Monday, September 13, 2021

Post-NakedFest 2021: NAC at NakedFest - Review and NAC Update

 By Bill Schroer - NAC Chair & GNI Member


On behalf of the entire NAC organization, we want to thank GNI and its board of directors for once again inviting us to participate in your annual NakedFest.

This year Jim Dickey, NAC Board member, and I attended the event, sponsored the social hour "Legally Nude" on Friday night, August 20, conducted a total of 8 workshops, and made a short report at the "Miss Lace 2021" event on Friday, August 27.

Jim and longtime supporter Seth Paronick hosted the "Legally Nude" social hour and I was told it was a big hit. A great way for us to welcome attendees on the first night of NakedFest and we appreciated that opportunity!

While I won't restate the report I provided at the "Miss Lace" event, I do want to take a moment to emphasize what we at NAC are seeing as we try to keep up with nudist events around the country...both positive and those challenging our ability to be "legally nude."


First, some very positive news. Thanks to donations from GNI and other generous naturists, NAC was one of the first and largest contributors to the effort to create Blind Creek Beach: the first new officially sanctioned nudist beach in the US in at least 20 years. Our contribution of $10,000 stimulated other gifts from private individuals and other naturist groups generating enough of a financial fund to provide the legal, administrative, lobbying, and other work needed to win the approval. Located outside of Fort Pierce, Florida, we invite you to visit this newest nude beach you helped create. More information can be found here: www.treasurecoastnaturists.org

Additionally, the Naturist Education Foundation, a sister organization to the NAC, funded a national poll (again) in attitudes toward social nudism in the US. The findings were one of the workshops I conducted...but the topline is that adults in the US continue to support being able to swim or sunbathe nude at beaches designated for that purpose (74%), and agree nude beaches should be set up or designated to allow people to swim or sunbathe nude (74%). I hope to cover more results of this important study in a later article in BuffBuzz.

Now for the challenges. Little Beach on the island of Maui in Hawaii has a long history of accepted nude use. Under the cover of COVID and some behavior issues with the drum circle attendees over New Year's weekend (2021), the beach was closed. When reopened in March (after some tentative opening earlier), it was opened with prominent signs indicating "No Nudity." Rangers began ticketing visitors for being nude. This activity was done on a purely administrative basis. No laws were changed. We are working with a new group of beach activists (Friends of Little Beach) to get this changed, but it will be a tough slog. The notion is...to never become complacent about what we have. There are always those out there that will try to eliminate social nudism.

The Santa Fe National Forest (as well as several other national forests) have also promulgated an administrative "rule" outlawing public nudity in the National Forest. This is done in spite of the fact that it is not illegal to be nude on federal land. This is a very dangerous development and we are working to better understand how widespread this is and what we can do about it.

Another very challenging situation is the "aging out" of nudist resort owners who are placing their nudist resorts on the open market...with the result that most are being purchased by textiles who are converting them into non-nudist venues. This is extremely challenging and I hope to expand on this topic as well in a future article for BuffBuzz.

While there is more to report, and it is too late to make this a short article, I wanted to share at least some of what we are doing to help keep social nudism alive and well in the US. Thank you again for your generous contributions and support!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Post-NakedFest 2021: Smiles and Laughter - Thoughts From Newbies

 By Danny A. - GNI Board Secretary 


Smiles and laughter: two joyful reactions that everyone experiences at GNI. Because of the pandemic and no Gathering last summer, lifelong members and "newbies" eagerly awaited this August in The Poconos to feel that love again.

The first GNI event I attended was the original NakedFest when it was held in Darlington, MD. Right out of the gate and out of my shorts, I felt the magic power all of us men create together. I was hooked. In 2016, I finally attended my first official Gathering in the Poconos. Those 10 days sealed it for me. I knew I had to be a GNI "Lifer." Shortly after attending that year, I ran for the board and am now Board Secretary. 


One of my favorite things to do at GNI is to share a smile with everyone and say hello. It's a great way to break the ice for making old and new members feel welcome. We had a good number of first-timers attend NakedFest this year, and I was lucky enough to meet some of them and hear what they took away from GNI. 

Sean L. who only stayed for the first weekend told me that NakedFest "was a wonderful experience in a friendly and inclusive atmosphere." He said he will book the full week in 2022.

What I took away from new guys who never attended a nudist event before was the freedom they felt at GNI. One member told me it felt so freeing and relieving to be able to leave his cabin and not worry about what to wear. He realized once the clothes were off, there were so many other layers that could be seen and helped him connect with men on levels he never thought were possible.


