Included in last Wednesday, May 26th print edition is our Women in Business magazine where we highlight South Okangan women who are making a difference in the community and in the business world. Below is a feature on Lyndie Hill, founder of Hoodoo Adventures. On beautiful weekends like this one, we thought Hill would be a great woman to highlight as a community member whose dream is to get all of us enjoying the great outdoors.
Living in the Okanagan can be an adventure, and if you can think of the ways to get out and enjoy it, chances are Lyndie Hill of Hoodoo Adventures has tried it.
Born and raised in Penticton, Hill left briefly to explore adventure tourism and the world before coming back home.
She grew up camping and fishing with her family before she came across a way to turn her love for the outdoors into a career.
“I had read a magazine and found a program in the back, ‘Become an outdoor guide, and go to the New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies,’” said Hill. “‘What, that was a job?’ I couldn’t believe that I could do what I love for a living.”
It may not always be a business where she doesn’t feel like she’s working, but most days she’s enjoying it.
2021 marks 14 years since she came back to Penticton and opened Hoodoo Adventures.
“Penticton has challenges with its seasonality, and we’re not a big city with the population to pull from,” said Hill. “From the beginning, I tried to be very diverse, and adaptable, and it took time to get to the point where we could operate year-round.”
Hoodoo offers an indoor climbing wall that is open year-round.
One of the biggest challenges was raising her kids alongside growing her business.
“For me, just being pregnant and trying to do my job as a guide, it was really interesting,” said Hill.
Balancing her kids and family, along with work was always tricky, but now that kids have gotten older, and the business is more established.
“There’s a lot of really long days, being a mom during the day and trying to catch up during the night,” said Hill. “I created an afterschool program basically for my kids, so I was very lucky in that way, they had other kids sign up and they have kids they’ve been adventuring with since they were five.”
That afterschool program focuses on ensuring the kids aren’t just sitting around, but gets them active and adventuring.
Now seven and nine, her children are out twice a week kayaking and adventuring around the Okanagan.
“They’ve always been a part of whatever we do, when we had a race I would just strap them to the front of me and away we’d go,” said Hill. “We make things work because they know this is our life, and they’re there with us. It is a family business and we do things together.”
She is glad to see things changing with easier access to daycare and more grant opportunities for women that are now available.
In addition to the afterschool program, Hoodoo Adventures has earned a name for itself with the popular Freak’N Farmer event. Unfortunately, it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
“It was such a great family event. In our house it wasn’t spring, summer, fall, winter” said Hill. “It was spring, summer, Freak’N’Farmer, winter.”
With COVID-19, the business has had to shift the type of large events that Hill enjoyed putting together and participating in, with the pull of tourists to the community, and the current focus is on adventure racing.
“Almost everything we do is community and family-oriented,” said Hill. “Everything we do is to give back to the community and to build on the culture of adventure we have here. That’s what I see creates a healthier community, it’s getting people active and giving them the opportunity to get out and have new experiences