I was fortunate to grow up in a family, community and school system that celebrated and supported persons of all ability levels. Throughout those formative years, I became friends with several people with intellectual and physical disabilities, with several of those relationships lasting to this very day. And, where I moved in and out of various paths of life, I always found myself gravitating back towards advocacy of people with special needs. In light of that advocacy, I was introduced to a place called Make Promises Happen while attending Oklahoma State University in 1994. 24 years later, Make Promises Happen continues to be an important and influential part of my life.
Where I moved in and out of various paths of life, I always found myself gravitating back towards advocacy of people with special needs
Make Promises Happen, is Oklahoma’s only program dedicated to providing outdoor recreational opportunities for individuals with special needs. The program supports people ages 6 and older with physical and/or intellectual disabilities and special needs. Through the support of volunteer counselors, campers leave limitations behind and enjoy fishing, boating, ropes courses, arts & crafts, swimming, archery, dances, talent shows and much more. MPH events take place throughout the entire year, with weekends and week-long camps, as well as some campers having the opportunity to be selected to participate in Make Promises Happen Adventure Trip program. Adventure Trips include skiing at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colorado, surfing with the Texas Surf Riders Foundation in Port Aransas, Texas and zip-lining through the rain forest while staying in a self-sustaining tree house community in Finca Bellavista, Costa Rica.
Make Promises Happen is a program of the Central Oklahoma Camp and Conference Center (COCCC), located in Guthrie, OK. Since its inception, COCCC has grown to nearly 315 acres, with 4 ponds, lodging, recreation areas and conference facilities for 200+ people. COCCC is proud to collaborates with more than 30 community organizations, businesses and individuals to impact the lives of more than 10,000 Oklahoma residents annually, with over 80% of these Oklahomans impacted including people with special needs or at-risk. Camper or volunteer, young or old, every single life is enriched through the experience of outdoor recreation at COCCC.