to sort of say, okay, I want kids to be able to be physically active. They need to be moving. Um, but they also need to be learning. And we do know that generally speaking, kids learn better when they're active. So I try to sort of sneak in the learning, you know, I'm not a school, so I'm not trying to teach or push a particular curriculum. I'm really just trying to enhance and enrich what they are already learning in school.

Um, so I always have a good foundation of what's going on, you know, in the elementary school, in the middle school. And I'll try to craft my classes and camps based on where what I know they're learning. And then I'll just kind of go from there.

So, for instance, when you mentioned the, um, workout with the music, so I try to bring in people from our community who have talents that I do not. So  I'm good at teaching, but I'm not,  teach music. So I have a friend who's an incredible music teacher and she comes and she brings her drum, and she teaches a music lesson. And so we are able to teach the kids, um, not only a great workout, like, Hey, this is how you, you know, build, you know, muscles in your legs so you can be stronger in any sport that you do, but at the same time, we're now teaching you about rhythm and beat and how does a rhythm work, and what does the beat sound like? And where's the, you know so that some kids may have never been even exposed to music yet. Um, so it gives them a little bit of everything and maybe excited about it instead of just sort of sitting there, someone lecturing them. So they're interacting with it.

I mean, what you're doing looks, looks truly just awesome.

Thank.

You. How do you get the kids involved? Because you do so many different activities. And to me, sometimes I'm like, okay, that's frightening. Like, I don't know, like I would be having an anxiety attack or the activities cause there's, some of them are more intense. Right. They see these kids, like, I mean all shapes and sizes. Right. All abilities. And they're smiling, they're laughing. They're trying. How do you encourage, I guess, their adventurous side for a kid who maybe isn't as adventurous, how do you bring that out?

Oh, that's a good question. Well, again, I think it does come back to my teaching background. Um, but I truly have always believed that all kids have a natural, innate ability. You know, I do think we all are born with some sort of gift. Um, and that's just a matter of finding it. And a lot of kids will come to me with very little like sports background or athletic background. And so it is a very intimidating for them when I'm like, okay, today we're hiking up that mountain. And they're like, what? You know, and it's scary for them. Like some of them have never hiked let alone up a mountain.

Um, I don't give them much time to like, think about the fear. You know, we talk a lot about overcoming our fears and taking baby steps and just what they can accomplish. Um, little by little, but you know what, to be honest, like kids are resilient like in rad, they just, once they get going and they see that they can do it, they really take off.

Um, and it doesn't take much really because they're also surrounded by great other peers and peer support and encouragement is way more impactful than honestly what I can do. So they're surrounded by friends who encourage them, who encourage each other and help each other through different, you know, fitness challenges or activities. And then I also  have a great mentorship and leader program and the older kids are super important to that aspect.

So, so yeah, I mean, it's intimidating for them, but I think that's what's so, um, important has sort of been lacking is maybe a kid wants to try a sport, but it can be very intimidating, especially it's so competitive nowadays. So let's say you've gone through, you know, most of the elementary school and you haven't tried anything, will, you know, you might be intimidated to go out for the soccer team. You don't have the confidence. So, I'm all about sort of being like a launching pad for kids to find what they need.

Okay.

No, that's great. Cause it's so true. It's like, if you haven't been doing a sport by the age of five, you've missed the boat.

There's too much pressure it's so hard. Yeah, it is. It really is.

And I think that having environments that are not necessarily, team-based where it is a camp, like, it's not like, oh, I'm going to play soccer and I need to do it five times a week, I can just play soccer and actually have fun with it. 

Exactly. And sometimes they'll try something first. Sometimes they'll whine at me. Like I don't want to do that. But you know, here we try everything. Like, that's sort of my mantra. We try everything because we don't know until we try. Um, and typically they'll be like, wow, I really enjoyed that. You know, I didn't know I was going to like that so much. Or when are we going to go hiking again? Honestly, the hiking is probably the one thing that gets asked the most of the kids, which you would think they would hate, but they actually love it.

So yeah. So it's kind of surprising.

Yeah. You said I don't, let them think about it too much. Yeah. Because I do think as parents we're like, oh, it's okay, honey. You know, talk it through. And then the anxiety gets worse.

