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Old 06-18-2003, 07:36 PM   #1
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Would you want to go to a nude summer camp? Would you let your kid go?

Old Enough to Make a Lanyard, and to Do It Nude
By KATE ZERNIKE


UTZ, Fla., June 12 — On the third-to-last day of summer camp, the temperature has risen to 98 degrees, and even the troupers have begun to whine.

"I don't want to play strip volleyball!" complained Jane Jeffries, 13, her sunburned shoulders sagging. "I want to play regular volleyball."

Halie Nelson, 14, agreed, "Yeah, I'd rather get all the clothes off, and keep all the clothes off."

Here at the Youth Leadership Camp run by the American Association for Nude Recreation, the dress code for regular volleyball — and for the pudding toss, mini-golf and campfire sing-alongs — is the same as it is for skinny dipping.

Basking in what nudist organizations say is a growing interest in nude recreation, the association has begun a nationwide expansion of summer camps for nudists age 11 to 18. The first began here 10 years ago, in a county north of Tampa known for its concentration of nudist resorts. In 2000, the association opened its second camp in Arizona.

A third is to open outside Richmond, Va., this month, and organizers in Texas are planning a fourth camp there for the summer of 2005.

Naked summer camp might strike non-nudists as illegal or prurient, or like striking a match to the gasoline of adolescent hormones.

Anti-nudity statutes in Florida and other states, however, say that nudity on private property is perfectly legal, even among minors, as long as there is no lewdness. And camp rules, drawn up by campers themselves a few years ago, guard against that. "Do not allow nudity and lust to mingle," they state. "No improper touch. Nudity must not be humiliating, degrading or promote ridicule." Even the occasional clothing, worn in the camp's shuttle van, must not be "sexually alluring."

Nude tourism has grown to a $400 million business this year from a $120 million business in 1992, reports the nudist association, with travel agencies noting a surge in nude cruises and, in May, the first nude charter flight. The association itself is growing, with 30 new clubs, for a total of 267, in the last two years.

There are still few places, however, for teenagers.

"I've spent my life around nudist resorts; this is the first time I've ever been around kids my own age," said Halie, who had been named Camper of the Day the previous night for participating fully despite a foot swollen by a bee sting. "It's either 45 and over or 10 and under."

The campers, many of them alumni of church or scout camps, say they like this better, but not for the reasons most people might expect.

"I learned to play tennis this morning," Amanda Williamson, 18, said. "I never did that at church camp. I'm getting better at volleyball, too."

Aside from the obvious, naked camp looks a lot like other camps: campers play Capture the Flag, catch frogs and leap up when the whistle blows signaling seconds for ice cream. They make s'mores and sing modified campfire songs ("This Land Is Your Land" ends, "This land was made nude and free.") Each camp team writes a song for the annual talent show, with hosts "Sunny and Bare."

Parents and campers say the camp promotes a healthy body image at an age when confidence can crumble, and better relations between the sexes when awkwardness normally prevails.

"In gym class, some of the girls will hide in their lockers to take off their shirts in front of other girls," Halie said. "Sometimes I'll say, `Why are you so insecure?' They all say, `I need to lose a few pounds.' I just don't care about that stuff. I accept my body the way it is."

The nudist association, the larger of two nationwide, sees this as a place to train "youth ambassadors" to what nudists call the "textile" world. (To the question posed by one after-dinner discussion, "I'm a Nudist; Am I a Nut?," the answer, not surprisingly, was no.)

There are things that set this camp apart. Mosquito bites are more irritating, the sunscreen police more vigilant. Campers pack lighter, but drag towels, Linus-like, because nudist etiquette dictates using one when sitting. And the discussion groups feature topics like "Is God Mad at Me Because I'm a Nudist?" (Again, no.)
And everyone is on guard against COG's — "creepy outside guys" — who try to sneak in past the tall fences and security gates, to peek. On Tuesday, when a suspicious-looking man arrived at the pool, counselors quickly herded campers away and guards escorted the unwelcome visitor from the premises.

"It makes me a bit freaked out that people would think of nudity as a sexual thing," said Michelle Jones, 15, a camper from Texas.

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Pat Brown, president of the American Association for Nude Recreation, said the camps run extensive background and criminal checks on counselors, often college students who have been nude campers themselves.

Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pasco County, where the Lutz camp is, said he had never heard any complaints about it.

Parents seem to have no worries about pedophilia, speaking of nudist camps and resorts as safe, family-like environments.

"Everybody keeps an eye on the children," George Jeffries, Jane's father, said. "There are no transgressions by regular folks coming here, and newcomers are watched very closely."

Still, even parents who have sent their children here for several years do not necessarily tell their church friends or relatives about it.

"If I'm confronted I will not lie, but it's not something I want to have to explain," the father of two boys, an engineer for a telecommunications company, said. "I worry about my kids being ostracized. I believe in this, but a lot of people don't."

The father, like others, said the camp discourages some of the less attractive behavior of adolescents: "I don't have to worry about them sneaking around and seeing things their friends are, the girlie magazines and the porn movies."

Campers agree.

"It takes the mystery out of what the other person looks like, so sex becomes more something you know you're waiting to experience, rather than just a physical thing where you want to find out," said an 18-year-old who gave her name as Jeanene.

