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It’s Here – Spring Has Arrived In Clinton County In Southwest Ohio

April 9th, 2014

I can’t believe it.  Spring has finally arrived.  The daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding and the grass is greening up.  Clinton County is ready to embrace travelers from near and far.  You must be getting that travel “itch.”  You know, the one that says “ROAD TRIP!”  Embrace you inner traveler and start making plans for short getaways.  We know it’s hard to go away for long with the kids still in school, but short ventures out and about are a great way to kick off Spring.

Our event calendar is already getting filled up with car and motorcycle racing, horse shows, live entertainment at the Murphy Theatre and fascinating history exhibits.  Sailing is returning to Cowan Lake State Park as well as the hikers, picnickers and fishing enthusiasts.  Our first festival is also on the horizon – the Asparagus and Strawberry Festival will take place on May 24 and 25.  Bookmark our web calendar of events so you can keep up with all the happenings.

We encourage you to take advantage of our convention and visitors bureau, as well as those in other places you’re interested in visiting.  They offer free services to assist you with your travel plans.  Expect free literature, maps and good advice.

Just a quick note on Spring Travel

Spring often brings rain and AAA has advice for this type of driving.

Be sure and get out there and start traveling.  We’d love to have you in Clinton County, Ohio, but where ever you go there are so many things you can do without “breaking the bank.” The possibilities never end.

Written by Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau




Andy Core Speak Volumes to Clinton County in Southwest Ohio

March 24th, 2014

I had the good fortune to hear work-life balance speaker Andy Core speak at the recent Meeting Professional International MidAmerica Conference and boy does he have a lot of good information to share.  Why re-invent the wheel when someone of Andy’s caliber has such helpful information for those of us in the meetings industry?  Be sure and click on the link below and learn how to pack to survive your next trip.  And thanks in advance Andy for sharing!

Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Warning! Travel Scams You Need To Know About

March 18th, 2014

Even if you are traveling domestically and not to a foreign country, you must not throw caution to the wind and assume nothing bad will happen to you and your family.  Travel scammers are on the rise and occur each and every day, I’m sorry to say.  Granted, you are more apt to come up against a scammer in the larger cities, but let’s be honest, it can happen anywhere.  The only saving grace in a smaller city or town is that pretty much everybody knows who’s a local and who isn’t, so skepticism for someone planning something bad doesn’t go unnoticed.  They will get locked up pretty darn fast!  So, what do you need to look out for?

Don’t carry a fanny pack.  It screams “I’m a tourist.”  Don’t make yourself a designated target.

When staying in a hotel don’t order from a menu that’s slipped under the door.  When you call in the order they will probably require a credit card up front.  You get the charge but the food never arrives.

Don’t wear t-shirts with a destination on the front or back.  Again, it screams tourist making you another target.

If at an airport, don’t use the “free” Wi-Fi.  They are unsecure and hackers can steal your personal information accessing your air space.  Instead pay for a wireless Internet connection.

Don’t take an unlicensed cab.  They generally will inflate the price and can even steal your luggage.  Since you are unfamiliar with the area, they might take you on the scenic route, again jacking the price up.

It says it’s a free trip!  Great right?  Wrong!  Many times they are just cover-ups to get your credit card information to verify your eligibility.  Don’t ever pay to receive a prize.

Need to use an ATM?  Be careful.  If you can, use ATM’s inside a bank branch.  First of all, cautiously enter your PIN number.  Don’t let it be seen when you enter the number.  You may be watched, have your card stolen and your account drained.  Another scam involves rigging the ATM so that it “eats” your card so that when you leave they can retrieve it.  That helpful individual who comes up to lend a hand is simply trying to learn your PIN.  On the high-tech end of ATM scams, the machine can be fit with a card reader that records your card details and PIN, following the creation of a fake card.

Don’t let your credit card be taken out-of-sight in a bar or restaurant.  While out of your view, while they are swiping your card there are capabilities to have a second machine that records the card’s identifying information from the magnetic strip.  Usually it’s an inside job.

