Dozens of brightly colored floats bobbed in the pond. There were noodles and air mattresses, blow-up fish and alligators, boogie boards and floating chairs. Children laughed and adults waved to friends drifting by. It could have been a scene out of any summer camp vacation, except for one thing: Everyone was naked.
“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.
Summer weekends draw families, including many who have been coming for generations (Solair opened in 1934). While not all nudist resorts are family friendly, AANR affiliation guarantees a safe, family-friendly environment, according to Ronna E. Krozy, an AANR trustee and Solair member.
As I chatted with residents and visitors (feeling oddly overdressed in capris and a tee), several themes emerged consistently. First, people enjoy the comfort of nudity, especially at the beach. Penny, whose first foray into nude recreation was a nude beach on Martha’s Vineyard, still recalls how much she disliked “that ride back from Cape Cod with salt and sand on your skin.” Adds Bill: “I hate wearing a bathing suit at the beach! This is natural, more comfortable, cooler in the summertime, and I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to put on in the morning.” (In camp everyone goes by first name only. Most members have confided in their families and close friends, but many are reluctant to share their recreational choice with co-workers.)
Nudity levels the playing field, several members said. Ryan, whose skill in IT has endeared him to many camp residents, put it succinctly: “You see personalities. You can’t hide behind fancy clothes. You have to be yourself here.” Don, whose father brought him to Solair every summer when he was a child and who now brings his own kids, agrees. “Everyone is kind of equal. The only way I could be unequal is if I wear my Rolex watch around when I’m stark naked!”
Source: Boston Globe
Original publication 27 August, 2019
Posted on NatCorn 23rd October 2021
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.