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A Brief History of Young Adult Naturist Groups
A History of Vita Nuda
Young Naturists and Nudists America
Young Nudists of Texas United
A Brief History of Young
Adult Naturist Groups
by Paul LeValley
In 2002, college students who had grown
too old for the AANR Youth Camps tried to form a club called Naturally
Young, where they could continue their AANR memberships
cheaply. Few did, and the club fizzled away after two
years. But since 2009, three umbrella groups have arisen for
young adult naturists aged 18-30:
This group gradually evolved out of
AANR's Youth Ambassador Program, taking over in 2009. Bill
Williamson had envisioned the earlier program as an extension of the
AANR youth camps. People of college age received a week of
intensive public relations training that would enable them to recruit
new college students. But the high cost attracted few
people. AANR decided to make the training free, and that
brought in college students from many states. At the same
time, they turned the training over to younger leaders aged around
Meanwhile, AANR's Mike Parker was
objecting that, since all participants were over 18, this program did
not belong in the youth camp budget, but under the marketing
committee. When the young trainers expressed a wish to be
free of camp oversight, Vita Nuda was recognized, funding transferred,
and the camp budget abolished. (Teen camps were to be a
regional responsibility; but without national leadership, the camps are
Instead of training, Vita Nuda organized
parties--which did attract far more young people. But they
held their parties at sites more strongly affiliated with The Naturist
Society than with AANR. When the Florida Young Naturist arose
(see below) Vita Nuda leaders coöperated and promised joint
funding of events. That's when AANR choked off the money and
appointed a new leader they felt they could better manage.
With tighter control, there is not a lot of visible activity right
now. But the Vita Nuda idea is expanding, with branches
springing up in other regions outside of Florida.
Florida Young Naturists
I like to claim that the Florida Young
Naturists grew out of a workshop on attracting college students that I
conducted in 2009 at the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival (a couple of
weeks after Vita Nuda became official, and before we knew of its
existence). Young people started volunteering
leadership. Morley Schloss offered to waive fees if they
wanted to hold events at Sunsport Gardens. We sent someone to
find Nicky Hoffman Lee, and when the workshop ended, went into an
immediate huddle to start planning.
The FYN, far more robust than Vita Nuda,
has now sponsored several Spring Bashes and End-of-Summer
Bashes--mostly at Sunsport. Because some people came from as
far away as the mid-Atlantic states, the group held one event in
northern Georgia. With live bands, yoga, drum circles, and
midnight dips in the pool, these events are attracting crowds of 160 or
more young adults.
Though affiliated with The Naturist
Society, the group is responsible for its own leadership and
funding. They have yet to work out an organizational
structure or transition from the original ad-hoc leadership.
Funding relies entirely on donations, and has been an ongoing problem.
Young Naturists America
In the fall of 2010, press releases went
out announcing this new group in New York and New Jersey.
They also got a lot of internet attention with AANR-bashing (some of it
deserved). The "group" seems to be a for-profit corporation
of three people with no affiliation, and lots of PR chutzpah.
Unlike the other two groups who meet
outdoors at nudist resorts and free beaches, this one sponsors nude
drinking parties at bars. And so their age limit starts at
21, and stretches past 50. Forty people attended their first
Then the other two groups noticed links
to sex sites on the YNA web page. Insults started flying
between the established groups and this newcomer. But the New
York group has a local population base untouched by the other
organizations, which have yet to expand much beyond Florida.
Check them all out:
of Vita Nuda
by Sam Miller
The AANR Youth Ambassador (YA) program,
founded by Bill Williamson, was originally intended to give young
nudists media training so that they could do well in media
interviews. But that kind of training involved a lot of
classroom time, and interest in the program was ailing. So in
2006 AANR recognized the need to reinvent the program, and asked for
help from a friend of mine. He involved me, because we both
an interest in creating something fresh and new for young adult
nudists; AANR gave us the opportunity to do this. The first
reinvention of the YA program occurred in the summer of 2007; there
were 16 young adult nudists who attended. Emphasis that year
was on reaching out to non-nudists at college campuses, beaches, and
brainstorming about how to address stereotypes attached to
nudism. Vita Nuda was the product of those in attendance; it
was created as an activity group. Since the AANR program was
yearly, it needed continuity and a cooler identity. So the
"Eve" logo became the symbol and Vita Nuda (VN) became the alter ego
for the Youth Ambassadors. The domain name was purchased and
website created late in the summer. In November of 2007 Vita
Nuda had its first official independent gathering at Haulover Beach in
Miami. Steve Vickers and Lou Suarez became involved during
planning for the first summer program. They went on to both
become Vita Nuda leaders.