Don’t be scammed by someone claiming to have run out of gas or their car breaking down close by.  Also don’t follow them to where they say their car is located.  If you think they are really in trouble, call the police and report it.  Otherwise, you could be robbed.

Check out a travel agent before giving them any money.  Make sure they are registered with the American Society of Travel Agents.  Ever heard of the Better Business Bureau?  Use it.  Don’t lose your hard earned money to a scamming “travel agent.”

Buyer beware!  Always know if there is a cancellation policy before sending any money that’s travel related.  Know how much you’ll lose if you have to cancel.

Are there more?

There are many scamming schemes out there and undoubtedly there are new ones that come to light every day.  The most important thing is to stay alert, remain cautious, be leery of situations that seem too good to be true, look out for  individuals that exhibit suspicious behavior and guard your personal information.  Chances are you will never be the brunt of a travel scammer.  At least that’s what I hope.  And of course, if you are looking for the safety of a smaller city to visit without the worry associated with larger cities, stop in Wilmington and Clinton County in southwest Ohio.

Written by Debbie Stamper, Executive Director of the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau in southwest Ohio



Geocaching in Snow – southwest Ohio in Clinton County

February 28th, 2014

Can you believe it?  March is here!  Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the cold weather is immediately gone, but it’s definitely a sign of better things to come!   Did you get out this winter?  I hope you did.   The doctors tell us we need vitamin D which comes from the sun (even if it is only 0 degrees outside).Speaking of being outside, I was introduced to the world of geocaching last year when we unveiled our Clinton County Barn Quilt Geotrail.  I was simply amazed at the passion geocachers have for their sport.  What has amazed me even more is that this passion carries over year round.  I see the comments when someone logs in a find on our Trail and it has been a rude awakening to discover that geocaching goes on even in a big snowfall!  If you partake in geocaching, does the weather prohibit you from looking for caches?  What about really cold weather?


Of course, most of the time you are in your car traveling to the coordinates of the cache so perhaps it can be labeled as a winter sport.  What do you think?


If you are a die hard geocacher, share your thoughts with me and come and  check out our 32 cache Trail.  Open year round!!

Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau


As Valentines Day Approaches in Clinton County in Southwest Ohio

February 10th, 2014

It seems a little hard to be lovable when so many of us are fighting snow, ice and literally taking our lives in our own hands trying to get into our offices, but Valentines Day is coming so we need to step back and remember those we care about at this special time.  Make an evening of it on Valentines and take in a show at Wilmington’s Murphy Theatre, eat in one of our fun and romantic restaurants and stay overnight at one of our hotels.  It’s all good.

I ran across a great blog that addresses tips for planning a Valentine’s getaway.  I simply loved it and I hope you will to.  Great advice by another blogger.  (Why not share?)

Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau


Have you made your plans for Valentine’s Day yet? Well, it’s time to get cracking. Please do not wait until the last minute, because the situation could turn out bad, horribly bad. Although, I want to focus on Valentine’s travel plans gone wrong, I need to digress for this public service announcement. Here it is. Do not purchase a stuffed animal for an adult for Valentine’s Day and think that you have completed your shopping. There is an exception to this rule, because iced up stuffed animals are welcomed.

Unadorned stuffed animals should stay in the store. Your grown-up significant other stopped playing with stuffed animals a long time ago, so please stop giving her last minute stuffed animals unless the furry fellow is wearing some new diamond bauble that you just bought her.
Okay, so back to my travel article with tips on how to keep your Valentine’s Day ideas from going terribly wrong.

1. Be realistic. Don’t surprise her with a trip in which she’ll spend multiple days away, especially if she has a job, children, household responsibilities and hasn’t done her hair. Women usually love romantic travel surprises, but if you plan to whisk her away somewhere, make sure that she has time off from work and her other responsibilities are taken care of. Do not assume that she’s waiting around for you with nothing to do. Help her plan for the getaway. Ask her if she could clear her calendar. Tell her that she needs to find someone to care for her children (if she has kids) and give her advice on what she should pack.

