Childhood summers at a Nudist camp

In a discussion about pedophilia in Great Debates, Fuzzy Pickles stated that “family nudist camps, in particular, are a hotbed for pedophiles”. This was so contrary to my own experience that I posted the following:

When I was a child, my family had a summer cabin at a nudist camp in Kansas. It was a wonderful place with a pond for swimming and berry patches up on the hill. The camp owner lived in a train caboose that had been hauled in. Our cabin was an A-frame that my dad had built. We could hunt morel mushrooms in the woods and fry them up with eggs. Driving to the camp, we could hardly wait to get our clothes off.

It was one of the least sexually charged environments I have ever been in. There were dozens of families, some with many children. All this was well before I had hit puberty. I had never heard anything about any inappropriate behavior towards any of the children, nor have I heard my older brother or my older and younger sisters indicate that they had ever heard of any.

We couldn’t tell other people about the camp unless we could trust them implicitly, and we would check with our parents first. My Dad was a cop at the time, and this could have gotten him kicked off the KCPD. I’m sure if there was any reason to be suspicious of anyone in the camp, his cop instinct would have alerted him.

I don’t have any pictures or 8mm film of our summer vacations at the camp, because the insane over-sensitivity that has arisen in the past couple of decades, our home movies would be consider “child porn”, even though it’s just naked men, women and children.

The only lasting effect that I’ve noticed on myself is the ability to appreciate a wide variety of body types and an inability to take clothing and fashion seriously.

Any other Dopers spend their childhood summers at a family nudist camp? What were your experiences, positive or negative?

No idea, but I’d imagine that it is a pretty good place for them to meet up and show off what they’ve got in their stable, and see others, without risk. Whether this means that particular camps are selected, that there will be a sect within any one camp, or that it’s really just a freak occurence, who knows? Humans have a tendency to assume that those around them are thinking the same thing as they are, so his testimony isn’t terribly reliable.

The Mister and I go to nudist camps, but adult only ones. That’s more due to the fact that our children are grown, and we find our vacations to be much more enjoyable without children around.

In talking to other nudists, I’ve never heard of any pedophile problems at other camps. Seems to me that camping is pretty family-centric, I’m not sure a pedo would have any more access to a child than at any other time. And if they are getting off by looking, that would become fairly obvious, I would think, and that’s not a common site at camp.

I have seen pervs at the public beach. My girlfriend and I actually chased one out of the water and out of the park! :slight_smile:

I don’t know. There are pervs everywhere. But it would take more to convince me that nudist camps are hotbeds for them.

A most excellent point. Pretty much impossible to hide an erection in that setting.

Whenever I go camping, I always get pickers and thistles stuck into my pant legs, so…

So, I’m curious…why did you give it up, if, in fact, you did?

I grew up in a fairly nudist family, and I spent my young teens going to clothing optional gatherings with my family.

There was never any pedo issues I was aware of- young teens gravitated to young teens, and adults with adults. Kids all over the place, and watched by everyone.

There was a bit of older teen young adult crossover, but nothing that made anyone take issue.

One of the things that people who haven’t tried nudism don’t get is that what would seem in our clothed culture to be sexual is just our natural state. I thought that I would have all kinds of wierd sexual thoughts too, when I went as a teen, but I didn’t. I probably had less arousal states.

And, as you say, it is obvious when men are interested, and it, when appropriate, is usually taken as a compliment, even if it the interest is not returned. I don’t imagine a pedo could keep hidden for long.

When I was a kid, my family shared a big summer house with a bunch of other families and everyone would go down to a nudist beach most days. I had the same experience there as I’ve had in Finnish unisex saunas: it’s not in the least bit sexual. People aren’t naked, they just aren’t wearing any clothes. There’s a big difference.

Interestingly, I’d only think about my being naked if someone showed up wearing clothing. Then it could get a bit awkward.

Funny thing is, when i see EXTREMELY attractive women out in public i have NEVER once got an erection from it, so…

No idea. I was very young, so I don’t know if the camp closed, or if we sold our cabin, or if my Dad just didn’t get as much vacation time, or what. I’ve lived a nudist lifestyle since, during my awful first marriage. I’ve been in a relationship for 27 years, and my wife is far too shy, so I’ve not been nude around anyone but her and doctors since.

My brother told me that some conservative Christian was regaling him with stories about her church’s new Bible retreat. The landscape she described sounded familiar, so he asked her if there was a caboose on a hill that had a berry patch, etc. He told me that the look on her face when he told her about the history of that particular location was priceless.

By the way, I can’t find a cite, but I remember hearing that the children of nudists tend to lose their virginity later than average. Possibly it has something to do with parents not afraid to discuss sex in a reasonable manner with their children.

We were fairly luck in that the area around the camp was well tended and we know that to avoid.

This is sort of a meta-comment or a follow-up or some such, not exactly on topic.

I have never quite understood the complete passionate obsession so many persons have with *not *being nude other than in situations where clothing is needed for protection from the elements or the environment.

This is exactly why, as a teen, I stripped down at the ‘clothing optional’ events. I had planned on staying dressed, but walking up to a group of fifty or so people while wearing clothes garners you the looks and attention (and the wierd shame) that you would get doing the reverse in public, nearly. Not as bad, but you are definitely not part of the crowd.

Don’t know. I’m comfortable in both cases. But I suspect that others may disagree. In my case, it would be a lot like this guy: “Naked Man Only One Comfortable With His Body” h ttp:// (NSFW).

You’re right, you truly have no idea. :rolleyes:

Agreed. But I suspect that people who have never been to a nudist camp, especially a family-oriented one, really have no idea what they are like. Children there are as safe, if not safer, than anywhere else due to - if nothing else - little expectation, or need, for privacy. The camp was a big, open area. Families had their own places - cabins, buses, RVs - but most everyone spent most of their time outside, or in the clubhouse. Your cabin was for eating, sleeping or inclement weather. Folks spending a lot of time indoors would be noticed, especially the children.

Rather doubt it. Unless they set up at an entirely isloated site, they’ll stand out like, well… you choose the metaphor.

Tension shows up in body language, and I daresay it’ll show up more clearly without the distraction/concealment of clothes. A group of pervs passing kids around are going to be sending unmistakable "Somethin’ ain’t right here’ signals. That doesn’t even get into the other aspects, like the fact that nudists tend to be open, friendly sorts, and pervs are not going to be comfortable being approached by open friendly sorts whom might talk to their victims.

The majority of stereotypes about nudists are just bunk. And frankly, most of what people “know” about pedos and pederasts is bunk, too.

I think you’ll find that men like women (and vice versa), and you’ll often see both men and women at nudist camps. There’s no particular reason for a pedophile to be nervous, nor any reason for him to be less than friendly. So far as he is concerned, he’s just observing beauty.

There’s no particular reason to think of a pedophile as a frustrated, socially inept freak with sweaty palms and panting breath. If a regular person can hang around with the people they find to be sexually attractive in a state of nudity, there’s no reason to think that a pedophile wouldn’t be able to do the same.

I grew up camping in Northern Canada.

There is no such thing as “nudist camping” in Northern Canada. :smiley:

In the scenario you posited, they were there “…to meet up and show off what they’ve got in their stable, and see others, without risk.” That’s quite a lot different from pleasantly hanging out with the neighbors (pardon the pun). I quite agree that if they were not actively engaged in anti-social activity, they’d probably be no more obvious than anyone else, but that’s not what you posited.