Posted: August 28, 2023

Nudism as a concept, like the human form, goes through changes as time goes forth. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But in both instances, we must roll with the changes. I cannot count the times I have heard, “I wish it was like it used to be in the good ole days”. While not specifically referring to nudism, I can say I have heard this same sentiment in the nudist community. What was meant by this? Were things better back then? Cheaper? More things to do? More people?
Let’s start by finding out when were the “Good Ole Days”. Nothing too recent, so let’s step into the nudism time machine and go back a bit. How about 20 years? The year was 2003, and our membership count was fairly steady at about 44,000. A CNN Money report stated that the number of clothing optional resorts had nearly doubled in the last 10 years. There were people with money, and they were not spending it on clothes, well, not entirely. The nude cruises were becoming more and more popular, and people were visiting nudist resorts and buying expensive lots in nudist communities. Sounds pretty good, but is that the definition?
Jump back into the time machine again and another 20 years further takes us to 1983. How time flies! Our membership was around 23,000. Are these the “Good Ole Days”? Almost half the members than in 2003, but now you must take into consideration that 40 years ago, many of the clubs we have today were not yet formed, so there were fewer places to go. The places that did exist were likely a mere shadow of what they would become. Many resorts were just open land with a swimming pool or pond for people to relax around. The first nude cruise was still nearly a decade away, and yet folks might say these were the “Good Ole Days”.
I think the “Good Ole Days” are different for every person. For example, let’s say 40 years ago people were going to clubs that may have been around a while and were celebrating 20 years as a club and they just put in a new clubhouse or swimming pool. That would be a big event that would stick in their minds. Similarly, a club in 2005 might be installing their first Wi-Fi internet and that would have been big news for some out-of-the-way resort. In 1939, the Van Tan Club of Canada may never have come about if Edward Landsdowne and Ray Connett hadn’t bought an old skeet club’s property to create what would become Canada’s oldest Naturist resort. I am sure they would have looked back at that event, and it was a part of their “Good Ole Days”. Each person looks at their journey into nudism/naturism with different events creating memorable milestones that helped propel them forward into bigger and better things.
The fact is that every year could be considered the “Good Ole Days” because there will always be someone who looks back five, ten, twenty-plus years ago on their journey into nudism/naturism and recalls some of people they met, places they went. It may have been something they strived for and achieved, such as premier, or life membership, serving on the board of their club, or starting their own club. When you meet someone new to the nudist community, say hi and welcome them as best you can because you will be helping them create their own “Good Ole Days”.


-Mitch London

AANR President

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