\I got to know first-timer Niko M. who was assigned to my cabin for the week. Throughout his stay, Niko felt more and more at home with everyone and didn't want to go back to the real world. "I honestly had one of the best times of my life." Niko said he felt such a sense of love and acceptance from everyone. 

Throughout the week, I met other first-timers who said they had the time of their life and couldn't wait to attend in 2022. So my advice to anyone who is shy or unsure of how you'll be received...I can say with open arms: Register today...the Gathering IS for everyone!

Post-NakedFest 2021: Hey Newbie! You've Got Mail at NakedFest!

 By Justine Trouble (aka bio-body Brian J. Ballone - GNI Member)

Neither COVID nor rain nor heat nor lube of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds! MAIL Delivery at NakedFest....that isn't a typo. Justine Trouble made her rounds on three mornings at NakedFest delivering mail to all 144 of the newest GNI members attending camp for the very first time.


"It wasn't easy," says Justine. "I was on my bullhorn screaming 'MAIL DELIVERY!' and either no one responded or they came running out of their cabins like I was delivering a live victim for them to devour. I said MAIL, not MALE. I mean how lazy can you get with over 400 naked men wandering the camp and woods yet they thought I was bringing a MALE to them. Geez. What do I look like? I'm not an Amazon Woman." 


Each newbie received a handwritten message in a bright Hallmark card/envelope along with a personalized greeting. An example of the various messages included "Welcome to NakedFest. We are so happy to see you...all of you." or "You made it! We are thrilled that you are here with us. Welcome." Using a pharmacy label that said "For Oral Use Only" included inside the envelope was a small bag of hard penis candies that said "Suck a bag of dicks!" and it was signed "XXX Justine and The GNI Board." 


"Isn't that lovely? Wouldn't that make anyone feel that we reached out to touch them with five small edible replicas of male genitalia? We want them to know that we love them, welcome them, and hope that next year when they return for their second year that they won't realize that no one from home sent camp mail to them," said Justine Trouble. "Don't get used to this boys because this is for the newbies only! It was just the smallest of gestures to help our fresh new chickens feel welcome." 


Justine Trouble is not only the first mail carrier for GNI but this year she was also the Mother Hen of her brand new "Justine Trouble's Choke, Stroke, and/or Poke Fresh New Chicken Ranch" (Plucking Available with Consent). Her cabin was double-wide due to the fact that Scrumptious was MIA. "The least she could have done was FedEx overnight priority the salsa but if she starts to say she sent it - it probably got lost with her beehive wigs like that one year! If she cared, if she cared...we would have salsa. I tried to provide jarred salsa but I received a restraining order. That's why I threw up an "UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT" sign...because I care, I care...but probably not enough to make a new sign for camp next year." 


If you are new and have never been to The Gathering/NakedFest...come to camp and maybe you too can suck your very own bag of dicks!


Post-NakedFest 2021: Second Time Around - Thoughts From a Returning Member (Part 2)

 Article By Derek Ledbetter - GNI Member

Foreward By Johnny Konapelsky - GNI BuffBuzz Editor

Hey Guys,

NakedFest is unfortunately over for another year. Sadly good things never last forever. But to help you process the after-camp slump, we have some NakedFest articles for you to read to help you relive the fun times experienced there. If you didn't attend, these articles will help you get energized for the hopeful return of The Gathering in 2022. 

In the last edition of BuffBuzz, we had a series of articles by members who wrote about their feelings before leaving to NakedFest. The following article is by GNI member Derek Ledbetter. In the last issue, he wrote about his feelings as a returning attendee. In this article, he writes about what he ended up experiencing. So read on to get ready for a deep-dive of NakedFest through Derek's eyes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

NakedFest 2021: Second Time Around - Thoughts From a Returning Member

 Article by Derek Ledbetter - GNI Member

Foreward by Johnny Konapelsky - GNI BuffBuzz Editor

Hey guys! With NakedFest about to start very soon, I have one more article in our member experience series for you all. This time we have Derek Ledbetter who attended a Gathering in the past. This is his first NakedFest. I thought it would be interesting to have an article this time from someone who has been to a NakedFest/Gathering-type event before so that he can write about his expectations in this article as someone who is not new to the whole concept. Again, this will be a 2-part series in which Derek will write a review article next month when he gets back so make sure you keep your eyes out for that one. Until then, enjoy this article by Derek.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

NakedFest 2021 - Have Pictures to Share? We Have a Place to Post Them!