2. Keep it stress-free. Don’t arrange a bunch of adventurous activities for her if she isn’t the adventurous type. Although it is fun to watch couples jump out of airplanes on the The Bachelor or watch the challenges on The Amazing Race, Valentine’s Day is probably not the best time to force your girlfriend to face her phobias. It also isn’t wise to plan a bunch of activities that you’d like to do without considering her.

3. Keep it private. Do not arrange to share a hotel suite with another couple and put your girlfriend on a pull-out sofa in the living area. Sharing a suite isn’t a hot idea for Valentine’s Day, but if you must split the cost with another couple, make the suite a two-bedroom/two bathroom suite.

4. Spend time with your real significant other. Don’t go on a trip with your friends or side piece and leave your significant other at home. You’ll eventually be found out. So, unless you are seriously ready to end the relationship, it’s probably a good idea to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one.

5. Don’t get your dude or lady hyped up over nothing. Staycations are great, but the motel down the street with the fake palm trees in the room isn’t an island getaway. Sorry, but ugh, no. If you are hinting that you are taking her to Paris, you better take her to Paris, France and not Paris’ Rib Shack down the street.

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Winter in Clinton County in Southwest Ohio

January 14th, 2014

Ok.  Enough already! 

Too much cold, too much ice and too much snow.  Well, it is winter, so I guess I should be accepting of the elements, but I’m not.  I’ve often been told that the older you get the more you hate winter and I would have to say it really is true!  I’m sure I would miss the changing seasons of southwest Ohio if I lived elsewhere, but I just returned from Mexico where it was in the mid-80′s during the day. It’s just a distant memory now……

The Solution

So, what am I going to do about it?  My husband and I decided we’re going to look at opportunities across the state to do things indoors.  A little investigating on the state’s travel web site – – with a closer look by going through the Visitors Bureau’s in the 88 counties across the state and the options are endless.  As a representative of the local visitors bureau for Clinton County we spend many hours gathering information about upcoming events and put them on our web site and in our printed Visitors Guide and I know the other Bureaus do the same.  Take advantage of their hard work and take in a wealth of knowledge and plan your leisure time doing some fun things.

AAA Great Vacation Travel Expo

You might not be aware that the AAA Great Vacation Travel Expo arrives in Columbus on January 24-26.  It is held at the Veteran’s Memorial.  The hours are Friday 12-7, Saturday 10-7 and Sunday 11-5.  It is a great show with destinations in Ohio and further away on hand with free literature, giveaways and expert travel counselors.  Saturday is kid’s day and all the booths have activities and freebies on hand for the kids.  It really is a lot of fun.  Put it on your calendar.  If you attend, be sure and look me up in booth 237 (right by the Ohio State Parks display).

You’re invited to visit Clinton County in southwest Ohio.  Check out our calendar of events – or call us at 877-428-4748 for a 2014 Visitors Guide.  It’s free and we’ll get it out in the mail to you right away.

Enjoy winter.

Written by Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau



Traveling With Kids Around The Holidays – Clinton County in Southwest Ohio

December 18th, 2013

I ran across a good post that gives advise for traveling with kids around the holidays.  I thought I’d share it with you.  Reducing the stress around the holidays is a good thing!  Check it out.

Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Christmas Time Has Arrived in Clinton County in Southwest Ohio

December 3rd, 2013

Okay, I’m ready!  In fact, I’m more than ready – for Christmas.  Once the Hometown Holidazzle Illuminated Parade & Festival arrives, it’s all about the holidays in Wilmington and Clinton County.  The parade took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it’s the unwritten beginning of the holiday season in our area.  Thousands brave the cold to see illuminated parade entries as they roll down Main Street in Wilmington.  Thanks to Rob Jaehnig for his leadership and all of the volunteers that make this event happen.

