Nude Concert Raised Nearly $350K for Cancer Research
What do you get when you mix six tribute bands, lots of naked people, and a passion for finding a breast cancer cure? Nude-A-Palooza! Hosted by Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, Nude-A-Palooza is an all-day charity concert, now in its 12th year, that has raised nearly $350,000 for breast cancer research. Held on Saturday, October 19 beginning at 12 Noon, the event is open to the public and features six bands with tributes to Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Blondie, Santana, Doobie Brothers and Prince.
“We have different bands every year,” says Regis Pearch, Cypress Cove’s Director of Activities and Nude-A-Palooza event coordinator, “we work hard to include bands and genres for a variety of tastes. The tribute artists are among the best from the Orlando area and it’s amazing how much they look and sound like the originals.”
Not surprising for a nudist resort, Nude-a-palooza is a clothing-optional event where spectators can choose to enjoy the event au natural. “Spending wholesome time outdoors in the nude is what we’re all about here,” Pearch notes. “Many people come to the concert and decide to participate nude, but nudity isn’t mandatory. It’s also about enjoying awesome music and knowing that you’re there to support a good cause.”
That cause is breast cancer research, awareness, and support. According to Cypress Cove General Manager Peter Sewall, “being able to raise nearly three-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollars over the past eleven years has been an honor for us. In past years, proceeds have gone to Rock Pink and the American Cancer Society. This year, proceeds go to Ribbon Riders a 501(c)(3) nonprofit made up of lady motorcyclists that host fundraising events to help breast cancer patients with their medical costs.”
Tickets for Nude-a-palooza were just $30 per person, and raffle tickets to aid the benefit were only $20 for 40 tickets. For 2019 event information, visit Cypress CoveNude-A-Palooza or call Cypress Cove Nudist Resort at 407-933-5870.
The Yorkshire naturist club and why we shouldn’t be embarrassed by our bodies I was three miles north of Hull, watching an unusually large rabbit mosey across the grass, when a smiling naked pensioner emerged from the trees. It had been at least a decade since I’d seen another man in the buff and I was immediately overcome with the urge to apologise to him profusely before running away.
Quite where to run to, though, on a gated 26-acre naturist’s site, with a high fence running round it, I couldn’t decide, so I shook his hand and said something nice about the weather.
Desmond – not his real name – has been a member of the Yorkshire Sun Society since 2003. He told me that prior to that he used to wander naked across the Yorkshire Moors with his wife but with the advent of the camera phone, he started to worry that an encounter with somebody unsympathetic to the cause, might lead to trouble.
Founded in 1932, by a local couple called George and Wendy, the Yorkshire Sun Society is Britain’s second oldest naturist reserve. In the pavilion, pinned up on a wall is a grainy photo of Wendy perched demurely on a tree stump with George smiling proudly at her side.
Surrounding them in a collage are other black and white snapshots of a bygone naked Britain. In one photograph, a pair of young women are planting vegetables on the Sun Society site with the caption ‘dig for victory’ above it, and in another, two small children play in a tin bathtub while their smiling parents look on.
The lithe athletic figures in those old photos contrast starkly with the older membership today. Over a cup of tea, the current Membership Secretary, Mo, explained to me, with a smile, that they certainly don’t expect people to have perfect bodies.
“If you were here at the weekend,” she continued, “when the club’s much busier you would see there isn’t really anyone with a perfect body.”
As we finished our tea, Mo recalled that her life before naturism was one long worry about her “bum looking big”. It was only when she found the movement, and started spending time being naked among others, that she came to accept herself.
Years ago, after we had set our first careful steps into naturism and when we were browsing the internet for a new naked place to visit we stumbled upon a mention “federation membership required”. What was that supposed to mean?
Until then, a naturist campground to us was just like a textile one where you could show up, pay and setup your tent. Now, apparently, we were in need of some membership card.
It only took a couple of clicks to figure out that naturism was in fact something pretty well organised. That there were actual federations taking care of the rights of naturists and guarantee a safe environment. They organise events where it’s possible to get in touch with other naturists and what appealed the most to us, they would give us a card that promised entry to places where until now we wouldn’t be allowed.
Unlike in many other countries, in Belgium it was not possible to directly become member of the naturist federation. One has to become member of a naturist club. So that’s what we tried to do. We picked one of the 10 or so clubs, it didn’t really matter which one as long as we would be able to get federation membership, and received a form to fill out. Name, age, gender, address, all the regular questions, and then “What can you do for our club?”
Well… euhm… yeah…
What can we do for your club…
Pay the membership fee?
A few clicks later we found out how many naturist clubs depend on volunteers for their daily work and how club members spend a certain amount of time tending the bar, cutting the hedge or cleaning the swimming pool.
Deep in the naked prairies of the heartland, hidden in the rolling cornfields of rural Illinois, there’s a place of local legend.
If you stumble upon it, you’ll find everyday Americans. Midwesterners and coastals. Lawyers and truck drivers. Farmers and nurses. The elderly and the very young.
“We’re no different than everyone else,” resident Irma Huebner said. “We just like to have our clothes off.”
