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Organizers say teens' nudist summer camp in Virginia is innocent fun
Charlotte, NC, Observer ^ | 06-21-03 | Lewis, Bob, AP

Posted on 06/21/2003 6:06:27 AM PDT by Theodore R.

Organizers say teens' nudist summer camp is innocent fun BOB LEWIS Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. - Activities for kids this summer at Camp White Tail: swimming, volleyball, arts and crafts, splattering a fellow camper's nude body with pudding.

White Tail, a nudist park in southeastern Virginia's Southampton County, opens its first summer camp for the 11-to-18 age group Saturday - only the third such au naturel camp for juveniles in the nation, according to the American Association of Nude Recreation.

Bob Roche, who manages the camp on 45 bucolic acres, said the weeklong get-together is no big deal for the 30 children who signed up, most of whom were raised in nudist families.

State and local officials, however, are alarmed by a summer camp intended to bring unclothed teens together for a week.

"We're very concerned about this development. An atmosphere like that is very clearly an invitation to pedophiles," said Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore's press secretary, Tim Murtaugh.

Delegate Robert G. Marshall, one of the state legislature's foremost social conservatives, said such a camp was better suited for San Francisco than straight-laced Virginia.

"I guess these nudists were just born that way, but unlike the rest of us they never grew out of it," Marshall said.

Roche said such concerns are unfounded at Camp White Tail, which has operated legally and without incident since it opened in 1984. It attracts an average of 1,200 people at any given time, including 30 families who live there year-round. All must undergo background checks, and the camp enforces strict rules against lustful behavior.

"Sure, it could be a magnet for pedophiles, but we don't let it be. We screen everyone thoroughly and, thanks to the governor, we can check online to see if someone's a sex offender," he said.

A searchable database of sex criminals is available through the Virginia State Police Web site.

Nor are special youth activities novel at White Tail, Roche said. Each summer features "Junior Fest" weekends chock full of activities for the children of the camp's regulars.

The summer youth camp, however, is different in that parents don't have to be present. Roche likened it to summertime retreats that churches run for boys and girls.

"This is actually a camp-type camp," he said. "All the meals are inclusive, the camp is totally structured with arts and crafts for the younger ones, with swimming lessons and firefighting lessons."

There are also activities uniquely suited to nakedness such as the pudding toss.

"We give each camper a cup of pudding and a spoon and just let them plaster each other," Roche said. With nothing to launder, cleanup is as simple as a quick blast with a garden hose.

Also unusually, counselors outnumber the kids. They range in age from 19 to 25, and all have been thoroughly trained.

"There's 1 1/2 counselors for each camper," Roche said.

The camp is modeled after the AANR's Youth Leadership Camp, which has operated for 11 years near Tampa, Fla., said Carolyn Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Kissimmee, Fla.-based organization. The other youth nudist camp is in Arizona.

AANR expects the Virginia camp will attract kids from Georgia, the Carolinas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Hawkins' 22-year-old grandson, Steven Vickers, has been a camp counselor for years. Vickers, a student at Valencia Community College, said first-time campers are uptight about their nakedness for about a day, then easily shed their self-consciousness.

"They realize there are other people like they are, and they find it comforting. They see that other kids are going through puberty, too," he said.

For children, peer pressure discourages sexual conduct.

"Most of these kids have grown up together and they're more like family than friends. So it would be like going to a family reunion and hitting on someone. It's just not the thing to do," Vickers said.

There's nothing illegal about gathering in the buff on private property, even for children, as long as being nude doesn't mean being lewd.

"To be illegal, the line that has to be crossed is lascivious intent," Murtaugh said. "Rest assured that law enforcement will be very aware and vigilant about this."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: camp; childabuse; foxinthehenhouse; indoctrination; nudism; nudistcamp; nudists; publicnudity; puddingfights; sumemrcamp; teenagers; va

1 posted on 06/21/2003 6:06:28 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
lemmesee...... pudding, nudity, naked teenagers, volley ball. Sounds more like some old pervert's wet dream as opposed to summer camp.

Somehow, I don't think that putting large numbers of nude teens together could be very good for the teeanage pregnancy rate.

And what is this about 1 1/2 counselors for each camper??? Sounds to me like EVERYONE wanted to attend this peep-show.


