The Northeast Naturist Festival 2011!
The Northeast Naturist Festival at Empire Haven Nudist Park in upstate New York:
Summer is when most of us get out of town on weekends, making trips to the nude beach and our favorite naturist places. But some of the best weekends are when a bunch of us take a trip to the same place such as to the Northeast Naturist Festival. This annual festival takes place at Empire Haven, a nudist resort / naturist campground in upstate NY that has been around for about 50 years. It was our first time at the NNF and at Empire Haven.
The festival was a great uplifting time! Six days of nonstop activity, with a number of eclectic workshops going on at every hour of the day (sessions more jam-packed than at the TNS gathering). We tented (as usual) in their open back field, and Empire has a vast area of trailers and tenting space, with and without amenities hook-up.
The main area consists of a clubhouse with a snack-bar a large and small hot tub, wet sauna and heated pool. Another little building they call the “khaki shack” was a cozy room lined with shelves of books and games. Just nearby is a cute and well-maintained playground and two outdoor pavilions where meals were served. (The food was mostly good, but expensive.)
In between is plenty of grassy lawn used for workshop areas. The facilities are all okay except for the bathroom situation- no nice public bathrooms.
We were there the last three days, and there was so much to do I found myself torn between workshops. But, we managed to do a lot! From African dance and drum classes to NAC / nudist topic discussions to meditation to a hike to Potters Falls, the activities were diverse and usually with 3 or 4 happening at any given time.
As a side note, I found that the TNS gathering in June was best suited to naturists who have a deep interest in related issues, laws, politics, and in what’s going on with naturists everywhere; whereas this festival was more about fun leisure activities, learning new hobbies, therapeutic mind workshops and physical naked fitness sessions.
Not that either one is superior to the other, as they both have different experiences to offer.
Some of the festival activities offered new experiences to me, one of which was a type of sound healing session. I lay down halfway inside a half-dome with my eyes closed and gongs hanging on each side emitting powerful sounds as 2 instructors waved their instruments.
The sound and vibrations filled the air around me and drowned out all the background noise until I felt separated from my environment. It was a bit loud, but an interesting couple of minutes.
Each night was the notorious drum circle. We gathered around the fire pit with surrounded by a wide ring of sand for people to shimmy and dance around the fire. Various kinds of drums were available along the edge of the circle for people to join in the pounding.
The drum leader introduced the rhythms for everyone to drum in unison. On the sand a few dancers swung their fabrics, Poi (those light-up balls), or shook their bells to add to the music. The unified thumping and primitive air were soothing and stimulating at the same time.
We also attended a workshop with an overview of NAC issues. I think it was too short of a time period to discuss anything in depth and gain further insight into any of the topics brought up. But the top-free rights discussion was pretty relevant for us, given my recent topless arrest that took place a few days before it.
The last activity we attended before parting on Sunday was the traditional Pudding Toss. We met a group of 20 people or so in an enclosed little grass area. The cups and tin cans filled with chocolate and vanilla pudding were lined up. After the kids were given cups and free shots at the grown-ups, the rest of us were handed an overflowing cup of pudding with a plastic spoon.
And the mayhem began! Screams, cheers and gallons of pudding flung through the air until all bodies were canvases of dark brown and white splatters. Once the pudding ran out, we had a mass group hug, bodies pressed together to smudge our artwork.. Surreal, crazy mess! (To some outsiders, the naked thing is weird enough..imagine describing a naked pudding toss ;)
So that was the festival! Coming up..the story of our weekend spent hanging out with nude and clothed biker dudes and a beer fountain.. –Our weekend at Penn Sylvan!
this review of the Northeast Naturist Festival was published by – Young Naturists And Nudists America YNA