- 2017 Annual Fund 107.76%
2017 Annual Fund – Sarah Burgess
My journey with the Philmont Staff Association came full circle several years ago. With some encouragement from a good friend, I volunteered for the Scholarship Committee and began reading youth participant scholarship applications for the ROCS program. It was surreal to make an awardee list with my fellow committee team member. As a teenager, my brother convinced me to apply for a new program called Roving Outdoor Conservation School, and assured me that a backpacking trek at Philmont would be a summer camp experience I wouldn’t regret. Thanks to a scholarship awarded by the PSA, I was able to take an unforgettable trek which influenced my life and work in unforgettable ways since. I think this particular full circle is only one of many more to come in my membership with the PSA.
When I was a Ranger for a PSA Trek in the summer of 2005, they gifted me my first PSA membership after the trek was over. Renewing this membership on my own wasn’t hard to do thanks to very affordable seasonal rates and conveniences like a payroll deduction. In one of my final seasons at the Ranch, I was blessed to receive an incredible, gifted PSA Life Membership. Paying this value forward to seasonal staff I worked with up until my last season felt like the least I could contribute back to an organization that has given me so much.
Trekking as a participant at the Ranch established a pathway for me that led to so many momentous occasions in my life. Working as a Philmont Staff member created tremendous opportunities for me to grow professionally and personally. Serving the PSA is a legacy that will continue to thrive for me and so many others after the treks and seasons worked have come to a close. Contributing to this legacy for the former, current, and future staff of Philmont helps me to feel part of something big, something valuable, something that Teddy Roosevelt would refer to as “work worth doing.”
When I reflect on the work done and yet to be done by the PSA, I think of a Waite Phillips quote: “The only things we keep permanently are those we give away.” The Philmont Staff Association gives away much that is tangible such as participant and staff scholarships, and leading fundraising for capital projects like the Silver Sage Staff Activities Center and the new PSA Office and Seton Memorial Library Building HOmE campaign. The intangible work the PSA does is immeasurable, yet it cannot reach the highest potential influence and impact that it does without your help. Give to the PSA’s Annual Fund today, and invite a friend to do the same – any amount is truly making a difference. Reach out to a fellow former staffer who doesn’t yet know about the impactful work that the PSA is doing. I hope you can continue your quest in your first, or next of many, full circle opportunities through the Philmont Staff Association.
…or call Dollie in the PSA Office at 575-376-1138.
Sarah Burgess, National Director – Philmont Staff Association
Philmont Staff 2003-2016