Forest Society Honors Sam Chase as Trish Churchill Volunteer of the Year for 2023

Kelly Whalen | October 2, 2023
The Rocks
Sam Chase (left) and Nigel Manley pose together with the award.

Sam Chase (left) and Nigel Manley worked closely together over several decades at The Rocks. (Photo: Ryan Smith)

Each year, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announces the organization’s Trish Churchill Volunteer of the Year Award at its Annual Meeting held in September. This annual award honors those exemplary people who have volunteered their time, resources, and energy to help the Forest Society achieve its mission.

Jack Savage and Sam Chase pose with the award.
President Jack Savage presented the award to Sam Chase. (Photo: Ryan Smith)
At this year’s 122nd Annual Meeting, the Forest Society was honored to present the Trish Churchill Volunteer of the Year Award to Philip R. (Sam) Chase of Whitefield. Chase has volunteered with the Forest Society at The Rocks for the past 30 years.

“I met Sam in 1993, when he signed up to be a docent at The Rocks,” states Nigel Manley, senior outreach manager for the Forest Society. “The docent training program was a course you paid for yourself, and we would reimburse the cost of the program after a person volunteered a set number of hours. Well, Sam got his money back right away because of the number of programs he taught and participated in that first year and the 30 years since. He is an invaluable volunteer here at The Rocks and a dear friend and I am honored to recognize him as our Volunteer of the Year.”

Over the years, Chase has taught or helped with every program at The Rocks, including the maple sugaring programs, Christmas programs, Agriculture in the Classroom, field days, school programs, and group tours. He not only is dedicated to sharing information about the Forest Society and the natural world, but he has also driven the truck to bring in trees and to take people on tours.

“To say his dedication is unwavering is an understatement. Sam has helped in every way, in every type of weather, and in any circumstances," Manley said.

The Forest Society Volunteer of the Year Award is named after Trish Churchill. Churchill embodied the spirit of volunteerism with her enthusiasm and compassion for others.