Updated November 16, 2013

This information is provided by the Professors & Researchers Special Interest Group of The Naturist Society.  Please discover all of the other wonderful topics available (such as youth camps and college organizations) by entering this site through the front door.


A Brief History of Young Adult Naturist Groups
A History of Vita Nuda
Young Naturists and Nudists America
Young Nudists of Texas United

A Brief History of Young Adult Naturist Groups

by Paul LeValley

    In 2002, college students who had grown too old for the AANR Youth Camps tried to form a club called Naturally Young, where they could continue their AANR memberships cheaply.  Few did, and the club fizzled away after two years.  But since 2009, three umbrella groups have arisen for young adult naturists aged 18-30:

Vita Nuda

    This group gradually evolved out of AANR's Youth Ambassador Program, taking over in 2009.  Bill Williamson had envisioned the earlier program as an extension of the AANR youth camps.  People of college age received a week of intensive public relations training that would enable them to recruit new college students.  But the high cost attracted few people.  AANR decided to make the training free, and that brought in college students from many states.  At the same time, they turned the training over to younger leaders aged around thirty.

    Meanwhile, AANR's Mike Parker was objecting that, since all participants were over 18, this program did not belong in the youth camp budget, but under the marketing committee.  When the young trainers expressed a wish to be free of camp oversight, Vita Nuda was recognized, funding transferred, and the camp budget abolished.  (Teen camps were to be a regional responsibility; but without national leadership, the camps are languishing.)

    Instead of training, Vita Nuda organized parties--which did attract far more young people.  But they held their parties at sites more strongly affiliated with The Naturist Society than with AANR.  When the Florida Young Naturist arose (see below) Vita Nuda leaders coöperated and promised joint funding of events.  That's when AANR choked off the money and appointed a new leader they felt they could better manage.  With tighter control, there is not a lot of visible activity right now.  But the Vita Nuda idea is expanding, with branches springing up in other regions outside of Florida.

Florida Young Naturists

    I like to claim that the Florida Young Naturists grew out of a workshop on attracting college students that I conducted in 2009 at the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival (a couple of weeks after Vita Nuda became official, and before we knew of its existence).  Young people started volunteering leadership.  Morley Schloss offered to waive fees if they wanted to hold events at Sunsport Gardens.  We sent someone to find Nicky Hoffman Lee, and when the workshop ended, went into an immediate huddle to start planning.

    The FYN, far more robust than Vita Nuda, has now sponsored several Spring Bashes and End-of-Summer Bashes--mostly at Sunsport.  Because some people came from as far away as the mid-Atlantic states, the group held one event in northern Georgia.  With live bands, yoga, drum circles, and midnight dips in the pool, these events are attracting crowds of 160 or more young adults.

    Though affiliated with The Naturist Society, the group is responsible for its own leadership and funding.  They have yet to work out an organizational structure or transition from the original ad-hoc leadership.  Funding relies entirely on donations, and has been an ongoing problem.

Young Naturists America

    In the fall of 2010, press releases went out announcing this new group in New York and New Jersey.  They also got a lot of internet attention with AANR-bashing (some of it deserved).  The "group" seems to be a for-profit corporation of three people with no affiliation, and lots of PR chutzpah.

    Unlike the other two groups who meet outdoors at nudist resorts and free beaches, this one sponsors nude drinking parties at bars.  And so their age limit starts at 21, and stretches past 50.  Forty people attended their first event.

    Then the other two groups noticed links to sex sites on the YNA web page.  Insults started flying between the established groups and this newcomer.  But the New York group has a local population base untouched by the other organizations, which have yet to expand much beyond Florida.