In the summer of 2008 the second annual
Youth Ambassador program commenced. It was attended by 27
young nudists. The emphasis at this gathering was on creative
methods of outreach using social media. Products included a
Facebook page and the "What is Nudism?" YouTube video that in the last
3 years has captured almost 8 million views. It was a most
fortunate stroke of luck that Robbe White attended the 2008 YA
gathering. He not only saw our vision, but would go on to
create the Florida Young Naturists which would accelerate this movement
in ways we had only imagined.
For many years the Youth Ambassador
program was directly linked to "Nude University," a program that
trained nudist camp counselors to work at the AANR Youth
Camps. From a budgetary standpoint, it was unequal
distribution, so in 2009 the Youth Ambassador program officially split
from Nude U, and in the process adopted Vita Nuda as its official name.
In 2009 Robbe White and I
attended the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival and gave two talks, one that
outlined the young adult nudist movement thus far, and participated in
another discussing how to attract young adults to nudism.
After the program, Morley Schloss asked how his resort could be of
service; Paul LeValley offered his help as well. Morley
offered to support a local program headed up by Robbe, linked to
support by TNS as a SIG. We all thought it was a fantastic
idea; that way we could utilize a relationship with both AANR and TNS
in a different way. So out of that meeting, Florida Young
Naturists was formed.
Robbe took what he had learned from the
Vita Nuda program in 2008 and expanded it beyond any of our
expectations. From its inception, FYN and VN have shared a
vision for what nudism could be. We view the two
organizations as siblings, not as competitors. As two
coöperating organizations, FYN and VN have shared ideas,
shared friends and supported each other's growth.
After the success of FYN and the amazing
growth, VN's presence in Florida has been less important.
From its inception, it was intended to branch out regionally.
So in 2010 Steve Vickers and I flew out to California and
helped to start Vita Nuda West. Another event attended by Lou
Suarez and Daniel Phillips formed Vita Nuda Midwest in the great lakes
area. A group from Australia contacted VN and wanted to use
the logo and name, so they formed Vita Nuda Australia.
Meanwhile FYN has expanded tremendously
and now hosts 3 events per year, all attended by as many as 160 young
nudists. To use an analogy, Vita Nuda has formed a network
that has become the veins of the young adult nudist movement; and FYN,
with all of its energy and fun, has grown to become the heart of the
The explosion of the F.K.K. movement in
Germany during the 1930s was, in its most rapid growth, a youth
movement. Today in America,
it seems we have created together an echo of that movement, with an
energy that is undeniable. It's an exciting thing to be a
part of, and hopefully it will go on to reinvent nudism for this new
age. What will be next? Stay tuned!
Robbe White, founder of Florida Young Naturists, was invited
to write about the origins of that organization, but he is in the
middle of moving, and can't do it right now. Though he made
useful suggestions during the writing of these two reports, we hope to
get his full perspective at a later date.
Young Naturists &
by Jordan Blum and Felicity
YNA was founded in 2010 by me, [real name withheld
by request]. In my day-to-day life, I manage one of the top
antique rug and textile galleries in the USA. Many of the people
I work with are the top 0.01% of income earners in the U.S.
Unfortunately, many do Google my name before deciding to do business
with me or not. So I ask that you respect my wishes and use my
pen name "Jordan Blum" if posting online. Everyone knows who I
am, and I do not hide, but I can't risk losing business, especially
these days. There have been only four people out of the hundreds
I have spoken to that have a problem with that.