You just go and do it and work through it as you go.

Yeah.

When I was growing up as a kid, I had a very active family, but we were very much more of the outdoors. So I didn't do a lot of organized sports. And to be honest, I wish I had been pushed a little bit more. Um, but there weren't a lot of options when I was growing up. Nowaday, there's just so many options for kids, which is incredible. But I think still what sometimes is lacking for younger kids when they're first learning who they are is just that confidence piece. Like, all right, Hey, I climbed a mountain. So you know what? I can play this soccer game.

That's no big deal. So.

Yeah. And they compare themselves so much.

Totally. Yeah.

Yeah. Having it more in an environment where they're kind of cheering each other on is so important.

Yeah. Yeah. I've had some kids in my program for two years now, since I started and you know, it's really sweet to see their growth and that's the other cool thing is it's not just a short blip in time. Like a lot of the kids have been the kids that do the afterschool enrichment have often been with me for multiple months. And so they get to grow with me and grow together, and we get to talk about their progress. And like, remember, like four months ago you couldn't even do a pushup, and now you can do like two pull-ups.  It's pretty cool.

There's like a more long-term impact, you know? So.

Yeah. So you're seeing the physical growth. Yes. Do those pushups. And are you also seeing that confidence or resilience as part of the RAD grow as well? Yeah

Exactly. That's the big piece, right? It's like helping them foster that resilience and determination. Like I'm not just going to give up on this, even though it's hard. So yeah, that definitely grows over time. And I think where I see it the most is when a new kid comes into our program, and that kid is struggling. You'll see the other kids really cheer, you know, like, Hey, I can do it. I couldn't do it two months ago, but I can do it now. You can too, you know, so that's where I go.

Okay. They're getting it, you know, they get it.

Yeah. And I know you started to talk about this a little bit, but I love that you included the teens and tweens into your program where they get to volunteer their time.

Yes. Yeah, totally. That was like kind of a blessing, like to just kind of came out of it naturally. And it's honestly a huge piece of the program. I don't think the program would be as successful or as meaningful without my older RAD leaders as I call them because, um, again, during the pandemic, I taught middle school. So I was very familiar with what, you know, teens were struggling with. Um, I think it was really difficult on them. So I had a lot of parents like, Hey, can my son come volunteer?

And just like, I need him to get out of the house, you know? Like, and so that's kinda how it started. Um, and little by little, I've just had incredible teenagers come out of the woodwork and sometimes their parents will force them at first, but then they just love it. And they're so great with the kids. They have like different energy than I think adults have, and they know how to connect. They know how to encourage without discourage. Um, you know, they're very important to the program, and, I see their confidence grow because they're giving back.

They're not thinking about their own problems. They're not dwelling on things, they're realizing their value. Um, which I think is really important for teenagers to have is to have a purpose, you know, and have value.

So if they like kind of like a counselor is that,.

And they come and it kind of, they kind of play all roles, which we laugh about a lot. Cause you know, they do a lot of like emotional support when we have kids who have a meltdown or have a hard day or, you know, I had a kiddo have a panic attack like a couple of weeks ago. And one of the leaders like stepped right in and was like, Ms. Happy, I got this. Like, let me help and handled it beautifully. You know? So yeah, they do, they play that emotional support role. Um, you see it the most when we're hiking, it's pretty funny. Like we're coming up and going down, it's a lot of support that has to happen.

Um, but also they're also adding their own talent. So some of them are really great at sports. Um, some of them are really great at music. Some of them are really great at cooking, so I try to also, um, have them utilize their talents. So they'll say, oh miss Abbey, I had an idea for a game and oh yeah, perfect. Like let's play that game or, uh, have them be in charge of groups. You know, you run the field hockey today and it gives them the opportunity to practice leading and also corralling kids and working through all those things.

That's pretty cool.

Well, it's such a good experience for them and they probably feel so like empowered by it really just helping kids that are having a hard day, you know, and making them feel, I mean, that's the rewarding when you make somebody feel better anyway.

Sure.

How often does a teen even get that opportunity?