2 posted on 06/21/2003 6:22:29 AM PDT by CAPPSMADNESS (tagline in progress....................................................)
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To: CAPPSMADNESS
Is it an old perverts wet dream if you regret being born too soon to go to this camp.
3 posted on 06/21/2003 6:27:01 AM PDT by eno_
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To: Theodore R.
I daresay that if I had my 18-year-old babysitter come over to the house and romp around with my children in the nude, I'd be arrested and ridden out of town straddling a rail.

The fact that a perversion is organized doesn't make it any less a perversion. Hear that, NAMBLA?

4 posted on 06/21/2003 6:35:46 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: CAPPSMADNESS
Those who practice the religion of nudity, like to claim that the "pretense" and "hypocrisy" represented by clothing is only a prudish reaction and misplaced modesty. Kids will be kids, they claim, and the presence or absence of clothing will in no way divert the natural inclinations of adolescents anyway (which is to experiment). But it is a demonstrable fact that clothing that does not provoke titillation does keep kids modest. But clothing that does titillate probably is much more provocative than mere nudity. So as behavior goes, all-nude camps probably have fewer sexual encounters than those in which there is no dress code involved or enforced.

Still doesn't make it right. Nudity is perilously close to pornographic images, and the lines in today's world are badly blurred. And once the taboo against nudity is removed, a lot of other behavior once regarded as taboo is then escalated to "acceptable".
5 posted on 06/21/2003 7:01:43 AM PDT by alloysteel
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To: Theodore R.
There's nothing wrong with nudity per se, but this seems like a bad idea to me.
6 posted on 06/21/2003 7:41:30 AM PDT by RichardW
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To: eno_
Nudist summer camp in Virginia is innocent fun

It is child abuse and it is a felony.

7 posted on 06/21/2003 7:41:51 AM PDT by friendly
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To: Theodore R.
I can not believe the stupidity of some people. Teenage nudists? They are concerned with pedaphiles? Why not dinosaurs? How about the dangers of herds of wild unicorns?

Don't hey remember the teenage male hormones? I don't care how much training they gave, I would not want my naked teenage daughter around a bunch of naked teenage boys! This is just trouble waiting to happen.

8 posted on 06/21/2003 8:02:29 AM PDT by Tacis
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To: alloysteel
Nudity is perilously close to pornographic images

Haven't seen much p0rn, have you?

9 posted on 06/21/2003 8:22:39 AM PDT by eno_
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To: alloysteel
nudity schmudity........ nudity and "pudding throwing" is just kind of perverse when it involves kids.
10 posted on 06/21/2003 8:36:39 AM PDT by CAPPSMADNESS (tagline in progress....................................................)
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To: Theodore R.
INTREP - we have lost a very important virtue in our society: Shame. Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nudity, and covered themselves. The sin nature does not respond appropriately to nudity...and especially amongst children and teenagers.
11 posted on 06/21/2003 9:16:22 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Theodore R.
Doesn't sound fun to me, I can't imagine spending the Summer of my 16th year bent over with hands in front of me or hiding behind waist high bushes.
12 posted on 06/21/2003 10:08:55 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Soddom has left the bunker.)
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To: Theodore R.
"Sure, it could be a magnet for pedophiles, but we don't let it be. We screen everyone thoroughly and, thanks to the governor, we can check online to see if someone's a convicted sex offender," he said. They have to be caught first before they would appear in a database. I am also confused by the statement. Are all patrons screened every time they visit or just the employees?

A searchable database of sex criminals is available through the Virginia State Police Web site. And it sounds like they are only searching one state's offenders' list.

13 posted on 06/21/2003 11:03:24 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Theodore R.
Sounds like a good way to get poison ivy.
14 posted on 06/21/2003 11:04:17 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Theodore R.
Nor are special youth activities novel at White Tail, Roche said. Each summer features "Junior Fest" weekends chock full of activities for the children of the camp's regulars.

The summer youth camp, however, is different in that parents don't have to be present. Roche likened it to summertime retreats that churches run for boys and girls.

It all comes down to "who do you trust?" A religion offers a set moral code that it's followers believe and know up front. A nudist organization holds first the tenant of public nudity; after that some get off into liberal (Green Party) politics. Sending kids out of state where they will be naked amongst adult strangers puts the children at risk of exploitation.

Vickers, a student at Valencia Community College, said first-time campers are uptight about their nakedness for about a day, then easily shed their self-consciousness.

