It began with a simple camping trip in 1910. Carl B. Kern led a group of 12 young men on a hike from Lebanon, Ohio, to a small camping area along the Little Miami River. Naming the area Camp Ozone, since there were no signs of civilization, Kern continued to bring campers back there each summer until he died unexpectedly in 1917. Camp Kern – YMCA is now located on the original spot where the first group of campers stayed. It has grown from a boys-only summer camp into a 485-acre, coed, year-round facility that offers everything from summer camps to zipline canopy tours.
Some things at the camp haven't changed, though. As part of the YMCA of Greater Dayton, the camp's staff members continue their mission to strengthen kids, families, and communities by teaching core values. They lead outdoor education sessions where students explore Native American mounds built 2,000 years ago and gather 500-million-year-old fossils to learn about nature and what hats were popular in prehistoric times. Ranch camps teach equestrians how to care for horses, whereas family and adult programs revolve around archery, canoeing, and climbing.
The crew also hosts literary-themed summer camps, including one that immerses kids in the world of the Ranger's Apprentice book series by John Flanagan. The author visited the camp in November 2012 and told WDTN 2 News, "I had no idea that you were actually recreating and enacting so many parts of the Ranger legend…I think it's fabulous, I wish I was a kid and I wish I could do it."
The knowledgeable instructors of MacAir Aviation Services take aspiring aviators aloft during 30-minute simulated flights. Pupils climb into a mock cockpit to roam the wild blue pixels as aeronautical mentors dispense helpful advice regarding aircraft control, instrumentation readings, and swiping the freshest grapes from Amelia Earhart's cloud-top villa. Preflight, students can fuel up by sipping complimentary coffee or garner elevation inspiration while watching the comings and goings of airplanes that stop by the full-service fixed-base operator for fuel, supplies, and maintenance.
Aquatic Realm Scuba Center is a Professional Association of Diving Instructors five-star certified training facility, providing students with hands-on, professional instruction. During your 90-minute to two-hour Discover Scuba Program, you will learn to dive safely, use equipment correctly, and take all the steps for scuba success. Lessons take place in an indoor heated pool, so you'll be able to test techniques without risking mermaid mockery.
After finding great joy as an art teacher for more than a decade, Laura Carter and her husband Andy, decided to take their love of art outside the traditional classroom and establish Raise Your Brush. A short time later, the art studio, which unites painting lessons with social drinking, began to garnish high praise for it’s casual atmosphere. Such praise came from both customers as well as local media outlets including Living Dayton.
During each painting class—Laura’s most popular offering—students are first encouraged to loosen up with a glass of wine or beer from the studio’s newly remodeled bar. Students then cozy up to tables to make the most of the included supplies, ranging from aprons to acrylic paints to blank, potential-packed canvasses. In the ensuing hours, amateur artists recreate the evening’s theme-specific image with the help of Laura’s artistic eye and articulate tongue. Though the themes constantly change, past images have included cityscapes, a fleur de lis, and moonrises. Regardless of the night’s theme, all students are free to take their homework straight home to display on any already vibrant mantle or surprisingly lonely family room wall.
At My Pilates Studio, a team of Pilates instructors, many of them certified by Stott, lead classes ranging from ballet barre to prenatal Pilates. In studios with shining hardwood floors and mauve walls, students strengthen their cores, increase their flexibility, and boost their overall wellness with top-of-the-line equipment and supportive peers. The studio strives to create a soothing atmosphere with features such as a burbling fountain, freshly cut flowers, and soft lighting.