News & Events
TOUR DESCRIPTIONS (Friday, September 24, 2021)
TOUR REGISTRATION CUTOFF is Midnight Eastern Time AUGUST 31, 2021.
To assure your spot on a tour, please make your choice on the conference registration website by midnight, Eastern Time on August 31, 2021. Space on each tour will be first come, first served.
ALL of the following tours will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021 from approximately 9 AM to 4 or 5 PM.
#01 - COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS $35 (Lunch extra)
You will get a chance to tour Hard Work U. Every student at the college has a job that contributes to college life and their education. Many of these are agriculture- and food-related.
A student-led tour will take in many of the places where the students work, including: a working stone-ground flour mill, the stained glass and candle shop, the greenhouses, and the dairy. For lunch, you will make your own a farm-to-table choice at the restaurant in the Keeter Center (not included in the cost of the tour).
After lunch, you may explore the center, get student-made ice cream, and/or shop for student-made articles before you head to Point Lookout and the Ralph Foster Museum. The museum has many exhibits of Ozark life including the Beverly Hillbillies car, a collection of Rosie O’Neill’s Kewpie Dolls, and other collections such as guns and mounted birds and animals. The Historic Star Schoolhouse is right next door, so you might take a minute to peek in. From the museum, it is a short stroll to Point Lookout with a stunning view of the Ozarks. As you leave campus, you will be able to get out to see the 9/11 memorial and Patriots’ Park honoring Missouri Veterans and Gold Star families
#02 - LET BRANSON ENTERTAIN YOU $75 (Lunch included)
You will be treated to not one, but two Branson shows. “Hot Rods and High Heels” is a high-energy show featuring 1950’s pop music. This will be followed by lunch at the Hughes Theater, then The “Hughes Brothers Country Show.” The four brothers will entertain you with toe-tapping music and comedy. They have been harmonizing and performing as a group since the youngest brother was only two years old. Their incredible vocal sound with high-energy movement and versatile instruments will make you laugh one minute and tear up the next.
#03 - THE OZARKS $60 (Lunch included)
You will see the IMAX film that is a cinematic retelling of the history of Branson from 1824 to the 1950s. It will show you breathtaking scenery from the Ozark Mountains while you enjoy a family saga that highlights the area’s heritage and history.
After a lunch at McFarlain’s Restaurant in the IMAX complex, you will go to Shepherd of the Hills, site of the Harold Bell Wright novel of that name. Here, you will travel by tram throughout the property with stops to tour Old Matt's cabin, the church, the natural amphitheater, and Inspiration Tower with outstanding aerial views of the Ozark area.
If you attended the 1976 conference in Springfield, Missouri, you got the chance to see the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama. While the drama isn’t part of this tour, if you come early or stay later, you can see it this year.
#04 - TOP OF THE ROCK $80 (Lunch included)
You will take a golf cart tour (driven by you or your friend) on a paved 2.5 mile Ozarks scenic route among rock formations, waterfalls, covered bridges, and nature’s flora with ample time to enjoy your surroundings. (Top of the Rock is a golfing venue that is part of Bass Pro Shops.) You will also visit the first-class natural history museum on-site. The museum highlights the area’s prehistoric era, extensive Native American collections, and the area’s Civil War history. It also offers a scenic view of Table Rock Lake.
Lunch will be served at McFarlain’s Restaurant before heading to Elevate Branson (formerly Jesus Was Homeless) to deliver our conference service project collection. Here, you will tour the group's modern facility and learn of their many projects to address area poverty and unemployment.
As background, in 2008 Bryan and Amy Stalling saw a need to reach out to those living full-time in Branson motels. Branson has one industry, tourism, which provides jobs for about nine months. To meet the need of these residents, the Stallings created Jesus Was Homeless. Over time, it has grown into the largest mission project in the area, providing evening sack meals once a week to hundreds, church services for “people who don’t like church” preceded by a breakfast, tele-med services, classes to prepare for entering the work force. Its newest endeavor is creating a community of 48 tiny homes on adjacent property. They even have a fleet of small vans to transport those who have no other way to get around.