When classes started this week over 1,100 children made their way back to a long standing after-school program at Harrell Park.
Many of those kiddos also spent the summer at Camp Fire.
The organization has been around now almost 100 years and for nearly half of that time the same leader has been running the organization.
For her decades of dedication we honor Bettye Ricks as this month's Spirit of Texoma Award winner.
Children who splash the days away at Harrell Park and many others in the community know her as Miss Bettye.
Bettye Ricks says, "I have been around so long, I have seen so many of them grow up and turn out to be such wonderful contributing citizens of the community."
Children can learn a lot about life around a Camp Fire.
Ricks: "They learn their brain is actually a muscle that can grow. They get not a fixed mind set, but a mind set that they know they can accomplish a lot of things."
Things like making friends and memories, sack races, water gun fights, bird watching, swimming lessons and wearing goofy hats, they go ice skating, to hockey games with Craze E Cat and canoeing too, there is no shortage of fun things to do at Camp Fire.
Ricks: "I think they have to really care about what they are doing and there is so much need in this World, so much need and our lives are so short and if you can do anything to help others I just think it is the most important thing."
Which is why Bettye and her team have made it their mission to inspire these future givers.
Ricks: "What we are trying to do is teach the children about their communities and the needs out there and help them get started on giving back to the community."
Bettye says it is quite impressive when you light that Camp Fire spark within.
Ricks: "It is amazing what our children have thought through and thought of and for instance this summer the older kids helped deliver Meals on Wheels while they were at camp and they had a wonderful time doing it. I can see what Camp Fire does in their lives. It really does help them to reach their full potential."
Bettye says a job she took, what seems like a lifetime ago, has become her life's passion and one that has allowed her to share her Spirit of Texoma for nearly fifty years.
Ricks: "I was just a little kid, like 22 out of college and I had no idea what I was going to do in life and God has blessed me and let me be with Camp Fire practically my whole life."
Bettye says it is thanks to the Hands to Hands fund and kind donations from so many others in the community that allow children in five Texoma counties to attend Camp Fire.
Owens and Brumley Funderal Homes congratulate Bettye on her award and if you know someone who deserves this award please nominate them now by using this link----->http://thp.upickem.net/engine/YourSubmission.aspx?contestid=42428
Carol Wilson loves representing the USA.
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