- 2017 Annual Fund 107.76%
2017 Annual Fund – Denice Toney
As the year comes to a close, my family evaluates where we want to spend 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 Philmont Staff Association (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.
I had hardly heard of Philmont before I showed up at registration for my first summer on staff over 20 years ago. My high school boyfriend at the time, Scott Toney, talked me into going to the middle of nowhere New Mexico before our first year of college. I must say that initially I was not enamored with Philmont when I found myself all alone in a new place, as I watched my boyfriend march into the wilderness for Ranger training; I had little experience being away from home for long periods.
That first week in the Trading Post was rough, but once I was able to come out of my shell a little, I discovered what an inspiring 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. When we started getting days off, I began discovering all of the amazing outdoor opportunities at Philmont. That first summer I was able to visit so many different camps and meet the staff out in the Backcountry. As the memories pour back, I feel so fortunate to have gotten those opportunities.
It was sad to leave all of my newfound friends at the end of that summer, but we knew there would be more summers and more adventures. When I look back, I can really see what a huge impact Philmont had on me and where I am today, and I am so grateful my boyfriend (now my husband) convinced me to spend that first summer at Philmont. Now Scott and I bring our two young daughters out to Philmont, which is possible because of the programs and opportunities offered through the Philmont Staff Association. We smile as we watch their love of Philmont grow too.
I wish every young adult could have the opportunities I had at Philmont, 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 consider giving back through the PSA.
…or call Dollie in the PSA Office at 575-376-1138.
Denice Toney, Member and Data Geek