truth about family floating, camping, campgrounds, resorts.
resorts advertise "family friendly" floats or sections of
the river, don't be fooled by this folks, there is really no such thing
as a reliable family friendly float or section of the river, but there
are true family friendly and family oriented resorts. The problem is
that there are many different access points to the river (public and
private) and no one owns the river or has the right to restrict access
to families only. There is NEVER any guarantee that you won't encounter
inappropriate behaviors in others, no matter what day it is or where
you put in. Now, that being said, it is also true that thousands of
families float the Meramec yearly without problems or encountering inappropriate
behaviors in others. It is a random thing, but you can increase the
odds in your favor by going on weekdays and not going on the most frequented
floats. On weekends, the river is definitely a "party zone"
and should be avoided by those looking for a wholesome, child-friendly
and even peaceful experience. On Saturdays especially expect to encounter
lots of loud yelling, profanity, loud boom boxes, drunkenness and some
resorts tout themselves to be "family friendly" and they do
try to control the party people or separate them from the general population.
They may have specific party zones (with late night quiet hours) and
family area's (with early quiet hours) which again, sounds good, but
in reality offer no guarantee that your children will not see and hear
many inappropriate behaviors in others. The problem is that there are
general area's of the resort (stores, shower houses, rest rooms) that
are open to and frequented by all, so, a simple trip to the resort store
with the kids on a Sat. evening to get an ice cream could involve witnessing
all kinds of inappropriate behaviors. It's not directly the resorts
fault other than they are trying to cater to both groups (party people
and families) on the same property. There are a few resorts out there
who are strictly one way or the other about it. Blue
Springs Ranch Resort, for example is a truly family oriented resort,
committed to providing a wholesome, child friendly atmosphere throughout
the resort. The rules are strictly enforced, including an 11pm quiet
hour and unruly guests are quickly shut down or escorted off the property.
for a true family friendly and character building nature retreat I must
recommend the "River
of Life Farm" on the North Fork River, beautiful, deluxe Treehouse
Cabins overlook the river and provide an unsurpassed serene Nature experience.
Outdoor activities abound and it is the type of place you will return
to over and over.