Mid-Winter Naturist Festival

| January 16, 2013 | 15 Comments

An Overview of the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival with Morley Schloss

February 14-20th, 2013 at Sunsport Gardens, Florida

Jordan and I will be attending the upcoming Mid-Winter Naturist Festival, right after we disembark from the Bare Necessities Nude Cruise. We’re pretty excited about it! It’ll be our first visit to Sunsport Gardens. With over 280 different workshops and activities in the festival schedule, there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy. So if you need a fun nakation in the sun, come check it out!

mid-winter naturist festival sunsport gardens nudist naturism

Photo Credit: Stephen Ziegler

This year’s festival will be its 25th anniversary. Did you attend the very first one? If so, is the festival today any different? What are some of the highlights from years past?

I believe that I have attended all the Midwinter Naturist Festivals at Sunsport. Originally the Naturist Society planned the program. At some point, I took over the production of the Festival. The Festival is now held more days with far more activities. We now have a more “New Age” flavor. For some time, highlights have included incredible performances by Armand and Angelina and Faerie Elaine Silver. We have always had a field trip to clothing-optional Haulover Beach and, for the last few years, “canuding” on the magical Loxahatchee River. We have drum circles each evening.

For the benefit of those who might have never attended it in years past, can you share with us what they should expect if they attend?

naturist festival sunsport gardens nudism naturism florida

Pudding toss at the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival. [Photo Credit: Stephen Ziegler]

We call the Festival “Seven Days of Fun, Growth, and Community.” A caring community committed to exploration and growth develops, particularly for people able to attend the entire Festival. There will be approximately 290 activities during the seven days. Experiential workshops will focus on personal growth, health, spirituality, the arts, ecology and relationships. There is also a full schedule of activities for children. You can find a description of all the activities and Sunsport’s restaurant menu online at www.sunsportgardens.com. We usually have beautiful weather; the warmest February weather in the United States.

Sunsport has an 87 degree swimming pool, a large hot tub spa, a sauna, lots of sports activities including volleyball and tennis, a jungle nature trail, boating, a fitness center, and free wi-fi on 40 acres of lush, tropical vegetation.

Are any profits generated from the festival, and if so where do the funds go?

Registration fees beyond expenses are contributed to the Naturist Society and South Florida Free Beaches, the protector of Haulover Beach.

How many people usually attend? Where do they all come from mostly? What kind of people are they?

We expect over 300 people to attend the Festival. They come from all over North America. Naturists of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, etc. attend; most are interested in having fun, healthy living, and being part of our caring community. We do not attract people dependant upon alcohol or drugs for a good time. Sunsport is smoke-free except for a couple of out of the way designated smoking areas.

naturist festival sunsport gardens florida nudist naturism

Photo Credit: Stephen Ziegler

YNA has been the center of controversy because we talk about sexuality, so with that in mind… with workshops on Polyamory and Tantric massage, would you consider this to be a naturist festival, or new age festival? And why?

This is a naturist, New Age type festival. In workshops, there will be talk of sexuality and relationships. However, there will be no sexual activity except in individual private accommodations. All activities in common areas will be appropriate to take place in the presence of children. Hugging, kissing, massage, holding hands are all OK; public overt sexual activity is not. Sunsport Gardens is a family naturist resort; 14 children now live at Sunsport, and many others regularly visit. We do welcome expressions of loving relationships.

Is there anything people should not forget to bring?

Bring a tent unless you plan to rent a furnished tent at Sunsport or stay at a nearby hotel. All Sunsport’s rental cabins, trailers and rooms are already taken. You will also need towels and, in case we get a cool night, something warm. A picture ID such as a drivers license is required. Sunsport’s restaurant serves healthy, plentiful meals, but you can bring your own food if you wish. Sunscreen is available in the Sunsport office, although you can bring your own. If you are flying in, I suggest making your flight reservations as soon as possible.

Are you doing anything different / special to mark this 25th year anniversary?

The Festival is one day longer than usual. Also, we will show a collection of popular movies which include nude scenes as an integral part of the plot. We are happy that YNA is joining us this year.

Is there anything you would like to add or say that we did not ask?

Daily ground fees are only $6 for people aged 18-30 who have a membership card from YNA (or another naturist group for young adults), a student ID, or are members of the Naturist Society. Please join us for a memorable week.

To learn more about what to expect at this festival, click here to read my review of the Northeast Naturist Festival.

Sex Positive and Body Image Blogs by Felicity Jones For – Young Naturists And Nudists America YNA

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Felicity's Nudist Blog, Events and Parties

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • naturistfred

    This is a great article, Felicity. I’ve heard great things about Sunsport Gardens. Definitely will have to visit soon. :)

  • Felicity’s Blog

    Thank you Tonya! I’d migrate to FL in the winter if I could haha. Yeah, Rock Lodge Club in NJ is my home, and I always miss being there! That’s a shame you can’t be at any club anymore. Hope you still find a way to experience naturism.

