Margaret, Emily, and pup Bailey (above) enjoy a full month of camping every year.
This Mother's Day we're celebrating one of BioLite's most loyal users, Margaret and her daughter Emily. After years of receiving mouth-watering photos and inspiring stories from Margaret, we sat down with her to chat about her love for the outdoors and how she instills that in her family.
So we already know you're a pretty impressive outdoor chef (pictures below), tell us a little bit more about you.
I'm a 4th and 5th grade teacher but outside of work I volunteer for three local wildlife rehabilitation centers and monitor swans that are part of the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program.
How do you like to spend time outside as a family?
We camp together for a month every summer. We have tent-camped in over 30 Ontario Parks over the past decade! Some of our trips are in campgrounds, others are paddle-in via canoe or kayak, some with portaging, some not. We also hike, snowshoe, take day trips to local parks and beaches and we have even taken our BioLite to the local park via bicycle!
Every couple of summers, we head up to the north shore of Lake Superior for two weeks. The lake is vast and wild and the sound of waves hitting the shore is good for the soul and rocks us to sleep at night. Here's a tip: we book months in advance so we can get sites on the shoreline.
At the end of this summer, Emily, who is 14, will have spent a year of her life sleeping in a tent - pretty cool stat. I also just took my 80 year old mom on a day trip to Mara Provincial Park where we made pizza for her on the BioLite CampStove (she thinks it's totally amazing).
In the summers of 2013 and 2014 my daughter and I helped run several weekend open houses at Aspen Valley Wildlife Centre in Muskoka, Ontario. On these weekends we camped on the sanctuary grounds overnight right next to the Lynx and Bobcat enclosure (and we were serenaded to sleep by the sanctuary's wolves). On Saturday night and Sunday morning, using the BioLite CampStove, we cooked for the volunteers who feed and care for the orphaned and injured wildlife. We also used the BioLite as a tiny campfire which the volunteers gathered around in lawn chairs and enjoyed a nice time together.
Some of our best stories have come from you, and over a long period of time - how long have you been using BioLite gear?
We loved the concept of the stove and its link to helping others in developing nations! We wanted to be a part of that. We pre-ordered the CampStove before it even hit the market. Our BioLite goes on every trip and even on our day trips and picnics.
My daughter is quite enamored with the stove's ability to recharge her phone or iPod. We restrict the use of electronics in camp but she's given an opportunity to communicate with friends from time to time. I also like the fact that the stove could provide my phone with an emergency top-off if needed, even in the back country.
What have been some of your favorite experiences with your BioLite CampStove?
Our BioLite has been on winter snowshoe hikes (making hot chocolate), canoe trips, campground camping trips, and trips to the beach. It's an all-season, all-occasion piece of equipment. We cook just about everything with our CampStove: pancakes, eggs, hot cinnamon rolls, soup, burgers, pizza - and with a little bit of practice the BioLite can cook at a lower temperature than most gas stoves which is helpful when making pastries (yes, pastries!).
As you probably guessed by now, we are huge outdoors people, and really into animals.
My daughter Em and I established a fund in memory of my late husband. To date, the Gordon Black Camp Fund has enabled 170 underprivileged children to attend summer camp at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Center.
Nature is a source of inspiration and solace to us. It is home... the place where we can spend quality time together, as a family... the place where we can rest, renew and refocus, amid the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.
We're inspired by Margaret's love for the outdoors, her family, and her commitment to helping kids and wildlife thrive.
In celebration of Margaret's work, now through Mother's Day (May 10), $5 of every CampStove or CampStove Bundle purchase will be donated to the Gordon Black Memorial Sponsorship fund at Wye Marsh Wildlife Center.
Here's to Margaret and all the other supermoms out there.
Energy Everywhere: is series from BioLite that highlights and celebrates members of the BioLite Community doing great things in the outdoors. Share your story and you could be featured in our next post!