Camping during COVID-19 spikes, more people around the Ozarks vacationing outdoors

Camping and boating in the Ozarks have been popular during the pandemic.
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:21 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 6:54 PM CDT
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TABLE ROCK LAKE, Mo. (KY3) - Many families are getting back to nature this summer. Camping and boating in the Ozarks have been popular during the pandemic.

“Since Memorial Day, we’ve been booked solid,” Mike Minshall said.

Mike and his wife Lori host guests at Lakeview Campground on Indian Point.

“They’ll use our kayaks or they’ll get rafts. There are a couple places on The Point where they’ll go hang out, picnic,” Lori Minshall said.

They say, more so this summer, folks are looking for fun in wide open spaces.

“They’re always asking where can we ride our bikes, where can we hike? You know, that sort of thing,” Lori Minshall said.

Families are making an effort to keep their distance from other people.

“Everybody is afraid to be in closed-quarters. So, if you’re out in the open, in the air, even if you’re with family and friends, you’re not breathing each other’s air, basically,” Gayla Guthrie said.

The Minshall’s admit, things started slow this spring at their campground. They even had to close their bathhouse for a while. However, business picked up, as many people picked up a new hobby.

“A lot of newbies, people that have just bought their camper,” Lori Minshall said.

Other trends are taking place, too. People staying longer, sticking closer to their campers, and families are booking stays together.

“It’s families that kind of know where everybody has been, know what they’re doing, to maintain that social distance,” Mike Minshall said.

For campers, calling ahead has been key, as more families get back to the basics of time spent together, outdoors.

“It’s booked, several months ahead of time. This year, it’s really been booked,” Terry Guthrie said.

“It’s like ‘Oh, we did this when I was a kid with my parents, so let’s do it with our kids because this is the year to do that.’ That’s what everybody is doing,” Mike Minshall said.

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