Yeah. Yeah. And I think when you're a teenager, your brain is going through so much growth as it is. It's just, I mean, you know, you're in that, so, you know, but it's like, their brains go through so much. I think it's also good for them. Like not to have to think about themselves for a while. So, um, it is really neat, and I love  to see them grow through the program ,and they'll be like, oh, you know, one of them recently, you know, it was going to go out for cheer.

And I was really encouraging her and, you know, she was really nervous. I don't think I'm going to make it, and I said what do you have to lose, like go out and do it. And I think because she was teaching the kids at the program, she got the confidence, like, you know what, I can do this. Um, and she went out for the team and made it and, she's doing great. So it gives them confidence too. So that's pretty cool.

So what would you say is the most rewarding part of this?

Um, you know, I keep coming back to the word community because I think it, you know, it's like, so cliche to say it takes a village. Right. But it really does. And I think that the program allows people to feel part of something bigger, you know, with their own kids, with, you know, in their kids to come to my camps or my classes. Like, it just feels like we're a family. And I think that's the most rewarding part is that we all get to like support each other, you know, it's, it's not just me. Like it takes a community. I had really great support behind me from all my friends and family when I was starting this and trying to keep it going, you know, and figuring it all out.

They were always super supportive. So it's really a, it really is a community for sure.

And just talking about that community, I mean, you left teaching, you open your own as a mom, during a pandemic, throw that in. Right. And you have no idea how to do this. Right?

No, I've never run a business before ever. I don't know. I have.

No, you're an expert two years. Something.

Like that. Yeah. Learning every day.

Yeah. How did you do it? How did you make that leap to say, okay, I'm going to just do this. I'm going to open this business.

So there came a point when I was, I was teaching full-time and doing this program after school. So I was teaching all day, then rushing off to the park and teaching for another, like two or three hours. And, you know, it became, it became a conversation in our household like, okay, this is not sustainable. You know, obviously, uh, it's a big risk to leave your teaching career, especially during a pandemic, you know, to leave your job. Um, but my family was so supportive and was like, you need to go for this.

Like, it was like, okay, it's one or the other, I can't do both if I'm going to continue to grow this. So we made the decision as the family to, you know, allows me to take that chance. And um, yeah, I've just, I just put one foot in front of the other every day. I am learning. I have incredible mentors who also helped me, who are small business owners who give me great guidance and advice. But yeah, it was a big leap of faith, but, um, I definitely don't regret it.

And having those other friends who are business owners, I mean, those are such important people. Yeah. Connection is so important to just, you know, take that step forward, just like momming/ parenting, right? It's just like, yeah. I don't know. How do you do this? Right. Same thing. Right? Opening your own business. I don't know how to find people who do and talk to those people, see what, you know, they did. How can they, I mean, I opened my own also, um, private practice. I mean, I had friends helped me do it.

Sure. They kind of gave me the right paperwork and just helped me, you know, each step when I had a question, and you know, those people are forever so important.

Forever. Yes. And, and I think the nice thing is, is people are willing to help you. If you're willing to ask, you know, where I get stuck up against the wall, like, well, how do I do this licensing? And now I have to get this permit and you know, how do I submit this proposal? But people are really willing to help you, especially if you believe in something and you're, you know, people know that you're passionate about it, they want to help you. So that's been really a great, yeah.

And it's so true. Cause I think people get afraid of either asking, oh, like, I don't want to be your competition or there's not enough room. Right. News flash, right. The same. You both can be having a camp and they can both be successful. There's abundance there are so many kids you have to go to camp, right? Yeah. I have more than one and they can be great and you can both be helping each other. So that's, that's the beauty of it, you know?

Yeah. I'm, I'm glad you actually touched on that because I, that is something that I have been really like discovering as a business owner and I kind of knew in my heart, but I think there was an old way of mentality sort of like, you know, your competition, your competition and this and that. And it just sort of felt like it was you against everybody. But instead I think what's been great, particularly with the help of social media is collaboration. And I love collaborating with the other local businesses in my community.

Um, like having the, um, self-defense instructors come out, they're a brand new business in the community. You know, I want them to teach my students like what they have to offer and vice versa. So I think there's definitely much more of a better mindset when it comes to business and collaboration. Like, it's not like there's, it is, it's not a lack mentality. It's like, there's an abundance mentality instead of a I'm competing against you type of thing. Yeah.