    Check them all out:
www.vitanuda.com
www.floridayoungnaturists.com
nudistnaturistamerica.org


History of Vita Nuda
by Sam Miller

    The AANR Youth Ambassador (YA) program, founded by Bill Williamson, was originally intended to give young nudists media training so that they could do well in media interviews.  But that kind of training involved a lot of classroom time, and interest in the program was ailing.  So in 2006 AANR recognized the need to reinvent the program, and asked for help from a friend of mine.  He involved me, because we both shared an interest in creating something fresh and new for young adult nudists; AANR gave us the opportunity to do this.  The first reinvention of the YA program occurred in the summer of 2007; there were 16 young adult nudists who attended.  Emphasis that year was on reaching out to non-nudists at college campuses, beaches, and brainstorming about how to address stereotypes attached to nudism.  Vita Nuda was the product of those in attendance; it was created as an activity group.  Since the AANR program was yearly, it needed continuity and a cooler identity.  So the "Eve" logo became the symbol and Vita Nuda (VN) became the alter ego for the Youth Ambassadors.  The domain name was purchased and website created late in the summer.  In November of 2007 Vita Nuda had its first official independent gathering at Haulover Beach in Miami.  Steve Vickers and Lou Suarez became involved during planning for the first summer program.  They went on to both become Vita Nuda leaders.

    In the summer of 2008 the second annual Youth Ambassador program commenced.  It was attended by 27 young nudists.  The emphasis at this gathering was on creative methods of outreach using social media.  Products included a Facebook page and the "What is Nudism?" YouTube video that in the last 3 years has captured almost 8 million views.  It was a most fortunate stroke of luck that Robbe White attended the 2008 YA gathering.  He not only saw our vision, but would go on to create the Florida Young Naturists which would accelerate this movement in ways we had only imagined.

    For many years the Youth Ambassador program was directly linked to "Nude University," a program that trained nudist camp counselors to work at the AANR Youth Camps.  From a budgetary standpoint, it was unequal distribution, so in 2009 the Youth Ambassador program officially split from Nude U, and in the process adopted Vita Nuda as its official name.

    In 2009 Robbe White and I attended the Mid-Winter Naturist Festival and gave two talks, one that outlined the young adult nudist movement thus far, and participated in another discussing how to attract young adults to nudism.  After the program, Morley Schloss asked how his resort could be of service; Paul LeValley offered his help as well.  Morley offered to support a local program headed up by Robbe, linked to support by TNS as a SIG.  We all thought it was a fantastic idea; that way we could utilize a relationship with both AANR and TNS in a different way.  So out of that meeting, Florida Young Naturists was formed.

    Robbe took what he had learned from the Vita Nuda program in 2008 and expanded it beyond any of our expectations.  From its inception, FYN and VN have shared a vision for what nudism could be.  We view the two organizations as siblings, not as competitors.  As two coöperating organizations, FYN and VN have shared ideas, shared friends and supported each other's growth.

    After the success of FYN and the amazing growth, VN's presence in Florida has been less important.  From its inception, it was intended to branch out regionally.  So in 2010 Steve Vickers and I flew out to California and helped to start Vita Nuda West.  Another event attended by Lou Suarez and Daniel Phillips formed Vita Nuda Midwest in the great lakes area.  A group from Australia contacted VN and wanted to use the logo and name, so they formed Vita Nuda Australia.

    Meanwhile FYN has expanded tremendously and now hosts 3 events per year, all attended by as many as 160 young nudists.  To use an analogy, Vita Nuda has formed a network that has become the veins of the young adult nudist movement; and FYN, with all of its energy and fun, has grown to become the heart of the movement.

    The explosion of the F.K.K. movement in Germany during the 1930s was, in its most rapid growth, a youth movement.  Today in America, it seems we have created together an echo of that movement, with an energy that is undeniable.  It's an exciting thing to be a part of, and hopefully it will go on to reinvent nudism for this new age.  What will be next?  Stay tuned!


    Robbe White, founder of Florida Young Naturists, was invited to write about the origins of that organization, but he is in the middle of moving, and can't do it right now.  Though he made useful suggestions during the writing of these two reports, we hope to get his full perspective at a later date.


Young Naturists & Nudists America
by Jordan Blum and Felicity

    YNA was founded in 2010 by me, [real name withheld by request].  In my day-to-day life, I manage one of the top antique rug and textile galleries in the USA.  Many of the people I work with are the top 0.01% of income earners in the U.S.  Unfortunately, many do Google my name before deciding to do business with me or not.  So I ask that you respect my wishes and use my pen name "Jordan Blum" if posting online.  Everyone knows who I am, and I do not hide, but I can't risk losing business, especially these days.  There have been only four people out of the hundreds I have spoken to that have a problem with that. 

