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."
Sculpted through a quaint, quiet 300-acre plot, Greentree Golf Club garnishes the hills of Warren County with nine holes that yield a tranquil golfing experience. Jodi Kinney, one of just six female golf-course architects in the nation, designed the course in 1999 and made it approachable for golfers of all skill levels by incorporating four sets of tees. To score anywhere near the par of 36, players must steer their shots down tunnels of bluegrass fairways cleaved between the outstretched limbs of towering trees. After reaching the bent-grass greens, players can putt confidently knowing they avoided the quicksand bunkers. On the scenic layout, players may encounter deer frolicking in the pastures or counting mulligans on their antlers.
Course at a Glance:
Nine-hole, par 36 course
Total length of 3,403 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 36.5 from the back tees
Course slope of 135 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Golf balls soar above the driving range and roll over tricky putt-putt greens at Southwest Golf Ranch, a practice facility designed to help
golfers improve the full spectrum of their skills. With 2.5 acres of bent-grass hitting areas and 20 heated, covered hitting stalls outfitted with synthetic-turf mats, the range lets players choose their hitting surface
or conceal their swing adjustments from spy drones sent by rival golfers. The mini-golf course features colorful flags, Lilliputian ponds, and wooden bridges that arch throughout the 18-hole layout, which is lighted for after-hours play.
Helmed by PGA pro and Director of Instruction Kevin O'Sullivan, Southwest Golf Ranch’s staff of instructors puts the facility’s resources to use in lessons and golf camps. The resident aces groom golfers’ swings with the help of video analysis and FlightScope swing tracking, the same technology used in the Ranch’s club fitting studio, which pairs golfers with their ideal clubs without forcing them to meet random sand wedges on the Internet.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
We were established in 1988, celebrating our 27th year. Representing South-Western Ohio's sole full-time, full-service hot-air balloon company, ballooning is what we do and we do it professionally! At Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Co, a team of commercially rated, FAA-certified pilots whisk passengers skyward on journeys over southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. One-hour flights take off from Lebanon Warren County airport and travel as high as to 2,000 feet, where visitors can take in panoramic views and snap pictures. Retrieval crews track each trek from the ground and transport guests back to their meeting location.
Along with shared flights, Gentle Breeze’s team hosts specialties such as private couples flights followed by champagne toasts, Hummer or Escalade limo rides to launch sites, and voyages over Cincinnati and Dayton’s metro areas.
Happy Life Fitness takes its name seriously, helping clients feel better with classes that encourage the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. Clients can sweat it out during Zumba classes that set easy-to-follow dance moves to catchy international beats. Hip-hop cardio sessions also keep heart rates high with hip-swaying choreography. Alternatively, yoga instructors slow the pace down as they guide students into a series of standing and sitting bends and twists. Popular barre fitness classes focus on building strength and flexibility though ballet and Pilates exercises rather than channeling anyone's python spirit animal. Classes run daily at the studio, and are offered as early as 8:30 a.m. and as late as 8:35 p.m.