My Experience With YNA at Sunny Rest, Memorial Day Weekend 2014
Guest blog by: Julian Smith
My YNA Weekend at Sunny Rest
I have been humbled in being asked by Young Naturists America (YNA) to write a guest blog about my experience with this wonderful organization during Memorial Day Weekend. As you may or may not know, YNA is a social-acceptance organization for naked friendly people interested in naturism, nudism and nudie related activities. Their first event of the season was at Sunny Rest Resort, which is nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
As stated on their website, Sunny Rest is “a fun, sociable, and relaxed clothes-optional resort with daily entertainment and modern facilities for all ages, genders, classes, races and body types.” It was that and more.
Although this was my second season as a naturist, for some reason I was anxious to be meeting a new group of people, visiting a new resort, and being nude in public. Not sure where that was coming from, but, “there it is.” Despite that, I was looking forward to the weekend, but got off to a late start on Friday.
These feelings were soon replaced by fear as I drove through a few rain showers and knew I still had to find the campsite and potentially pitch my tent in the rain. I arrived after the sun went down and fortunately no rain was to be found. I quickly set up in the area designated for YNA near the tennis courts. I met a few new people near the campsite and made plans to venture to the bar and hot tub.
Since a definite chill was in the air, I remained clothed, brought a towel and made my way to “Flashers,” which is the nightclub at Sunny Rest. When I entered, I was quite surprised to see it filled with clothed men and women, couples, single guys (both old and youngish) talking among themselves. I got this strange vibe as it seemed to be a “normal” bar where people were out cruising for a night out on the town. I walked around the bar in disbelief, as I was not quite sure what to expect.
I made my way around the dance floor and seating area to get a feel for the place and could not locate any one remotely resembling a member of YNA. Now that I think about it, it is strange to think that we have a particular look. Anyway, I ordered a quick drink to settle the nerves and gazed hopefully in the direction immediately behind me. To my surprise a hot tub was filled to the brim, quite literally, with a group of naked people smiling, talking and laughing.
I recognized some familiar faces in the group and knew that I was home. Without hesitation, I got out of my clothes and joined the group. On a few occasions that strange vibe returned as a few individuals (mostly men) would come to the window of the hot tub and just stare for a few seconds and leave. As someone would say, “this is not proper nudie etiquette.” After some relaxation in the hot tube, it was time for bed. The weekend had only started.
To give you a visual of Sunny Rest, the main restaurant is the focal point of the community. Looking out from the back of the restaurant you can see the swimming pool / water volleyball court, followed by a seating area with lounge chairs three to four rows deep, and behind that a decent sized heated conversation pool. Immediately to the left of the conversation pool was “Streakers,” another bar, and next to that a bath house with restrooms and showers.
On either side of the pool were additional seating areas. The registration office and gift shop resides next to the restaurant in a separate building. Next to that building was Flashers, which overlooks the sand volleyball court.
With levels of accommodation ranging from hotel rooms, RV lots and tent camping, the resort offers many options when visiting. The best part of experiencing a resort with YNA is the camaraderie that is generated in a group of individuals from all walks of life with a shared interest in naturist pursuits. As always, YNA made an effort to include everyone, including Sunny Rest members and visitors alike to participate in all of the activities during the weekend.
Those that stand out in particular were the naked slip-n-slide, glow-in-the-dark body painting followed by naked yoga with black lights and a few volleyball games against members of Sunny Rest.
While at Sunny Rest, I decided to take advantage of the other facilities available and made it to the workout room, which was below the nightclub.
The workout space was small and confined with free weights, a single workout bench and two treadmills that looked to have been built in the mid to late 1980’s. Some of the free weights were rusted, and it appeared that an update was in order. The nice thing about the gym was that it was close to the pool, had a private bathroom and shower and a “bottomless” water fountain. All in all, it was a nice option to have during a stay at Sunny Rest.
The hiking trail was another part of the YNA weekend activities and was a very nice way to cool off as it wound its way through the trees and forest cover. At one point in the hike, we had an option of an easy path or a more difficult hike.
This is where the group split and I took the harder route with the majority of group. It was a nice hike with a small piece that challenged us with a bit of vertical climb. After that, it was smooth sailing. Once this demanding hike was complete, the heated conversation pool was right down the road to soothe those aching muscles.
One thing for sure, is that Sunny Rest members take their volleyball seriously. During the day, the majority of the swimming pool was reserved for naked volleyball. After this was complete, the entire pool was open to the public. You could chill out in the “out of bounds” area of the pool; however, you had to be aware of the game at all times.
Later in the day, these same individuals ventured to the sand volleyball court for more action. In both instances, scores were kept, rules were followed, and the spirit of competition was in full effect. Novices may be tolerated, but not for too long.
At Sunny Rest, guests have the options of a full service bar next to the pool in the mornings and afternoons and an indoor bar with large hot tub in the evening. Not to be a prude; however, names like, “Streakers” and “Flashers,” sound more titillating than anything else.
Not necessarily my cup of tea. Although I had a limited experience with Flashers, I was surprised to discover that entry into the bar was open to the general public (i.e. naturist, nudists and textiles) and not just members of Sunny Rest.
The great thing about this resort was that they had a bar and restaurant that served three meals a day. When going to resorts, in general, I always like to support local businesses and restaurants in the community.
My past experience with resorts has been one of limited opportunities to eat on-site. If this were to happen, I would have to plan accordingly and bring my own food or get in my car and eat locally. The latter would entail putting on clothes. The nice thing about the restaurant was that the waiters and waitresses were very accommodating for our large group. I was satisfied with each of the meals and felt that the prices were decent enough.
During the course of the weekend, the weather cooperated rather nicely for Memorial Day weekend. Early Saturday morning was a little cloudy; however, the remainder of the weekend was sunny and in the high 70’s to early 80’s.
YNA as a group and activities were well attended and enjoyable. Both Saturday and Sunday, the fire pit was kept going and great conversation was had by all.
About the Author – Julian Smith: At the ripe young age of 10 or 11, I got out of the swimming pool naked in 105 degrees to warm up on the concrete rather than my towel. At that time, I wondered to myself, why am I wearing a bathing suit? It will give me tan lines, which would look silly. Little did I know, a naturist was born. Over 30 years later, I have come to that realization and have enjoyed the new experiences it has brought. Tan lines, be gone.