As this year’s holiday season envelops us all, I have had some overwhelming reminders of the MANY blessings in my life…and I have been made keenly aware that they all stem from ONE remarkable place…Philmont.
My experiences started with an Explorer Post in my home town having the foresight to invite females to be a part of their High Adventure program. This was a dream #1 come true for me because I so desired to be having all of the fun my brother was having in his Boy Scout troop. Our Post visited Philmont for several treks and a Cavalcade where we all fell in love with the experiences and grandeur of those hills.
I was able to make dream #2 a reality when I returned to serve two summers on staff in the backcountry after college. I met some of the finest humans and formed friendships of a lifetime. All I wondered at the conclusions of those summers was how I could make those feelings of excitement and purpose last longer than just a summer?
And so dream #3 began to unfold as I a began a fantastic career with the Boy Scouts as a professional scouter and ultimately giving me the unique opportunity to return to High Adventure – and serve on the Florida Sea Base staff for a number of years. The experiences of seeing the program at it’s basic levels as well as at it’s most extreme were a great blessing.
And to bring the dreams current (#4), I was honored to join my life to a Philmont boy when we married just three years ago. That place has molded both of our lives…so much so that we both choked up a bit as we said the Philmont Grace at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. We carry on our love of Philmont’s magic through our membership and participation with the PSA – a wonderful way to surround yourself with many others who have been touched by the magic!
Please consider carrying on the magic through a financial gift to the Annual Fund…and making the dreams stay alive for future Philmont dreamers!
Chrystene Matthews Speed
PC- Harlan 1997
PC- Fish Camp 1998