Attracting Nudist Youth – Podcast Interview with Felicity
Yesterday the latest podcast of the Naturist Living Show came out entitled “Attracting Youth.” If you’ve never heard of the show, it’s a monthly podcast by Stephane Deschenes, owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in Ontario, Canada. I don’t know how many of you listen to podcasts, but this Internet radio show genre seems to have grown in popularity in the last few years. However, in the world of nudism, Stephane is ahead of the game because he has the only nudist podcast in the world right now and a large following to boot.
Stephane asked to interview me for this month’s show about young naturists, who we are and what we’re doing. So what you hear in the show is Stephane first sharing his thoughts on how nudist clubs, groups, etc. can draw in more nudist youth. Then there’s an interview with me, followed by an interview with Jess of the blog Naked Vegan Cooking. If you want some tips or advice on attracting youth to nudism, listen to this podcast. Stephane knows what he’s doing. Bare Oaks is known for its young visitors, members and staff, and apparently they had hundreds of visitors under age 35 this past summer. It’s also one of the few clubs in North America that offers a discount rate to young adults (age 25 and under).
Stephane makes a number of good points, and I just want to quote him on one that I think gets overlooked. He states that a crucial part of attracting young people is having a “strong naturist philosophy.” He says:
“I think you have to be very idealistic, I think you have to be an ethical naturist…because when you’re young is when you’re at your most idealistic. That’s when you’re most involved in causes. That’s when a message of health and social justice and having a better world in general in terms of body acceptance and getting along together. That message rings truer when you’re younger…”
I think about my 24-year-old self and how I want to save the planet. So, yeah. This is totally true. And look at how many young people rally around the World Naked Bike Ride worldwide, for example. Give them a good reason or cause to get naked, and make way for naked youth on bicycles!
As YNA, we’ve got this part covered. In fact it goes back to why we started YNA to begin with, because naturism to us is definitely about much more than just getting naked. At its core, we believe the naturist movement should be about acceptance, as Stephane quotes us on. It’s what makes us body positive and sex-positive! We have a set of ideals and causes we care about and fight for. While I think there are people who just want to get naked (or see naked people maybe), I definitely agree with Stephane on this point, that it’s an important aspect to consider when trying to attract youth to the naturist movement.
In the segment with Jess, I think it’s worth noting that his blog is run by a group of young adults who aren’t just about cooking naked, but also work to promote body positivity, health and awareness of issues they care about. It’s also interesting to note that although Jess engages in social nudity, he wouldn’t label himself a nudist or naturist. He has never visited a nudist club, nor does he think such places are relevant to his practice of social nudity. He mentions that there are many young people who try social nudism without thinking about it in nudist terms. We observe this trend ourselves just in the numbers of people who have never visited any nudist club before attending a YNA gathering.
Things to ponder!
What do my readers think? Is having a prominent, defined naturist philosophy an important part of engaging young people in naturism? Does a lack of one lead to a lack of interest in visiting nudist clubs, resorts or attending nudist group events?
About the Author (Author Profile)I'm Felicity Jones, author of Felicity's Blog and co-founder of Young Naturists America. I write about nudism and naturism in today's world along with issues like top-freedom and body acceptance, and various naked topics. Enjoy, and please leave a comment when you've got something to say! :)
I see a lot of what Jess said and you wrote in the last paragraph when talking about naturism with friends of my age - they think social nudity is not attached to going to clubs or beaches, and most of them don't feel like they should/would go. I don't know if it's a trend of this generation, but anwyay, it's an interesting approach/twist. What do you think?
@rafaelsaraiva That does seem to be a trend among 20-somethings who engage in social nudity in one way or another, without visiting nude clubs and such. It kind of confirms Stephane's theory that young people need that strong philosophy & they are likely to be passionate about causes like the NVC group. It makes sense because they're not just about hanging out naked.
@FelicityJones Yeah, I agree with you. It's not so much about labels and drawing a line specifying what makes a naturist and a non-naturist, but more about attitude and beliefs. I wouldn't call it an evolution (because that would also imply that before things were worse, which is not the case), but it's definitely an interesting change.