Lake of the Ozarks State Park opens new special-use area

Submitted Content
Missouri State Parks
A ribbon cutting event was held at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, opening the new special use area.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park officially opened a new special-use area during an April 10 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park. The ceremony was held during the ninth annual Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council volunteer service event at the park.

The new special-use area was developed with assistance from volunteers John and Mary Ann Young and troops from the Great Rivers Council. The Youngs are longtime Boy Scouts supporters and donated a significant amount of time and money to help create the special-use area. Mr. Young has coordinated the park’s annual Scouts service day since it began nine years ago, and expressed appreciation for the substantial efforts by Scout leaders and Scouts that have provided their service year after year.

The special-use area offers primitive camping to not-for-profit youth organizations. Three group campsites are available and can accommodate up to 30 campers per site. The area has a vault restroom and each campsite has a fire ring, picnic tables, lantern post and open space for tents.

During 2020 and 2021, Great Rivers Council troops completed projects to prepare the park’s special-use area for opening. Projects included construction of food preparation stations, the council ring, picnic tables and bench seating, and installation of campsite fire rings.

Since 2013, Great Rivers Council Scouts have volunteered more than 3,500 hours of service to improve Lake of the Ozarks State Park. In addition to developing the special-use area, troops annually assist with preparing the park for opening each spring and complete project work to improve the park for the public. Past projects have included building split-rail fence, maintaining the playgrounds and miles of trail throughout the park, painting and staining structures, and numerous grounds maintenance projects.

“Doing service projects together is one way that Scouts keep their promise ‘…to help other people,’” said Greg Baker, development director with Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council. “Scouts should do their best to help other people every day, but a group service project is a bigger way to help people. While Scouts are giving service, they’re learning to work together with others to do something that’s good for our community. By providing a service project for Scouts, we are teaching them to be good citizens. A service project is a special good turn that puts Scout spirit into action.”

“We are so excited about the new special-use area at Lake of the Ozarks State Park and we are confident our visitors will really enjoy it,” said Mike Sutherland, director of Missouri State Parks. “We are also grateful for our partnership with the Youngs and the Great Rivers Council. This project would not have been possible without their individual and collective dedication to serving others.”

For more information about Lake of the Ozarks State Park Special Use Area or to make a reservation contact the park office at (573) 348-2694.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.