Yeah. I think I forgot who said it, I'm sure people are going to listen to this and say, oh, I know exactly. But it was somewhere that said that, you know, Lowe's and Home Depot sell the same things, but they're both are  very successful.

Totally.

And half the time they're next door to each other.

Right. That's so true. You're right. And they've seen a business for a long time too.

Yeah. You know, I think that abundance mentality is what we need to think about and yes, helping each other out and by helping each other out, we are helping ourselves as well. It's just, yeah.

Right. Exactly. Yeah. And it's really neat to like, um, my friend, who's doing the yoga classes recently, you know, she just got super inspired to start really going after it, you know? And, but then it's also like we benefit each other because you know, she also helped me out teach yoga to the kids and I don't know how to teach you. Okay. The kids. I mean, it wouldn't be very flexible. I can tell you that. But, um, and so it's yeah, I think I've really also, that has been one of the best rewards about this too, is just the growth.

Um, and the connection I've made with other local business owners in our community. It's just been really great.

Yeah. Your dream is to expand.

Yeah. It is.

How does that look like?

That's one good question. I'm like in that right now, I'm in that phase of like, what's going to happen next because you know, I would, my dream would to see RADKidz in as many communities as I can, um, so that it can benefit kids. And I'm also like this next year, my goal is to open up a lot more scholarship programs for kids who might not be able to otherwise afford it. Um, I'm also working on,  now a charter school vendor. So kids who go to charter schools and might not normally get like access to PE or whatever can start utilizing RADKidz as their physical fitness.

So there are definitely a lot of goals I have and dreams for RADKidz Um, but yes, I'd like to expand. I'd like to continue to see it grow. Um, you know, with people who are passionate about helping kids, you know, I think that's really the trick. So yeah,  I'm in that right now.

Good. I mean, it's always good to think and dream. Yeah. That's the way to go.  We want to grow, right? Yeah. It sounds like your program is very unique in the sense that, because it intertwined so many different things.

Yeah. It's been neat. Like recently, I've had a lot of great conversations with other teachers, mostly even moms like, there is a big, I don't know how it is out where you live, but here in California, there's a huge, um, charter school sort of conglomerate. Um, and so there are like these groups of people that are getting together and like, okay, how do we serve our kids in our community? And so, um, I've had a lot of people reaching out to me like, Hey, I really want to start a RADKidz in my community. Like, how do I do that? You know?

So, um, that's what I'm working on. Now.

You need to franchise.  I know. And now here comes my next business education.

Exactly. You need to franchise and create little RADKidz all over California. So, many great ideas happen on Real Life Momz. We've had some really good next idea. So this is, I'm putting my hat on it.

Awesome. Sounds good. Yeah. I mean, and you know, I do want to encourage people to reach out because I am looking for, I think you would know if you, if it's something that you'd want to do, like you really genuinely have to like kids, like I that's something for me, I'm kind of a kid at heart. I honestly, I probably am. And so I'm active with the kids. I don't just tell them like, okay, you're going to do 10 jumping jacks. Like we're doing jumping jacks together. We're hiking together. Like I'm going to practice what I preach.

Like if I'm going to run an experiment, I'm going to do it with you. You know? So it really would have to, I want it to grow in a way where whoever is leading the RADKidz that are passionate about helping kids first and foremost. Yeah.

Yeah. Because nobody wants somebody like, okay, go hike that mountain. And then that doesn't feel good. I don't think you can hike a mountain, but even the jumping jacks, you know,.

You just want to be fun and passionate about it.

Yeah. I mean, I even do. So I work with kids. Um, I'm a pediatric physical therapist. Oh yeah. I come home sweating all the time because I am also jumping and other physical activities. Although some I'm getting a little old for and I'm like, okay, we're going to have to do 10, but I'm only making it to five.

I have the teenagers, they helped me take over.

They don't give me a teenager, but I might have to.

Yeah. We'll have to do some sort of collaboration, Lisa, for sure.

So what message do you want to let the listeners know?