At Blue Lake Resort, a nudist campground in Erie, nudism is a tradition and way of life.
The member-based park is a summer getaway for outdoor recreation and a secret refuge from the rigidities of modern life. It’s a place for personal liberation, a perfect spot for sunbathing, a one-time stop on a whim or a dare.
But Blue Lake isn’t a sex colony, a peep show or an outdoor orgy. It’s family-friendly, and there are rules.
“We don’t tolerate any lewd behavior or behavior that makes people feel uncomfortable,” explained Chuck Jester, the resort’s general manager. “There’s a lot of people who think nudism and sex are the same. They’re not.”
The other day some folks at a Florida nudist resort in Pasco County made headlines because, they said, their letter carrier refused to bring their mail inside the front gate. They blamed discrimination.
About 150 people live at the clothing-optional Eden RV Resort in Hudson, according to one of the owners, who said his name was Dan — just Dan. (Apparently Eden is also last-name-optional.)
Most mail for Eden residents goes to a row of boxes by the gate, Dan said. But if there’s a package, then the letter carrier is supposed to schlep it inside the gate and deliver it to the recipient’s door.
One letter carrier refused to deliver packages in Eden, apparently because she didn’t like seeing the residents dressed like the original residents of Eden, Adam and Eve. The U.S. Postal Service’s famous “neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet” credo doesn’t cover “seeing things that would require pouring bleach into the carrier’s eyeballs.”
In a five-minute interview, Dan said four times that the resort itself has no problem with the postal service. Just a couple of residents had complaints, he said, but “they were legitimate.”
That’s the mantra at the Sunward Naturist Park, located on a 500-acre property near Calabogie.
The camp is complete with 35 trailer sites, a farmhouse, an island, several boats, a sauna, a volleyball area and fire pits. It’s a rocky but picturesque campground with rolling hills, pine trees and a deep body of water called Jamieson Lake.
The place seems like any of the other hundreds of campgrounds in eastern Ontario.
Except for the nudity.
This summer marked the Sunward Naturist Park’s 30-year anniversary of nude swims, volleyball games, cheese and wine parties and movie nights. And for the roughly 50 members who routinely visit, the camp is a place where the definition of “normal” outdoor recreation is redefined.
“Naturism, nudism, it’s one of those things where if I need to explain it to you, then you don’t get it,” said Tony Milne, the 72-year-old co-owner. “It’s a feeling that you have that you don’t want to wear clothes, you want to be out in the woods, in the sun, in the air, in the water and not wear any clothes.”
Milne is aware of the criticism nudism receives, most of it connected to the assumption that the lifestyle is a sexual ideology, but he said this is an unfair misconception.
“To a lot of people, being nude means you’re going to have sex. … It doesn’t really have to go together,” he said. “If you’ve ever had sex with your clothes still on, you’ll understand.”
The first time Michael Adamski saw his mother-in-law naked it was awkward.
But it wasn’t as awkward as seeing his boss naked.
Mr. Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there.
One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis.
They have been on first-name terms ever since.
“Once you’ve played Ping-Pong with someone naked, you can’t call them ‘colonel’ anymore,” Mr. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked. “Nudity is a great leveler.”
Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years, when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I.
“Free body culture” — basically bathing the whole body in water and sunlight while preferably also doing some exercise — became the battle cry for a healthy, harmonious lifestyle and an antidote to a destructive modernity.
Mr. Adamski’s camp, founded in 1921, was the first licensed nudist club on a lakeside in the country. Nearly 100 years later, entire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches. There is a nudist hiking trail. There are sporting events from nude yoga to nude sledding. German saunas are mixed and naked. People regularly take their clothes off on television, too.
“Floatopia” was one of several weekend events at Solair Recreation League, a family-friendly, member-owned nude recreation resort and campground set on 360 secluded acres in northeastern Connecticut. Solair is an affiliate of AANR, the American Association for Nude Recreation, which defines its mission as “to advocate nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings while educating and informing society of their value and enjoyment.”
I visited Solair on a sunny Saturday in the company of Nancy Greenhouse, a summer resident who volunteers as the resort’s marketing director. At first, it was hard to know where to look. But not long after I entered the property (having passed a sex- and criminal-offender background check), I found myself less focused on nude bodies and more focused on the heartfelt welcome I received from everyone I met.
Many of Solair’s summer residents are reverse snowbirds, who lease sites — small lots with cottages, manufactured homes, or RVs. There are also some 50 rental properties, including tent sites. Most residents navigate the property in golf carts. Along with the beach, the resort has a solar-heated pool, clubhouse with hot tub and unisex showers, open-air pavilion for arts and crafts and dances, and several miles of hiking trails. Among the large assortment of activities are pickleball, volleyball, meditation, yoga, horseshoes, bocce, shuffleboard, arts and crafts, kayaking, and paddleboards. The Naked Turtle Café recently opened under new management; David and Kim Brotzman, former chef-owners of the Main Street Grille in Putnam, are aiming to upgrade the resort’s food profile, with options like coconut mahi mahi and homemade clam chowder.
Everyone is passionate about something – I happen to be passionate about nudism and body acceptance. I am also passionate about Arizona – one of the best places on the planet to live and play. And when I can combine my passions and share with others, then it makes the entire experience extra special.
