Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Got Questions About Nakedfest 2021? We Got a Zoom for That.

 By Johnny Konapelsky - BuffBuzz Editor

By now a lot of you guys are well aware that Nakedfest is coming up in just a few months. And since GNI is hosting a Nakedfest this year and not a usual Gathering, a lot of members are confused and not sure about what's the same and what's different. Well, all your questions are about to be answered.

Please join GNI Board Members Brian B. and Jon P. for a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, May 26, at 8 p.m EST to find out more about this year's Nakedfest. All of your Nakedfest questions will be answered by Brian and Jon so get them ready. Feel free to ask anything about the event. This Zoom meeting is a cooperative event with GNI and GoNaked Magazine. As a result, we will have attendees from both organizations at this event. 

The Zoom link is as follows: 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 954 5553 5101
Passcode: 439763

We look forward to seeing you guys at this Zoom meeting! 

Monday, May 17, 2021

First Time at The Gathering/Nakedfest? The List to Make it An Easier Experience

   By Paul Blascovich - GNI Social Media Member 

    Showing up to GNI for the first time can be nerve-wracking. You may feel like an outsider in an unfamiliar place where everyone seems to know each other. Luckily, GNI is a great group of men who are welcoming to first-timers. Before you head to the Poconos to shed your clothes, here are some tips that will help you make the most of your rookie experience. 

Start Packing

    You might not need clothing, but there are other essentials to bring along. The GNI website (gaynaturists.org) has a sample packing list to help you remember what you will need. Pack a few sitting towels (old t-shirts also work) and a lot of sun-block lotion. A zip-up hoodie or jacket will make cool evenings more comfortable, and a pair of boots is also nice to have. Check out the social hour themes on the website before you leave; if a full costume isn't your style, a simple prop can be a great conversation starter. Get started early on deciding what you will be taking so you are not scrambling at the last minute or waiting for a package to be delivered. The campground is a short drive from nearby stores if you forget something, but you won't want to waste a minute away from naked paradise.

Get Your Bearings

    As soon as you drop your bags (and your clothes), walk around camp and get the lay of the land. Also, feel free to ask an experienced cabinmate for a tour. Find both pools and the dining hall. Get to know the route to the dance club and back to your cabin (or camp/RV site). While most social hours are held at The Grove, learn the location of the main gym, too. Cross the damn -- don't forget to cover up! -- and take a peek "Across the Lake" (the spot where sexual activity can be had).  Finding these places during the day will make it a lot easier to navigate after the sun goes down. 

Have a Plan

    The daily activity schedule for Nakedfest will be posted online. Take note of items that catch your eye. Some activities are held daily; others are conducted only one time each year. Entertainment options change every night, and there is something for everyone. Read the descriptions, since some classes/events may require registration in advance of the Gathering/Nakedfest. A good goal is to have at least one activity in mind for each day that you are there.

... But Be Flexible

    Activity locations and times may change. It's a virtual guarantee that rain will disrupt the schedule, and other unexpected circumstances may arise. Be patient. Activities are planned and run by volunteers. If there's something that really piques your interest, make it a reality by volunteering this year or next. 

Follow the Party

    The largest parties bring the whole camp together. The salsa party and the bears' pool party are highlights. Every day features a social hour before dinner, and there are late-night soirees as well. Except for a few private gatherings, you don't need an invitation to join the festivities.

Article author Paul Blascovich (left) with Steve Herforth (right) at a Birthday Suit Social Hour event at Paul's first Gathering.

... Or Go Your Own Way

    Take advantage of the two heated pools and fitness center. Grab a paddle and life jacket and jump into a kayak. Bring your balls and head to the courts for volleyball, basketball, or tennis. Lounge on a pool float, or hang out on your cabin porch. You can choose to do everything or nothing at all. 

Be Brave

    Thursday morning ziplining is a thrill you won't want to miss! (Be sure to pack a shirt, shorts/pants, and closed-toe shoes.) Maybe you're too nervous to play naked Twister or participate in lube wrestling? Take a deep breath, finish that drink in your hand, and have some fun. See a cute guy you want to meet? Go say "Hi!" If 2020 taught us anything, it is to seize the opportunities that are in front of us today.

Be Respectful

    Put hundreds of gay naked men together on a campground, and sex is inevitable. With that said, sex is not the purpose of GNI. If it's not your thing, you're not alone. Nudity is not an open invitation, and sex is not welcome in most public areas. Read and respect the camp rules about where sex is permissible (if you have any questions, ask!), and talk to your roommates about what is accepted in your cabin.

And Lastly...Enjoy Yourself!

    Everyone is nervous at their first GNI Gathering/Nakedfest event. Take advantage of the chance to socialize and unwind in the buff. You might meet guys who are just like you, or you might find a special appreciation for the things that make you unique. Be yourself, and you'll have a wonderful time! 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

NakedFest! Did I get your attention? Or, “if I had a nickel for every time someone asked why The Gathering is called NakedFest, I’d be rich."

By Jon P.  - GNI Board Member

I didn’t mean to make light of an important question, but the headline says it all: you can expect something different for GNI’s 2021 event. Men new to our gatherings should expect to make new, life-long friends in an idyllic setting. Our regular attendees can know that due to circumstances, requirements for large gatherings have changed in 2021. 

You may have noticed that GNI is out front in its leadership in Covid safety as a naturist organization. Other related groups are looking to our event to see what is possible as more and more of the world becomes inoculated to this virus. You can be assured that the GNI Board and executive leadership are meeting often to create the safest possible event for both new and experienced nudists.
Photo from Nakedfest 2014

So, I still haven’t answered your question, have I? Why call it “NakedFest?” Well, back in 2014 we created an alternative, smaller event to vary our offerings and to simply try something new. We called it NakedFest, with the full intention of bringing it back. NakedFest2014 and 2015(!)  were a LOT of fun, in a different setting, with new activities, and an all-around sense of greater community. Why wouldn’t we want to bring that back?
Photo from Nakedfest 2014

Because our 2021 event will look a bit different, we want to help everyone enter the space with a mindset of discovery and adventure. Calling it The Gathering, or even using our alternate name Naked Camp wasn’t a fair way to describe the large, international event that we’ve become. Though it will be at our traditional location, activities will look a bit different. Some events may not happen or will occur in different locations. But, all in all, we are giving you an event where everyone is vaccinated and you can make a complete range of choices in how you want to get involved.
Photo from Gathering 2018

One activity that our volunteer organizers are working on is the Dance Club. A variety of measures are being discussed and debated about how to keep it fun while not piling 400 wonderfully hot and sweaty bodies right on top of each other. We're also working to streamline your dining. What nightly entertainment will look like at this point is also still being discussed. 

Covid has changed our event. It has changed so much of our lives. We hope 2022 will be the big 35th Anniversary event we’ve all been waiting for. Until then, bring your excitement and enthusiasm to NakedFest and make it the event that YOU will remember forever. 
Photo from Gathering 2018

New attendees! Be on the lookout for an upcoming Thursday Mingle where you’ll have the chance to ask questions about NakedFest2021.