On May 12, 2012, Darcy Phinney’s life changed forever.
Darcy and her entire family were headed home from a golf tournament when a teenager who was texting while driving hit their minivan head-on.
Each family member suffered broken bones, but Darcy’s injuries were the worst.
“I tried to crawl out of the car, but I couldn’t because my hands and my feet wouldn’t move in the way that I needed them to,” she said in an interview with the Golf Channel. “So I just had to lay there, and I remember listening to Mom whimper out ‘my babies, my babies.'”
Her back broken, Darcy needed to have metal rods surgically inserted into her spine. She wore a back brace for six months while rehabilitating but continued activities with her Venturing crew. Even with the tragic circumstances life put in her path, Darcy greeted every day with a smile.
Six years after the accident, Darcy is 22 and continuing her service to Scouting. She has signed up to serve on staff — officially called the International Service Team, or IST — at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
But she’s not the only Phinney family member who will be there. All four Phinney siblings have signed up for next summer’s global Scouting celebration. To join them, click here.
And keep reading for my 5 Quick Questions with Darcy.
Meet the Phinney siblings
Darcy: 22, Venturing Silver Award and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient
Mykal: 18, Venturing Silver Award recipient
Hartley: 20, Eagle Scout and Venturing Ranger Award recipient
Reese: 16, Venturing Discovery Award recipient
Bryan on Scouting: What has been your favorite Scouting experience or memory so far, and why?
Darcy Phinney: “My favorite memory was looking over a valley filled with fog right before Sunday worship service began. I felt so small and so complete at the same time.
“My favorite Scouting experience is actually meeting and getting to know a close friend of mine whom I met through camp. The first time I met him, I thought he was the most annoying, loud and generally obnoxious person I had ever met. If we are being truthful, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t his most favorite person either!
“This continued for three years, but the fourth year something changed. He became one of the coolest, most genuine people I know and I am thankful I still get to talk to him on a regular basis.”
Bryan: In what way did the 2012 car accident change your family, and how have you persevered?
Darcy: “My family has always been close, but I think we really experienced how tight our bonds were after the accident. We fought, and still fight, like any other family you’ve met, but we supported each other through it all.
“Now we eat a lot of food together and talk about Scouting as a group. It’s definitely an interesting experience for friends who come over when we start talking about all the Scouting we’re doing.”
Bryan: What did you think of the Golf Channel story about you, and do you still play golf to this day?
Darcy: “I don’t make a habit of watching it, because it makes me emotional every time. It’s definitely a unique experience to look back on, but I wouldn’t want to repeat it.
“I still play golf, though not to the extent I used to. It’s one of the world’s best sports because you can play at your own pace, and you are allowed to talk to people as you play.”
Bryan: Why did you sign up for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree?
Darcy: “I signed up because I enjoy connecting with people. Not only will this experience have plenty of people to meet, it also is being held at a high-adventure base where you can experience something new every visit.”
Bryan: What are you most looking forward to about the 2019 World Scout Jamboree?
Darcy: “Last time I tried BMX, and it was exhilarating trying to go as fast as I could pedal over hills and curves! I can’t wait to see what new events I can participate in this time!”