As the year comes to a close, my family evaluates where we want to send the remainder of our charitable giving. This involves reviewing what we have already donated to determine how much we still have to give. In this wide range of worthy causes, we always put the PSA on the “must give” side of our charity list. For us, it is an important way to give back to a place that has given us so much.

post_AF_ThreeOnToothI had hardly heard of Philmont before I showed up at registration for my first summer on staff over 20 years ago. I must say that initially I was not enamored with Philmont when I found myself all alone in a new place with little experience being away from home for long periods. That first week was rough, but once I was able to come out of my shell a little, I discovered what a wonderful place Philmont really was. It started with meeting all of the wonderful people I was working with and really feeling like I was part of a family, so I wasn’t all alone. Then as we started getting days off it turned into discovering all of the wonderful outdoor opportunities Philmont has that I never experienced in Texas. That first summer I was able to visit so many different camps with various people I worked with and meet such a wide variety of other staff out in the backcountry. It was truly incredible in so many ways. As the memories pour back, I feel so fortunate to have gotten those opportunities.

It was sad to leave all of the new-found friends at the end of that summer, but we knew there would be more summers and more adventures. After that first summer away at Philmont, I learned a lot about myself which made the progression to my first year at college so much easier. I really do look back and see that Philmont had a huge impact on me and where I am today. Now we bring our two young girls out to Philmont and smile as we watch their love of Philmont grow too. I wish every kid could have the opportunities I had, so giving to the PSA in many capacities is my way of facilitating these experiences for future generations. This year I implore you to think about what Philmont has given to you too, and how you can give back through the PSA.


Denice Toney
PSA Life Member

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