 By Johnny Konapelsky - GNI BuffBuzz Editor

Hey guys! NakedFest is right around the corner. I know everyone is super excited about getting there and beginning to experience everything this event has to offer. And one of the big things that will be happening almost everywhere you look is picture taking. Be it with a cell phone or an actual digital camera, photos will be snapped all over camp every day. But where can you post them? I have the answer for you.

But first, a disclaimer: if you are taking pictures of anyone else besides yourself at camp, please keep an eye out for the name tags from the other attendees. What you need to look for is a red dot or a red bar on their name tag. If you see this, that means this individual is not comfortable with the concept of having their picture taken. So please be respectful and do not take their picture and/or make sure they are not anywhere in the photo frame. If you don't see a red dot/bar on their tag, then snap away. (Helpful hint: ask guys for their names/social media usernames so you can tag them when you post up their pictures online.)

Now I promised you a moment ago where you can share these pictures. Here's the answer: GNI's social media groups on Facebook and the MeWe app. :)

The NakedFest Mobile App/Website - THE Must Have App/Website At a Glance

 By Seth Paronick - GNI Member

As a reminder, especially for first-time attendees, all the information about NakedFest (including the very important detailed schedule) is available on a mobile app that can be found here: eventmobi.com/GNI2021. BuffBuzz last carried a brief tutorial three years ago that you read here

To summarize, sign in with your e-mail address to make the app yours. You can then select any scheduled item to make a unique schedule of your own. You can even message others who also have signed up. 

Snapshot of GNI NakedFest App Home Screen

Look at the app in advance of your arrival at NakedFest so that you know what you expect. If you plan to use the app on a smartphone or a tablet, temporarily save it as your home page (See the tutorial link above for instructions).

Of course, if you don't have or don't plan to carry a device with you, you may check each day's schedule on the official bulletin boards or print a copy to take with you at the Print Kiosk. 

Enjoy using the NakedFest app, it will become your new best friend and a constant source of information. See you guys at NakedFest! 


NakedFest 2021: Preview Thoughts From a New Nudist First Timer

 Article by James G. - GNI Member

Foreward by Johnny Konapelsky - BuffBuzz Editor


Hey guys. We have another NakedFest first-timer perspective article for you to check out. What makes this article a bit different is that James G. will not only be experiencing NakedFest for the first time, but he's also pretty new to the nudist lifestyle. So he's taking a flying leap into nudism and going outside his comfort zone. This will also be a 2-part article. Below you will find his impressions and feelings before attending NakedFest. Next month you will be able to read about James's experience afterwards and find out exactly how things went for him. Enjoy the article guys! 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

NakedFest 2021: A First-Timer's Thoughts Before Arriving

Article by Jeffrey Egan - GNI Member

Forward by Johnny Konapelsky - BuffBuzz Editor

Forward:

As a neat perspective to NakedFest this year, I was able to get first-timer Jeffrey Egan to write about his thoughts right before he leaves for the campground. This will be a two-part series. In this first article, he will tell you about what he is feeling and plans to experience before NakedFest starts. In the second article, Jeffrey will tell you about his feelings when he gets home from the Poconos. He will let you know what he ended up doing and how the event ended up meeting his expectations. So enjoy part 1 and stay on the lookout next month (September) for part 2. Thanks BuffBuzz readers!! 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) Comes to NakedFest

By Seth Paronick - GNI Member


The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) and the associated Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) are coming to NakedFest, and GNI is delighted to (re)introduce them to you!


NAC advances and protects the rights and interests of naturists throughout North America and supports the responsible recreational nude use of public lands. NEF is dedicated to improving the awareness of naturism and body acceptance among both naturists and non-naturists and to achieving an understanding and acceptance of naturists and their activities throughout North America. NAC is the political adjunct, and NEF is the informational and educational adjunct, to The Naturist Society Foundation, from which GNI originated. 

Learn about and support NAC and NEF at NakedFest! Here's how: 

(Click/tap on each link below for details. Links will open up and provide details in the 2021 NakedFest app.)

  1. Join in NAC's Social Hour, Legally Nude, on Friday, August 20th, at 8:30 p.m. in the Main Gym (Add it now to your 2021 NakedFest app schedule so you don't forget!) It is hosted by Jim Dickey, NAC/NEF Board Secretary.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Naturism and the Gay Body

Article By Timothy Sargent - Guest Writer

Introduction Paragraph by John Konapelsky - BuffBuzz Editor

As an organization, GNI is always keeping an eye on its social media accounts and recognizes the contributions of individuals and organizations who/that promote naturism. While looking through our Twitter feed recently (@gaynaturists), we ran across a blog that we thought you, our readers, would like as it embraces the spirit of naturism that GNI works hard to foster. This blog has been republished in its entirety with the permission of author Timothy Sargent. You can find more about his blog via Twitter @AlmostWildBlog or at his blog site at https://almostwild.wordpress.com/


Naturism and the Gay Body


I am writing this piece—which I’ve been pondering and rethinking and stressing over for months now—in honor of Pride Month, in honor of being open and transparent about the stories that make us who we are, in hopes that it might resonate with others to help them feel emboldened to do the same. In the piece below, there are discussions of naturism, self-acceptance, coming out, sexuality, and how all of those facets intersect. I feel vulnerable publishing it, but I’m pushing through. Happy Pride, everyone.