"At school, if you see a person, you just see their clothes," Jane said. "Here you have to actually get to know the people."

But some things about teenagers, nudist or not, remain true. Boys at 13 still find scatological humor far funnier than anyone else does. Eleven-year-old girls still fight about who gets to dance as J. Lo in the talent show. Even nudist campers coo at the "cute" swimsuits as they pull on clothing to get back in the van.

Pulling out of one resort during a field trip, a few campers ask the van driver to stop so they can check out the souvenirs. Inside, they finger sarongs and embroidered T-shirts. But they don't buy.

Too expensive.


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Old 06-18-2003, 08:52 PM   #2
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Regarding your question, personally I wouldn´t go nude. We got some nudist beaches in Europe, but I would only stay naked on a lonely island, alone or with partner. I don´t know, don´t see the freedom thing about it.

If I had a kid and they wanted to, okey, but not before they´re 17 years old. Its different if they go bathing without clothes in the night, but a nudist camp under 17, nope.


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Old 06-18-2003, 09:10 PM   #3
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No and no.

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Old 06-18-2003, 09:34 PM   #4
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LOL!


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Old 06-18-2003, 10:57 PM   #5
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maybe and absolutely not


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Old 06-18-2003, 11:29 PM   #6
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no and they wouldn't want to. My American neighbours are nudists...that cured my kids.

in case you missed it, an Aussie band from the 80's "Weddings, Parties, Anything"...hmmm or was it"Painters and Dockers"?? Anyway one of those 2 bands had a hit with a song called "Nude School" written after they read an article like the one above. Unfortunately they made a film clip.


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Old 06-18-2003, 11:41 PM   #7
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I have no problem being nude, but I'm a fair skin red-head, I'd have to emmerse myself in a 55 gallon drum of SPF 75 before I even thought about it. As far as my kid...I don't think so, not under 18. There's just too many issues... "It takes the mystery out of what the other person looks like, so sex becomes more something you know you're waiting to experience, rather than just a physical thing where you want to find out" I'm sorry but adolescents, mystery or not, are curious about sex. And then there's the issue of adolescent boys getting uncontrollable wood. It happens, one of the joys of puberty, but no matter how comfortable you are, that can't be the most pleasant situation.


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Old 06-19-2003, 01:07 AM   #8
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Its not the nudity among the kids as much as there are adults supervising this. I'd feel mighty weird having my naked 14 year old son or daughter being watched by adults. Call me a prude, but its not right.
But even that being said, nudity is not a large part of our culture and to pretend that it can suddenly become a norm and without the sexual element is naive. We just dont live like that.


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Old 06-19-2003, 05:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Its not the nudity among the kids as much as there are adults supervising this. I'd feel mighty weird having my naked 14 year old son or daughter being watched by adults. Call me a prude, but its not right.
But even that being said, nudity is not a large part of our culture and to pretend that it can suddenly become a norm and without the sexual element is naive. We just dont live like that.
I am a PRUDE too. Maybe we can start a club?


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Old 06-19-2003, 09:12 AM   #10
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For me there are two issues here.

One is that nudists, and their children seem to be more comfortable with the human form - which is a good thing, I think it promotes confidence and will power.

However,

I do not understnad the effects of forcing a child to go naked. I mean I understand adults who want to be nudists, but to force thier young children (my assumption is that they ask the child and because mommy and daddy are doing it, they think its ok - without having the capacity to really decide for themselves) I think there is something wrong with that.

How could a 6 or 7 year old decide if it is right for them to walk around naked all day.

I simply do not think they can.


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Old 06-19-2003, 03:00 PM   #11
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I'd rather go to a nudist camp instead of putting my dog clothes on. However, I don't feel any need to go to any kind of nudist camp/beach. Also I feel that having clothes on is more comfortable and the most of us also look better in clothes.
However, swimming naked truly is a great experience, whether it to be at night or at daylight.


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Old 06-19-2003, 03:59 PM   #12
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I don't see the big deal about being naked. This summer camp sounds like their gimmick is being naked. "Ooh...look I'm naked! I'm so fucking cool!" Haha...what stupid things people have come up with these days...

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Old 06-19-2003, 04:04 PM   #13
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Melon - always follow the money trail.....


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Old 06-19-2003, 05:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I don't see the big deal about being naked. This summer camp sounds like their gimmick is being naked. "Ooh...look I'm naked! I'm so fucking cool!" Haha...what stupid things people have come up with these days...

Melon


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Old 06-19-2003, 09:26 PM   #15
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these days?
check out a Lucille Ball( I think it was) movie"My Aunty Mame"
I have vague childhood memories of it and the shock horror of a "nude school".

may as well while I am here...reseachers have just studied Playboy centrefolds from 1953-2001. The average body size of the women in that publication has definitely decreased.
A tough job...but someone has to do it!

PS; my neighbours have a sign on their door that says"Come In, Relax, Take Your Clothes Off, Converse"
Now how are you meant to do that?
Look out...memory lane aheadThey made a point of saying "dress" for dinner the first time we went for a meal there. I was not to be out-smarted. I wore a suit I borrowed from my dad and put my husband in the most divine evening dress. He looked quite fabulous really.


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