Yeah,  that's a really good question. I think that, well, there's a few things I would say first and foremost, if you have a passion and you have a dream as cheesy as it sounds like, really just don't give up on it. Um, I've just want to like convey consistency over time. And, you know, especially as a mom, when we're so dedicated to our children and our families, it's kind of easy to put yourself by the wayside, but I think it's important to really continue to have your dreams as you grow.

So I think that's really important. It's just, and that sort of, I hope that passion sort of translates to the kids too. Like, Hey, you have a dream. Even when you're 5, 6, 7, you know, a teenager, something inside of you knows that that's what you're supposed to be doing. So follow that path, you know, I think I would be further along, down the road had I listened to that voice years ago, but it is what it is, you know? And I'm not, I'm grateful for where I'm at with it. I just, I would like to convey that message sooner to people.

Yeah. And I want to say dream big. Yeah. I feel that you know, I'm a big, um, you know, the universe, whatever happens, you know, put out what you want in the universe. I practice that all the time. But the problem I have is dreaming, right? Like my dreams are small. They're like, God, I wish you had a cup of coffee. I'm just saying small. Yeah. It's like so important to dream big because you want to go; that's almost a little bit unreachable a little bit, right?

A little bit out of that comfort zone, because that's where the gold is. That is where things just really come together, and just life starts.

I agree. A hundred percent. Yeah. I'm with you. I feel the same way. I think it's all about to our mindset and you know, what, where we put our thoughts and our ideas. And then what I have been enjoying is along the journey when I have these successes, I, I really stop, and I look back and I go, wow, three months ago. I didn't even think that was possible. That's pretty cool. You know? So give yourself credit. When you know, there's going to be moments where it's challenging. I've had many moments.

I was after leaving my career where I'm like, what did I just do? What, what am I doing with my life? Um, but most days I feel very grateful and very happy and very excited, and that just keeps me going, you know? So I think we all have that for sure. Within us.

Yeah, I do too. And I, and I liked the thought that you know, if you really sit down and you're just like, I am not happy, you know, like I go to work and I'm just like, Ugh, I don't want to be there. You know?  I like my job. Right.  Then I think we need to think bigger. And I think we're so much more capable. And just because we have kids that really count on us doesn't mean we can't do more. You know? And, and it doesn't mean we also have to wait.

Right.

The right moment because you know what? These kids need us all the time. I mean, I think it would get easier. We're still dealing with meltdowns. They're a drama. It's still there. You're still on. So the time does not come. So I wouldn't wait for the time. I would just say the kids dream big and move forward. If it's not.

Exactly. No, a hundred percent agree with you. I think dreaming big is a great mantra and you're right. There's no, that was the other thing I was, I was watching some video clips today and there is no perfect time to start a business, you know? And it is easier to, to steer the ship when it's in motion versus when it's just sitting on the ground. So you might as well just get going, you know, and otherwise you're just going to keep waiting. And I had that, I had that mentality for many years where I would sort of start something and then I would stop because I would get scared or I'd get overwhelmed.

And I think maybe too, that's the value of, as you get older, you're like, well, what do I have to lose? I mean, I do, but I don't, but you know, you, you can take those chances and you build enough confidence, but gosh, I sure wish I had known that a little younger in life. So I try to always convey that message to my, my students, to my leaders, to the kids like, Hey, you know, it's just starting out or whatever you have to start now. And you never know.

Yeah. You never know. So what has been your favorite parenting resource?

Um, good question. Um, gosh, there's so many, I mean, I love podcasts honestly, and I've loved listening to yours. I've really enjoyed it, especially the last couple of ones. And the last business owner that you had on was awesome. Really inspiring for me too, you know? So, um, yeah, podcasts are huge for me because as you know, like you're busy, I don't have time. Like I need to just listen to things. Um, a lot I have worked with, um, this organization called wonder school.

The past two years, they've been the team that's helped me with my enrollments and all my, you know, the nuts and bolts, I would say have a lot of the registration stuff. Um, and they are a great resource. They have a lot of, um, really wonderful outreach and support for parents and, and moms and business owners and.

Yes, where you are.

