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Summer visitors - boon or blight?

This weekend so far (seeing as I am writing this on Sunday evening) has been one of the best of the season to be here at the lake.

This weekend so far (seeing as I am writing this on Sunday evening) has been one of the best of the season to be here at the lake.

To this point this weekend I have not seen a cloud in the sky and I could create as much wind as Mother Nature has thrown at us. This surely showed by the numbers of people who flocked here to take in the waterfront and to venture out onto the lake in all types of craft.

Sunday afternoon I took a tour around to look at the number of vehicles parked around town and in the park that were towing empty boat trailers, to get an idea of the numbers of watercraft that were out on the lake. I knew when I started the number would be large but was surprised to count 73 empty trailers. Remember these are only the ones who are pulling their boats out in the evening and the tally does not touch the craft that folks along the lake with waterfront access would also have been using. To add to this I went down to the swimming area after my shift of cooking steaks at the hotel to cool down after slaving over a hot grill for a few hours. While I was there (and this is about nine in the evening) I counted over 30 craft just milling around in the close proximity to the docking area with a steady stream of trailers waiting to load up.

Also, when I was down by the beach area in the afternoon it was wall to wall people enjoying the sun. I am just guessing but there were a couple of hundred people milling around and sitting there to just relax and kick back. Thus it was a busy day around Meota with hordes of extra folks coming here for the day or to camp out here. I would not want to guess how many people were staying in the campground but it also looked pretty full.

While looking this over a question that a friend of mine asked came to mind, "Do all of these extra people coming here to camp and use the regional park benefit the village in any way?" Even while I was looking at all the humanity at the beach I was not sure I could answer his question. I know the concession and the park camping fees give some economic benefit and the café, hotel and store do benefit from additional clientele.

But his question went much deeper than this. He was looking at the long term benefits to the social and cultural life of the village. He was asking if any of the folks who come here do spend any time getting involved in the community and if their presence here improves the quality of life for the village population as a whole.

I know some of the people who live here full time feel there is no great benefit to their peace of mind when partiers keep them awake at night and come screaming down the streets at all hours. Also, the question comes up why some come to the park with the idea that, out here, rules of who is allowed to drive on the streets no longer have to be obeyed. Some parents turn their underage kids, who do not have drivers' licenses, loose with a golf cart or ATV as a babysitter and let them drive like idiots all over the village streets. In most cases these parents don't have a clue what the kids are doing or for that matter when approached, don't seem to care.

My friend puts up some good points and they are topics that are worth debating. Are the recreation facilities of benefit to the community or for those who have no ties to the community and couldn't care less what their presence here does for and to the quality of life for the local society as a whole?

Yes, they are good questions and I expect that I will get some feedback on them.

Quote: Life is occupied with both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself. If all it does is maintain itself then living is only not dying." Simone de Beauvoir.