I am 35 and live in NYC. My first trip to a
nudist campground took place in 1979 when I was 3, so I have been a
naturist for pretty much all my life.
I started YNA for a few reasons. First and
foremost, I wanted to protest the fact that the movement has lost many
of the beautiful things that I grew up believing in. For example,
in my view, naturism should stand for acceptance. I was upset
when I heard that some clubs that are 100% AANR refuse to let people in
because of gender, piercings, and whatnot. I also strongly
believe that it is not my place to judge people based on what they do
behind closed doors. As long as people behave during our events
or on our different online platforms, I will welcome them with open
We have strict guidelines and behavior etiquette
that people are expected to adhere to. We have a "one strike and
you're out" policy, and it is very hard to get a second chance.
YNA may be different from other youth groups.
We are not a hang-out group only; we are an advocacy group. We
are out there fighting for issues such as body acceptance and equal
rights, and combating online child predation.
We have been growing rapidly for many reasons.
While some may not agree 100% with our approach, almost all have been
impressed with how much interest we've been getting.
We get most of our following from the mainstream
because we want to grow the movement and reach out to as many people as
possible. While the bulk of our following are in their 20s and
early 30s, we don't restrict people based on age. (With that
said, for our events, we do need to monitor ratios, which is why we
unfortunately can't include everyone at everything, but people have
been very understanding and even supportive of that.)
We support everyone with the exception of two or
three groups which have a proven track record of behavior that is not
aligned with our ethics. But, at the same time, we don't try to
hurt their progress. We believe that the more groups out there,
the better it is for us all.
We get younger people involved with things that we
feel are important, such as charity work, environmental issues, social
responsibility, mutual support, equality and acceptance.
At YNA, we don't care what someone does for a
living, what they look like, how much money they have or what they do
behind closed doors. (As long as no laws are being broken and no
one is getting hurt, it is simply none of our business and we refuse to
act as judge and executioner)
I work 60 hours a week to be able to fund YNA from
my own pocket, not to mention the fact that I must invest an extra 50
hours of work (at the very least) to just maintain our momentum.
From Felicity: I stand behind everything
above, but to give you a little bio about me, my name is [name withheld
by request]. I'm 23, and I grew up as a naturist at a
family-oriented club in NJ called Rock Lodge. While in college I
attended AANR's Nude U seminar for young adults. After
graduation, I partnered up with Omri to start YNA and Felicity's
Blog. I also use a pen name (Felicity) online, for reasons of
privacy and employment. I am between jobs at the moment, so right
now I put most of my time into this organization—writing
articles, organizing & promoting events, and working on various
projects. I aim to promote the same naturism I've known my whole
life, and to get more young people involved.
Back to Jordan: We are pretty well established
in the tri-state NY area and are now branching out to CA &
PA. Our online presence is huge, and our website traffic keeps
going up and up....
In closing, we ask that you not listen to rumors or
hearsay. Unfortunately there are people who thrive on hate and
drama. I prefer honesty and integrity.
Our mission statement is to impact the world in a
positive manner. Our motto is: It's all about the love.
Those two statements sum up what YNA is really about.
Young Nudists of Texas
nudists in Texas are organizing their
own non-landed club, so that, together, they can influence the
activities that landed clubs offer. The core group is based at
Bluebonnet Nudist Park. Their web page explains:
YNOTU is a non-profit organization. We are the
younger generation of nudists who already exist. Our goal is to
form events and a network so that we can get together at the same place
at the same time. As young nudists who attend naturist
resorts/camps know, we are always the minority. That being the
situation, we can't always relate to the activities that are geared
toward the older crowd at these locations. We feel that more of
us would come out more often if we had a stronger presence and
activities geared toward us, which we enjoy with fellow active
peeps[?]. We do not discriminate in any way, and we are grateful
for those before us who paved the way so that we could have said
naturist resorts that always welcome us. However, we are
targeting a younger crowd so we can facilitate a more "up beat"
environment with events such as flag football, volleyball and other
sporting tournaments. In an effort to get this going, we are
working with Bluebonnet Nudist Park to facilitate the first annual 2014