We are falling into a groove…into somewhat of a schedule at our Summer Camp Home. We are at Camp Chautauqua located about 35 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio and about 20 miles south of Dayton, Ohio. Camp Chautauqua is a church camp which is run by a good friend of ours, Jason Harmeyer, whom we were on staff with at CrossRoads Fellowship in Odessa, TX several years ago.. There are a few more of our CrossRoads friends here, too, and lots of new friends!
It’s been interesting being here because we aren’t technically “on staff” at the camp. We still have to run our business (our main source of income), but we are helping at the camp when we have free time as on site contractors. There was a little confusion about that at first, but I think we’ve got it all figured out now.
Emily, our 12-year-old, has found her place volunteering in the kitchen and helping in the gift shop. She has been having a ton of fun! I worried about her not getting to attend youth camp with her friends this summer, but she has ended up with a summer of camp, and tons of new friends. Tyler, our 7-year-old, spends his days playing with a couple of other “camp kids” who are around his age. He has become an expert at “gaga ball“, loves hanging with the ladies in the office, utilizing the pool, and wants to do the zip line before the summer is over. He also attended a Vacation Bible School last week, which was another concern I had…that he would miss out on that this summer. God has answered every concern, as He always does.
We started out wanting to see and do everything all at once. We’re in new territory, so there is a ton of exploring to do! We’ve landed on Saturdays being a family exploration day. That seems to work well. It also answers our “itchy feet” problem. We seriously have moving withdrawals after being in one place for a period of time! We have seen and done some really cool things so far! I’ve included all of our adventures from May in this “Part One” blog.
If you would like to know more about any of the places, I have included a link for each one.
We highly recommend all of these places and experiences to anyone in the area who loves to explore new things. It has been a great learning experience for all of us!
- Miamisburg Mound is an ancient burial mound in Miamisburg, OH. Read the sign for more details. It is fascinating! We climbed up the steps to the top and the view was amazing!
- Cox Arboretum is one of Dayton, Ohio’s Metroparks. We have come to love these parks. Each has a different personality and neat things to explore. Cox Arboretum has different areas for observing nature and wildlife. We loved the turtles basking in the sun and the butterfly house!
- Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a really cool children’s museum. It was a great way to spend a cool, rainy day!
- Grand Lake St. Mary’s State Park is a great Ohio State Park to visit! We loved it so much we ended up extending our stay an extra 3 days. We just weren’t ready to leave! It was beautiful, peaceful, and a great place to unwind. We had a full-hookup site. We didn’t get in the lake as there was an Elevated Recreational Public Health Advisory due to high levels of toxins in the water, which we are finding is very common up here. For more information about the water advisories in the Ohio area, you can click here. All in all, we loved this park. They had a great playground and a splash park that was set to open on Memorial Day for the summer. The views of the sunset over the lake was beautiful! We would love to visit this place again!
- Armstrong Air and Space Museum is a museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the hometown of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon. As far as museums go, it’s fairly small, but don’t let that fool you. It is packed full of history and really cool exhibits!
- Eden Park is a beautiful park in Cincinnati with spectacular overlook views of the Ohio River, beautiful flowers everywhere, a huge fountain in what they call “Mirror Lake”. The park currently comprises of 186 acres, which the City began acquiring in 1859 for the purpose of a new reservoir. Mirror Lake was built in the ruins of the reservoir. We also found this unique water works tower (shown below top right corner), built in 1883, in the middle of it all. Pretty sure they don’t build water towers like this anymore!
- Krohn Conservatory is located in Eden Park. From rainforest to desert, it showcases more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. We happened to be there when they were having their “Butterfly Show”, where thousands of butterflies are free to fly throughout the show room in a specially-themed garden. It was amazing!
Oh the places we have been! And this just covers May 2016! Stay tuned for the continuation of our Summer Adventures in Ohio – Part 2! We’ve been so busy, I’m a little behind. 🙂