  • Tonya Moore

    Its 2 far 4 me 2.but actually if i had somewhere 2 live n florida id move there and attend all events and activities.i was a member at bell acres n georgia 4 8yrs.and once u become a nudist. nudist resort become ur true home.its the only place 4 u 2 b u.and believe me theres no place like home and i miss it.i havent been 2 a club n abt 9 yrs.and its like a major part of me is missing.have fun all and enjoy.ill b there w u n heart and spirit.love u all

  • John Dodge

    Those are my kids in the photo and while I agree with you in part (I personally am building my deck the old fashioned why – with untreated lumber coated with linseed (flax) oil and raw turpentine) I find SunSport very open to suggestions and willing to change policy (even at the expense of profit) to improve the healthiness of the grounds. Overall SunSport is a place where freedom comes first and cooperation and caring second with profit a distant third and that is why I favor it over any other place as a place for my kids to grow and explore.

  • Christiana C. Gaudet

    This is a very well-written article about an interesting event. I presented there for a few years and enjoyed it. But this picture shows some of the obvious problems at Sunsport – the culture there does not in any way conform to laws or suggestions regarding safety. The Sunsport staff designed children’s play equipment and built it themselves without any thought for actual safety. Look at the exposed bolts – an obvious danger. This culture is reflected throughout Sunsport. Sunsport claims to be environmentally concerned but has showers that drain directly into a canal where fish, turtles and frogs live and probably don’t enjoy things like hair dye and hair conditioner. To really enjoy Sunsport you have to get past a lot of these kinds of things – in the end I wasn’t able to do that.

  • Vincent Guillet

    sorry,it is too far for me..

  • JohnGaudet

    I lived there for three years and saw four of these festivals. I agree some people really enjoy them but some have a very negative experience. Mark Sadan no longer presents there. You might want to ask why before you bring your children to this event. Remember that Sandra Reamer has raised two daughters with social issues. One was pregnant at 17, the other has had many brushes with the law. Her son was featured on a major television network and did not appear to be comfortable with naturism. I agree that there is nothing wrong with affectionate displays of love, but the atmosphere at this event seemed a bit more sinister. Just my opinion.

    • JohnGaudet

      @FelicityJones  @JohnGaudet
       Sandra is the youth director and runs the youth camp. This is why I believe her family matters should be considered. She is also presenting a workshop on raising children in naturism at this gathering. Her success or failure at it do seem to apply. When living at Sunsport you hear lots of things that happen to children, but no one wants to speak to officials about it. Even the playscape pictured at the top of the page shows exposed bolts on a concrete retainer. I observed construction of the play area and know it is made of pressure treated lumber, a product called yellawood.
      In my opinion children are at risk at Sunsport Gardens.

      • JohnGaudet

        @FelicityJones  @JohnGaudet
         I agree with you that law enforcement is the best place to report allegations of child abuse but, as the response below by John Dodge suggests, that is not a popular opinion at Sunsport Gardens.
        I must say that I would not enroll my child in a day care facility supervised by Sandra Reamer, let alone a nudist youth camp. Perhaps I am old fashioned in that way.

    • JohnDodge


    • JohnGaudet

       John, I know you like a little drama in our exchanges. Last time I commented on something you wrote you accused me of self imposed banishment! I simply support the state here. A 30 year old man who has sex with a 17 year old child is guilty of rape in Florida. You obviously don’t agree with that but many, I think, do. As for keeping information from law enforcement, that too is illegal. Supporting criminal activity, in my opinion, helps support my comment that children are at risk at Sunsport. The other children who might be harmed by such a person certainly will not appreciate your self serving position.

    • JohnGaudet

      In my opinion children are at risk at Sunsport Gardens. Period. Appropriate law enforcement has my statement. Did you read the statement by John Dodge? Above the law? No organization is above the law.

      • JohnGaudet

        @JordanBlum  @jblumyna
         I agree with you Jordan. Unpleasant things that happen should be reported to law enforcement. My opinion has been expressed here. Nothing more. I would assume if criminal or civil charges were brought there would be some form of trial. I have expressed an opinion and made no other accusations.

      • JohnGaudet

        @jblumynaExcuse me? What makes you think you know what happened, or if it is resolved?

  • natureman

    You will have a great time down there. I was down for a night and half a day in October 2012 and in that short period of time I had a blast. I was coming in from the Orlando area so it was quite a drive but well worth it. The staff is very nice and the facilities are top notch. I was down before the snowbirds arrived so I can just imagine how much better it will be for a large gathering like this with people from all age groups.