The Trappings

This year I broke my own oath, I shopped on Black Friday and bought electronics on Cyber Monday!  I guess I am now part of the trap that many get caught in.  I didn’t however shop on Thanksgiving.  I refuse!  That day was reserved for family, turkey and all the trimmings and  giving thanks.  How about you?

Shopping Yet?

Have you started shopping?  I am about half done and am planning on visiting our specialty shops this weekend for those people that you have no idea on what to buy.  I love running into something and it just jumps out at you and says a person’s name.  We do lists in my family but what happened to the idea of using a little ingenuity to choose a gift?  Besides if we really need something most of us go out and buy it.  Why not search your heart this holiday season and pick out something that will touch the other person’s heart?  Isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?  Drop in our local shops and find that special gift.




I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau

It’s beginning to look alot like “what” in Clinton County in Southwest Ohio?

November 14th, 2013

I can honestly say that even though the stores are sporting Christmas decorations and Christmas craft shows have been going on around the county, as of today there are no Christmas decorations in downtown Wilmington’s storefronts.  Yeah!  Sorry folks, I feel sorry for the humble turkey who gets more and more forgotten each year.  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favorite time of the year, in fact I expect I’ll start listening to Christmas music very soon, but the pilgrims set an example for us that needs to be followed.  And I’m not just talking about eating so much food that many of us simply maneuver ourselves to the living room couch to get horizontal!  (My mom always says it’s the sage in the dressing.)  I guess this year I’ll make her admit that my plate had enough food on it for a couple of people!

The real message of Thanksgiving

What I’m talking about is concentrating on all the things in our lives for which we are thankful.  I’m thankful for living in a small city that still has the ambiance of small-town America.  I’m thankful for festivals that bring families together.  I’m thankful for a safe haven where the crime rate ranks below the neighboring cities.  I’m thankful for my family and the opportunity to have raised my daughter in such a place.  I’m thankful for the special places that have become the fabric of Wilmington’s history weaving a story that exists today such as the ones still told about the Murphy Theatre.  I’m thankful that this little bit of paradise offers me the opportunity to worship as I wish.  I get to enjoy nature at its finest a short drive away and eat fresh produce from our many farms.  I’ll admit it.  The list of what I’m thankful for goes on and on.  You too?

Hope your Christmas holiday appears when you expect it to.  I expect I’ll be ready to look at downtown Christmas decorations after lunch on Thanksgiving Day!

(Oops!  I spoke too soon!  Christmas garland is being put up on light posts downtown even as I write this!  Too funny.)

Written by Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau


This Clinton County in Southwest Ohio Gal Just Heard of Slacklining

October 22nd, 2013

Okay, there’s always something new coming around the pike that surprises me, but today I was introduced for the first time to slacklining.  Ever heard of it?  Honestly, I don’t know if anyone in Clinton County participates in this sport or not and that’s why I’m writing.  Inquiring minds want to know!

What is slacklining? 

According to Wikipedia, Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping one’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts. Slacklining has quickly become popular due to its simplicity and versatility and its ability to be practiced in a variety of environments. Those who participate in slacklining are often called “slackers”.  So there you have it.  Love the “slackers” moniker. 

Who slacklines? 

Well you’d think by reading the many articles on the web about slacklining that everyone is doing it but me.  Many are amateurs just enjoying the activity for full-body exercise, but there are actually competitions of slackliners, and we’re talking about some who are walking on a slackline across mountain passes.  Okay, maybe it’s not for me!

There’s a Facebook page in our area that is devoted specifically to everything slacklining.  It’s  Check it out.  I know I will be and who knows, maybe Wilmington, Ohio, will one day host a slackline competition.  It’s pretty flat land around here, but we’re known for our resourcefulness and I know we could create a fun and challenging event.  To all the “slackers” out there, may you have balance in your life.

Written by Debbie Stamper, Executive Director, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau