Eagle Rock campground offers cozy accommodations

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cozy Acres Family Campground, which was previously known as Mike's Hideaway, offers updated accommodations and a variety of camping activities. Mark and Chris McCartney, formerly of Wisconsin, purchased the Eagle Rock campground from Tim and Carol Stone in November of 2008.

"Camping has always been a passion of ours," said Chris. "We have both camped our whole lives. I remember when I was young and my mother said, 'Let's go camping where the McCartneys go camping.' And now we're here."

Although Mark and Chris have always enjoyed camping together and even kept a permanent second residence at a campground in Wisconsin, Chris never pictured herself packing up to move to Missouri and operate a campground of her own.

"We were here visiting my sister and brother-in-law, Bill and Julie Bongean," said Chris. "Mark and Bill were driving back to my sister's house one day and Mark said, 'Someday I would like to own a campground.'"

Seeing the comment as an opportunity to motivate the McCartneys to relocate to the Ozarks, Bill made a detour and showed Mark the Eagle Rock campground.

"It was mid summer, and the park was beautiful," said Mark. "It's right on Roaring River. There were people all over the place. I saw a nice opportunity to help the business grow."

Mark saw the potential of the campground, but when he shared his idea with Chris, she was more than a little hesitant. Chris knew that moving to Missouri would require her to leave behind her children and grandchildren who live in Wisconsin.

"I didn't think I would ever live far from my grandkids," said Chris, "but this was just meant to be. The Lord went to work, and everything fell into place for us to move here. The Lord has a plan for us here."

Even though the McCartneys miss their children, Chris enjoys living closer to her sister. Over the last few months, the Bongeans have assisted the McCartneys as they have cleaned and updated Cozy Acres Campground.

"We offer 77 campsites and three rental units," said Chris. "Most of the sites have full hookups. We also have some tent sites and some seasonal sites available."

Cozy Acres offers a large pool, a pavilion that can be rented for large gatherings, a laundry room and a fully stocked camp store that offers bait and tackle, souvenirs, pool accessories, snacks, beer and soda. Fire wood and ice can also be purchased at the store.

"We have several shaded sites, and Roaring River runs right through the campground," said Chris. "Campers staying here can fish without purchasing a daily tag."

In addition to updating and improving the Eagle Rock campground, the McCartneys are working to build a reputation of providing quality customer service.

"We both come from customer service backgrounds," said Mark. "We want to make this a friendly campground that accommodates the campers.

"We enjoy walking through the park to see if any of the campers need anything and to thank them for coming," said Mark. "We want to make them feel welcome here. That is our main goal."

Campers who stay at Cozy Acres can enjoy a variety of activities, including volleyball, fishing, hiking and biking. The campground also hosts fishing contests, cookouts, Christmas in July and trick-or-treating activities for youngsters.

"Cozy Acres is a secluded campground," said Chris. "The kids who visit love it here. I've heard some of them tell their parents that they don't want to go camping anywhere but here."

Campers have also commented that they appreciate the cleanliness of the family-oriented park, which offers bathrooms and shower areas for individuals using the campground's tent sites, said Chris.

"They usually thank us for the hospitality that we have shown them and for making them feel at home in the park," said Chris. "We just want to make people feel very welcome, and we want this to be their home away from home.

"It's a very nice place for families to vacation," said Chris. "It's a beautiful campground where the kids can get out and wade in the water as they fish, which they really enjoy."

For more information on Cozy Acres Family Campground, visit cozyacrescamping.com.