The author's family visits a club in earlier days.
“Ifs, Ands, or Butts” of Family Nude Recreation
Still unsure about whether to take your family to visit an AANR club? AANR Executive Director Erich Schuttauf talks from one parent to another…
With Father’s Day just around the corner this year, I am writing about the two things my wife and I heard most frequently when our family traveled to AANR nudist parks. First, the lament “We wish we had started this sooner, and we wish we’d brought our kids.” Second, we hear from parents whose own grown family either won’t try it, or because a reluctant spouse is now involved, nude recreation is out of the picture. “It would be nice if the grandkids could come visit us at the park,” they sigh.
In both cases, a few mental “buts” may prevent families from giving nude recreation a try. I’d like to respond based on my own family’s personal experiences over many years.
But wouldn’t it be awkward for a parent?….
There were a lot of awkward moments in parenting. My wife and I had to change diapers in the most unlikely of places. We had kids announce, loudly and in the presence of total strangers, that they “had to go potty,” or issue similar “status reports” on siblings. We were hit with questions that our college biology and psychology classes didn’t quite prepare us for, either. A visit to our favorite AANR club was never awkward. It was simply a natural way we relaxed, in a proper place at a proper time. If anything, comfort with the human body in a recreational setting made us a little better prepared to deal with the awkward moments of life.
But I don’t know how my family would react…
It’s true that you won’t know until you make that trip. But, based on our experiences, you’re likely to draw a bit closer together as a family. Why? The chief reason is probably that in taking visits together you’re making a point to spend time together. Many club activities—from swimming, to building sandcastles, to pitching horseshoes, or enjoying an old-fashioned picnic—tend to be things you can enjoy together. There’s also something to the difference in trips to nudist clubs from the “everyday.”
I can assure you that kids understand context much better than we give them credit for understanding. With four children we never experienced a situation where they attempted to disrobe in an inappropriate place. Among non-nudist friends, on outings, and in church summer activities, they donned swimsuits even if they would have rather enjoyed their birthday suits.
But what about friends?…
For obvious reasons, the kids didn’t tend to ask friends from the “outside world to accompany us to AANR parks. Occasionally we invited a few friends and their families to go and they did. We also made friends at our local club. Even if the members of your own family are the only ones who visit, that may not be such a bad thing. It creates time for you to talk and listen to each other when sports, school, and other activities pull your family in different directions.
But you know how the world is today…
Yes, we do. That’s why we made a point to teach our children about what is and is not appropriate with frank discussions about body parts with their proper terms. We know how the world is in other ways: It’s gone “virtual” in many aspects: sports replaced with armchair counterparts and video games. Nude recreation is real recreation. Clubs tend to be in places where nature still thrives: minnows in a lake, birds and other wildlife, trails to hike.
But our family is religious…
Great! So is ours! While AANR is not affiliated with any particular faith, there’s a lot of diversity within the Association’s membership ranks—including some from all walks of life – from those who profess no faith at all to those where church is bedrock. Our family had few experiences that ran inconsistent to our faith, and a lot of affirmation. For starters, treating your neighbor as your equal comes just a bit more naturally when all are [un]dressed the same. Being close to Creation somehow drew us closer to our Creator too.
But “sun smarts” are important…
We agree! When our family readied for a trip to our favorite nudist club we packed sunscreen right along with the towels. Splashing it on became a ritual right after getting undressed. Sunblock notwithstanding, we also made a point to get out of the sun. In our experience, there were a number of spots including the shade of trees and covered decks, to seek refuge from the rays.
We hope that you, or someone you know, can stop thinking about “buts” and start baring them instead. The best way to learn more about nude recreation is to join AANR, where you can read monthly articles that include trip reports, stories of membership experiences, government affairs developments, and much more. You’ll typically save 20% or more off regular daily rates and qualify for other travel benefits, products, and services. To join, just go to https://www.aanr.com/join-aanr/
Did you know that you can join AANR for ONLY $64.00 per year?