No they're yeah. They're nationwide. Yeah. They're nationwide. They kind of started out as like a daycare only sort of online platform for the CEO is great. He's like all, he was all about filling a need for kids having better access to daycare. Um, and then during the pandemic, they sort of saw like, oh, you know, there's this need for sort of forest schools, which is kind of like what I fall under, I guess, even though I'm not a school. So, um, they really helped me. I said, I have this idea, like, would this work with you guys?

And they've been super supportive, so yeah. They're wonderful. If any families are looking, you know, to start any sort of program, I would, I would highly recommend wonder school. They're great.

And then to find your program, if people want to look up your program, should they go,.

Well, I would say like, probably the Instagram is probably my best place right now to see RADKIdz in action. Cause a lot of times people be like, what is RADKidz? I'm like, watch some videos. It might give you a better sense because sometimes I think people are like, what is this you're doing? Because it's so different and it's so broad. Um, but once they, once they experience it and witness it, they're like, oh, I get it. Like, it's like everything, you know? So, um, so yeah, my.

Is, it's like everything, everything all intertwined into one.

Yeah, we do all the things I like to say. Um, so it's RADKidzincorp um, on Instagram and I think you have the link to it. And then I have a website there. All my information is on there to get a hold of me. I'm really great about responding to people. So if people want to reach out to me, just DM me or my, you know, you can even text message me from there. I try to really, at this moment in time, I'm able to respond to everybody. I try to be very, um, personal with everyone.

So that's something I feel is really important is I want parents to know how much I genuinely care about their kids. And you know, most parents have my phone number and text me and ask me questions and we can, I'm really big on communication. I learned that through teaching, like there's no such thing as over communication. So.

Yeah. And parents love because you were recommended. The reason I got your name was through Instagram, someone was like responding, like to one of my posts saying, oh, you have to have Abby hill from Redkin. And then I got to like another, like, yes, yes, you need her and people are responding and you obviously are doing a lot for the community for them to even kind of nominate you to,.

Oh yeah, no, I so appreciate them. And I feel the same way. I really have the most incredible parents and community. So I think it goes both ways. Like they know how much I care about them and their kids and their families and, and vice versa. They're so supportive about, you know, cheering me on, and they want the program to grow too because it benefits everybody. So it's like a win-win.

Thank you so much for just everything you're doing. I mean, supporting these kids mentally, physically, academically, and moving it all fun. And yeah, it's just, it's great to have someone like you on the show just to show how much we can do as parents and, you know, taking that passion and making something out of it and really helping a whole community.

Yeah. Well, thank you, Lisa. I really appreciate you having me on. It's been awesome to get to know you, and I love what you're doing. And I think, again, it's so important what you're doing for moms in our, in our community to encourage and support each other. So thank you.

Thank you for listening to this episode. It is so inspiring when we see someone like Abbey who sees a need in the community and mixes it with her passion for fitness teaching and her love for kids and creates an amazing program called bad kids. Come join us on our Facebook group, where we can continue to connect and share our resources. And don't forget to be RAD, resilient, adventurous, and determined.





Abbey Edwards-Hill Profile Photo

Abbey Edwards-Hill

Founder/Director/Mom

Abbey left her career in teaching middle school after 15 years in 2020, during the height of the pandemic after realizing how much her students were struggling with mental and physical health conditions while being stuck indoors and online only. She had the idea to start an outdoor enrichment, fitness and adventure program for kids in order to re-engage them in the outdoors, with their own bodies, to create friendships, connection and confidence.

RADKidz is the perfect combo of fitness challenges, adventure, hiking, STEM, art, relays, obstacle courses, teamwork, sports, music, inventions, creations, explorations, friendship and more! The goal is for every kid to feel connected and excited to try something new! RADKidz is a launching pad for a Childs natural abilities and passions in actives and in life!

Our RADLeaderz are local middle and high school kids who come to volunteer their time to lead and engage the younger kids! This part of the program allow the teens and tweens to not only give back, but supports their own confidence, mental and physical health!

The program has been growing steadily ever since and is serving communities in southern California, but her goal and dream is to serve as many communities as she can with RADKidz.

Abbey is a wife and a mom of two busy boys. She has a passion for Ultra Running and this inspires her to keep active and move others to find their active passions!