I am a 32 year-old gay man who grew up in a conservative, evangelical home on the outskirts of a small farming town. To say I’ve had issues with my body image is an understatement (my youth pastor wouldn’t even let boys and girls swim in the pool at the same time!) and all the evidence suggests that my experience is not an isolated one, but it’s also one that I have not had a great deal of opportunity or willingness to be open about with others. It always feels like a secret—a secret that I needed to keep because who else would understand? Who else would understand what havoc an evangelical upbringing can wreak on a young person grappling with thoughts and feelings that everyone around them was decrying as sinful, disgusting, ungodly, sickening, perverse, deviant… Who else would understand what that journey to self-acceptance and self-love looked like?



Several months ago, I reached out to Gay Naturists International (GNI), hoping to contextualize the path I had taken to where I am now. I consider myself a longtime naturist (or nudist, if you prefer): Discovering and practicing naturism has been an important part of my journey to feeling comfortable in this skin of mine, so I assumed this would be a perfect place to discuss how those identities intersect. In retrospect, I realize that what I was hoping to find was validation of my experience, to be reassured that my journey coming to terms with my body as a gay man was a universal one. When I sat down to speak with Nicholas Roessler, the young, ambitious, and well-spoken president of Gay Naturists International, I did not find quite what I was looking for. I think I found something better.

I wanted my story to be part of a bigger, shared experience. I wanted to hear that lots of other gay men come to GNI having travelled the same path. What I came out of my conversation with Nicholas realizing was that our paths as gay men and as naturists are disparate and nuanced and diverse, but that an experience does not have to be universal for it to be meaningful or valid or even relatable, that we gain more from learning about each other’s diverse experiences than we could ever gain from all sharing the same perspective. Even among a group as niche as the gay naturist community, no two stories are the same… which leads me to what I have felt both nervous and compelled to share for some time now: My story.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

GNI Has an Online Shop?? Get Your Merch Before NakedFest!

 By Johnny Konapelsky - GNI BuffBuzz Editor

    GNI has a little secret that we're about to let everyone know about. GNI has an online shop! Who knew, right?? Well, now you all know. Have you ever gone to a Gathering/NakedFest event and wished you had some GNI merchandise to show your support? Or maybe you have a friend or loved one and felt that an item with a GNI logo would be a great gift? Well, now you can visit the online shop and purchase item(s) from a wide assortment. 



    One of the great things about the GNI shop is that there are so many items to choose from and they are set up in three different categories. "Stuff to Wear" (ironical for us nudists) is for those unfortunate occasions when you have to outside someplace wearing clothes. If you have to wear something, why not put on a shirt that has the GNI logo on it. It's a great conversation starter because people may ask, "What is GNI??" You have a wide variety of different styles of shirts to choose from in this section including a hoodie for the fall/winter or if you happen to live in a constantly colder part of the globe. The one must-have item for all us nudists in this area is a hat. And you have different types/colors to choose from here too. 



    In the "Stuff for Home" section, you have quite a selection as well. There are a few more hats here along with a couple of mugs which is a must-have for those of you who aren't really awake until your first cup of coffee every morning. And another neat item listed here is a GNI sticker that you can put anywhere you want. 



    The final category is "Stuff to Give Away." This section has the largest assortment of items to buy for yourself or as a gift or simply to give away to anyone who is interested in GNI. You will find shot glasses and drinking glasses; for those of you on a health kick, there is an insulated water bottle; and for anyone who likes to make sure they can have a sip of something with a "kick," you will even find a flask. Other items of interest here include car or fridge magnets, stickers of various shapes, sizes, and quantities, GNI logo buttons, and even a shirt for your dog to wear to help show your love for GNI. 



    When you buy anything at the online shop, not only are you getting a great item for yourself or a great gift for a friend/loved one, but you're also helping GNI. A portion of each purchase goes to GNI so that they can keep being the amazing naturist organization you know so well and love so much. Well, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the GNI Online shop and get some stuff today!