    I am 35 and live in NYC.  My first trip to a nudist campground took place in 1979 when I was 3, so I have been a naturist for pretty much all my life. 

    I started YNA for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I wanted to protest the fact that the movement has lost many of the beautiful things that I grew up believing in.  For example, in my view, naturism should stand for acceptance.  I was upset when I heard that some clubs that are 100% AANR refuse to let people in because of gender, piercings, and whatnot.  I also strongly believe that it is not my place to judge people based on what they do behind closed doors.  As long as people behave during our events or on our different online platforms, I will welcome them with open arms. 

    We have strict guidelines and behavior etiquette that people are expected to adhere to.  We have a "one strike and you're out" policy, and it is very hard to get a second chance.

    YNA may be different from other youth groups.  We are not a hang-out group only; we are an advocacy group.  We are out there fighting for issues such as body acceptance and equal rights, and combating online child predation. 

    We have been growing rapidly for many reasons.  While some may not agree 100% with our approach, almost all have been impressed with how much interest we've been getting. 

    We get most of our following from the mainstream because we want to grow the movement and reach out to as many people as possible.  While the bulk of our following are in their 20s and early 30s, we don't restrict people based on age.  (With that said, for our events, we do need to monitor ratios, which is why we unfortunately can't include everyone at everything, but people have been very understanding and even supportive of that.)

    We support everyone with the exception of two or three groups which have a proven track record of behavior that is not aligned with our ethics.  But, at the same time, we don't try to hurt their progress.  We believe that the more groups out there, the better it is for us all. 

    We get younger people involved with things that we feel are important, such as charity work, environmental issues, social responsibility, mutual support, equality and acceptance. 

    At YNA, we don't care what someone does for a living, what they look like, how much money they have or what they do behind closed doors.  (As long as no laws are being broken and no one is getting hurt, it is simply none of our business and we refuse to act as judge and executioner)

    I work 60 hours a week to be able to fund YNA from my own pocket, not to mention the fact that I must invest an extra 50 hours of work (at the very least) to just maintain our momentum. 
-----
    From Felicity:  I stand behind everything above, but to give you a little bio about me, my name is [name withheld by request].  I'm 23, and I grew up as a naturist at a family-oriented club in NJ called Rock Lodge.  While in college I attended AANR's Nude U seminar for young adults.  After graduation, I partnered up with Omri to start YNA and Felicity's Blog.  I also use a pen name (Felicity) online, for reasons of privacy and employment.  I am between jobs at the moment, so right now I put most of my time into this organization—writing articles, organizing & promoting events, and working on various projects.  I aim to promote the same naturism I've known my whole life, and to get more young people involved. 
-----
    Back to Jordan:  We are pretty well established in the tri-state NY area and are now branching out to CA & PA.  Our online presence is huge, and our website traffic keeps going up and up....
    In closing, we ask that you not listen to rumors or hearsay.  Unfortunately there are people who thrive on hate and drama.  I prefer honesty and integrity. 

    Our mission statement is to impact the world in a positive manner.  Our motto is: It's all about the love.  Those two statements sum up what YNA is really about.


Young Nudists of Texas United

    Young adult nudists in Texas are organizing their own non-landed club, so that, together, they can influence the activities that landed clubs offer.  The core group is based at Bluebonnet Nudist Park.  Their web page explains:

    YNOTU is a non-profit organization.  We are the younger generation of nudists who already exist.  Our goal is to form events and a network so that we can get together at the same place at the same time.  As young nudists who attend naturist resorts/camps know, we are always the minority.  That being the situation, we can't always relate to the activities that are geared toward the older crowd at these locations.  We feel that more of us would come out more often if we had a stronger presence and activities geared toward us, which we enjoy with fellow active peeps[?].  We do not discriminate in any way, and we are grateful for those before us who paved the way so that we could have said naturist resorts that always welcome us.  However, we are targeting a younger crowd so we can facilitate a more "up beat" environment with events such as flag football, volleyball and other sporting tournaments.  In an effort to get this going, we are working with Bluebonnet Nudist Park to facilitate the first annual 2014 Nude Olympics.



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