post_AF_ColleenFridgeLast summer I had the opportunity to spend a few hours at French Henry, and I was instantly taken back to my backcountry days. Suddenly, the world slowed down, and I felt life in the moment. There is a beautiful thing about being off the grid, and not hearing anything but the creek, the wind, and a squeaky cabin floor. I saw campers soaking their feet in the creek, and I couldn’t help but ask how their trek was and where they were going next. Old habits die hard, I guess. The smells of the backcountry also brought me back: pine trees, a musty cabin, and sweaty campers, which for the record, smell the same as they always did. The staff let us relax on their porch, and it reminded me of kickin’ back on my own porch as a Camp Director at Indian Writings.

For the first time since I worked in the backcountry, I remembered what it felt like to spend a summer working and LIVING in the backcountry. Living was not just residing in a place, but being in the moment, embracing it, and loving every minute of it. A piece of me that I had almost forgotten was revived that day.

The Philmont Staff Association provides opportunities to not only connect with our staff years, but to experience Philmont in a new light. Many of these opportunities are made available with our annual fund. If you can spare a few dollars to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made online or by calling Randy Saunders at 575-376-1138. By calling Randy, you get a 2-for-1 deal: make a donation to a great cause, and get an update from Randy on what is happening at the Ranch!

Please help us reach it by donating now, joining the 19.73 Club, or learning more…