In 1980 I was one of the founders of a nude travel club called Arizona Wildflowers. We’ve had a lot of fun with the name, calling ourselves “Blooming Idiots” and “Arizona Weeds.” I’m sure others have had other names for a group that at one time topped over 200 active members of ASA/AANR. We camped, hiked, boated, traveled in motor homes, and even attended a number of clothed activities (attending the local horse track, for example) just because we enjoyed each others’ company. Probably 30 years ago I became the sole owner/operator of the business and have continued to have at least one very popular activity – the nude white water raft trips through the Grand Canyon.
Elves Chasm Nude Grand Canyon Swimming HoleThe Grand Canyon is visited by more than 6 million people a year. Most of these people are not Naturists.
Canada’s oldest nudist club, the VanTan Club, celebrates its 80th anniversary this Saturday, Aug.10.
Founded in 1939, the club was the first of its kind to open in Vancouver, as well as the country. During the club’s inception, not many people had cars, and, as a result, they’d arrive to the club’s property by bus or on foot.
Nowadays, the club meets at a North Vancouver property, but they no longer have a clubhouse. However, the property offers, “a wood-fired sauna and hot tub, facilities for volleyball, badminton, horseshoes, shuffleboard, croquet, bocci, children’s play equipment, spacious lawns for sunning, and lots of shade trees.”
Prospective members must visit the property up to three times to determine whether their membership application will be considered. The club describes itself as friendly, but without imposing on the personal freedom and privacy of each member. It also describes itself as a “family friendly naturist club” and is affiliated with the American Association of Nude Recreation.
Let’s start this blog post with a question we’ve asked many times before… Why do so many nudist resorts fail to attract new members? Especially younger members?
For the resorts it’s a big frustration because much of their income and their future are based on that. But also their members like to see a new face now and then and would love their naturist club to regain the vitality it had decades ago when there were weekly volleyball tournaments, kids running around and and young couples enjoying life without clothes.
Human as we are, we blame others for this. Youth has become prude, our resort doesn’t advertise enough, our naturist federation is a failure, it’s all because of social media and the smartphone… We’ve been through this a million times already.
An obvious question could be: If you want more members, why don’t YOU bring them?
You have family, friends, neighbours, schoolmates, Facebook connections, colleagues, a postman (or postlady) and a doctor.
Why don’t you bring them?
During the working day, healthcare worker Brett Crane blends in with society’s expectations, but as soon as he goes home, and wherever it is accepted in public places, he sheds off all of his clothes.
The 55-year-old openly admits to having been a nudist all his life and for the past eight years has been chairman of Torbay Sun Club, one of the UK’s largest naturist swim and sauna clubs.
The club, which has been running for more than 40 years, has around 120 active members who range in age from 18 into their 80s, and come from all walks of life and professions such as a retired headteacher, police officer, postman, artist and finance worker in London.
Brett, who is a logistics assistant and lives in Exeter, said: “Most members are couples, although we do have single members. We do like to keep a gender balance if we can and draw members from Exeter, Torbay, Plymouth and further afield.
“The majority are in their 50s although we do have a wide range of ages. Members come from every walk of life from blue collar right through to senior management roles and everything in between.”
The most intimidating part of social nudity is the parking lot. You see more, from the panorama of your windshield, than you could ever absorb in polite company. Eye contact, after all, is an important social skill.
You park alongside a smattering of sedans, pick-ups and a shiny black Caddy and you’re presented with two options: Get out of the car or leave in a hurry, spraying the naturalists in pebbles and dust.
Me: I wonder for a moment if I should wear my prescription sunglasses. I pop them off, then put them back on, open the door and walk over to a cloister of bodies by a cabin with a retro RC cola machine in front. There are thin bodies and robust bodies; hairy bodies and artfully shaved ones. Nearly everyone is over the age of forty, and most are closer to sixty. I’m greeted by a bearded, jolly-looking man. (Huffiness, I think, would be tough to pull off in the nude.) I extend my hand, trip on a tree root and dive forward, careening toward his nether region.
If you’re a keen advocate for naturism, and you haven’t yet made a visit to Ile du Levant, you need to move that up on your bucket list. It’s one of a handful of places that has self-identified as the birthplace of naturism. (Germany and Croatia contend for this distinction as well!) At the very least, it seems to be something of a naked renaissance town at the moment, but more about that later.
Part of the adventure of coming to the naked island in France is catching the ferry from the port of Le Lavandou. Since the boat makes two stops, one at Levant, and the other at neighboring Port Cros, it’s fun to play the “I wonder who will get off the boat on which island” game. This time, the boat was quite full, and nearly every person on board disembarked at the first stop – Ile du Levant!
Mind you, we had been in transit for nearly twenty-four hours having made our way from Newark Liberty Airport, through Brussels, then on to Marseille. After another two hours in the car, and a 40-minute ferry crossing, I was itching to embrace the late day Provençal sunlight, free from the bondage of North American travel-wear! Thirty meters up the path from the port, a quick bathroom stop, and voila! Naked!!