When I say Los Angeles, you think traffic.
When I say Chicago, you think wind.
When I say Florida, you think sun and retirees.
So when I say Branson, you think of country shows and go carts.
Despite the validity of those statements, these type of stereotypes never describe the fullness a location has to offer.
In fact, if you ask a local, you will get a completely different set of attributes that define each place. As we sat down to plan a summer at Ozark Lakes, it was great to hear from locals in regards to what they love about the area. As Jen and I work to re-focus our perspective , I asked a handful of residents from the Ozarks what makes the region great. Here is what they said.
“People are kind and down to earth. “
“In some places, it’s weird if you are greeted entering a gas station or passing someone on a sidewalk. Here it is weird if it does not happen.”
“I miss these types of people because they seem to be rare anymore…”
“Generally speaking, most people are very hospitable. It’s definitely southern compared to the rest of Missouri.”
“People are warm and friendly. Family is a priority…” and “often the definition of family extends beyond people you are related to.”
Many mentioned the outdoors.
“I love the hiking, trails, outdoor things. I really enjoy the lakes as well.”
“The White River, Buffalo River, Kings River, Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Taneycomo are all a great way to spend a day.”
“I love getting outside on the lakes.”
It was great to see the growth of the area’s economy.
“Within an hour and a half drive from Branson, you have a ton of industry. Tourism is the biggest one.”
“In Northwest Arkansas, Walmart is #1 Retailer in the world and #1 on Forbes.”
“Two more fortune 500 companies, one in Transportation with JB Hunt and one in protein production with Tyson Foods.”
“Bass Pro Shops and O’Reilly Auto Parts have headquarters in Springfield.”
“There is a lot of manufacturing around the area. Some that stand out are Justin Boots, Glad, and Ranger Boats.”
As you head to Ozark Lakes this summer, join us in re-focusing our perspective on what God can do and not what we get out of it. There is an opportunity for us to connect to God this summer and see what He can teach us. Combine that fact with the fact that we get to spend the summer with great people, and we have all the essentials for a summer full of memories.