The War Against Nudist Camps For Kids

Naturist Camps and Naturist Kids: America continues to be stunned lately by the dreadful allegations about child abuse at Penn State University. Scandals including sexual molestation of children have rocked many of our most revered institutions, like the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church and in our schools. It’s clear that is a societal issue, not restricted to any particular organization or institution. Even the naturist public continues to be victimized by those who would exploit children for sexual purposes, although it is extremely uncommon.
Any individual or group intending naturist tasks must be aware of the present cultural climate, which will be becoming increasingly intolerant of any tasks involving kids who could be misconstrued as being unsuitable or dangerous. Naturists believe that people of all ages should be able to participate in unclothed recreation, that rejecting shame as it pertains to the human body is beneficial to physical, mental and sexual health. The existence of children is a necessary element of the doctrine, and to remove them from naturist activities would significantly redefine the modern movement which began in Germany in 1903.
Morley Schloss, board member of the Naturist Action Committee, runs a nudist youth camp at Sunsport Gardens in Florida, and debunks the view that children are somehow at risk in naturist settings. From what I read, children are safer at naturist resorts than in scout camps, church groups or malls. Most nudist resorts are gated communities. Members and guests are screened for criminal activity. Kids have many people looking out for them, adults and other children. Since naturist children are normally comfortable with their bodies, they’d not be hesitant to report any approaches to them with which they are uncomfortable. Hence, children are quite safe from abuse in naturist venues.
Naturist Kids
In January of 2010, acting on an anonymous complaint, The Florida State Department of Children and Families paid a visit to Sunsport Gardens. Mr. Schloss welcomed them in, showed them photographs of children having fun at the youth camp, and the officials left met that Sunsport offered a safe, caring environment.
However, overzealous politicians or prosecutors are always looking for “hot button” issues with which to awaken public sentiment in their favor, for example in 2003 when U. S. Representative Mark Foley (R) Florida read an article in the New York Times about an AANR nudist youth camp at Lake Como Nudist Resort in Land OLakes. Foley was running for Senator at the time and believed he wanted a family values issue to take focus far from rumors swirling around that he was homosexual, so he seized the opportunity to began a crusade against the youth camps, accusing of “exploiting nudity among minor kids to generate profits.”
The story about the youth camps went national, with Foley appearing on Fox News, and Time Magazine running an article asking the question “are they any spot for kids?” The firestorm had begun.
In Florida, naturists took activity, meeting directly with Congressman Foley, and slowly the issue faded away, surely due in part to the political strength of the naturist inhabitants in Pasco County. Governor Jeb Bush’s office released a statement saying that The rights of parents to impart their values inside their kids and raise their kids as they see fit are sacred.”
Nudist Kids
At about the same time, since the Times article mentioned that a young naturist camp was also being held in Arizona and future camps were being planned in both Texas and Virginia, anti-camp bills were fast introduced in those state.
There were also ultimately no political outcomes in Arizona, but in February of 2004 the Virginia House of Delegates voted 98-1 to require parental supervision at camps for young naturists, later approved by the Senate 40-0. The single vote was against the act because the bill didn’t go far enough. In 2005 a bill was introduced to change the language in the naturist camp legislation, which would have effectively prohibited children from all naturist and naturist venues, but that legislation was tabled for future thought.