Doesn't sound like it's the kids' choice to be naked now then does it? Why not make it clothing optional? If the kids choose to undress they shouldn't have feel it is forced upon them. What she calls "shedding their self-consciousness" I call being indoctrinated into the group think.

15 posted on 06/21/2003 11:10:32 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: CAPPSMADNESS
nudity schmudity........ nudity and "pudding throwing" is just kind of perverse when it involves kids.

I guess that the camp is just training them for a future career in "pudding wrestling".

I found it odd that someone hoses down the kids afterwards. Couldn't they have a simple shower system to wash off (and cool down)?


16 posted on 06/21/2003 11:14:31 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Tacis
I wonder if the camp will be putting a ban on cell phones?

Pools ban camera phones from changing rooms to deter peeping Toms

17 posted on 06/21/2003 11:21:04 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Theodore R.
Nekkidness + teenagers - there's nothing innocent about that. I don't care how you parse it.
18 posted on 06/21/2003 11:24:41 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: Xenalyte
Well, you can take that to extremes as well. We used to go skinny dipping when I was a kid. I didn't see anything wrong with it then or now.
19 posted on 06/21/2003 11:28:20 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
Did you stay naked afterwards when you ate your sack lunch?

Was there an 8 year span in the ages of those swimming? Was it mixed company?

20 posted on 06/21/2003 11:40:59 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: weegee
Was there an 8 year span in the ages of those swimming? Was it mixed company?

Sometimes, yes to both questions. What would've been bad about eating a meal while you're laying in the sun drying off? Some of us certainly smoked while doing so.

21 posted on 06/21/2003 11:53:20 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
There isn't anything inherently wrong with being naked. At times it is even a necessity (or preferable) to wearing something.

I do wonder about those who would gather together for extended periods of time to undress and then pretend that there is nothing unusual or unsafe about say barbecuing in the nude.

22 posted on 06/21/2003 11:59:03 AM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Tacis
The pictures will be on the web the day after the camp starts. Bank on it.
23 posted on 06/21/2003 12:14:56 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: weegee
LOL! Yeah, being nekkid does have its hazards!

When I was a kid, I remember several occasions going to build deer stands in the summer and it gets hot in Georgia. The Flint River would look mighty inviting after a spell. I didn't see anything wrong with- there were adults and kids. We just wanted to cool off.

Beaches in Europe are obviously a mixed bag and you definitely get a mixed bag of people who take it all off. There's always so old geezer running around with a thong and I'd just as soon he took it off and went bare a$$- something about a thong on a 65 year old is just YUCK! But yeah, you'll see kids running around buck naked, women with their tops off (my wife's one of 'em). Went to a beach in Menorca once, there were so many people who weren't wearing anything you kind of felt odd sitting there in a bating suit.

I guess most of it has to do with the situation. I definitely don't feel uncomfortable in a beach situation or modelling for a photographer or artist but I wouldn't want to be running around doing my shopping or participating in sports while starkers. On the other hand, I knew a few soldiers in the military who were so ashamed to get naked in front of other people their squad leaders would basically have to order them into the showers in the field.

There isn't anything inherently wrong with being naked.

I'm like you there. There isn't anything inherently wrong with it, it's simply not appropriate in many situations for a whole variety of reasons- hygiene being among them.

24 posted on 06/21/2003 12:19:38 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
wrong with- = wrong with it

so old geezer = some old geezer

Sheesh.

25 posted on 06/21/2003 12:21:18 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: weegee
Couldn't they have a simple shower system to wash off (and cool down)?

now what kind of fun would THAT be??? (/ sarcasm)

26 posted on 06/21/2003 2:05:37 PM PDT by CAPPSMADNESS (tagline in progress....................................................)
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To: CAPPSMADNESS
Fun for the campers or the counselors?

Even at the big rock concert festivals there is an outdoor shower for patrons to walk under and rehydrate. Why pay someone to hold a water hose? Couldn't the kids run the hose? How about letting them run through sprinklers?

27 posted on 06/21/2003 3:30:33 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: biblewonk
{ping} There are some interesting comments over in the earlier thread ^, too.

The camp in Florida was in the news one day earlier:


28 posted on 06/23/2003 8:03:58 AM PDT by newgeezer (Beam me up, Scotty. There's no sign of intelligent life.)
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