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.

As I reminisce about my first experience, from the get-go of announcing NakedFest 2021, I've been excited to return to the Poconos where enjoying up to 1.5 weeks of nudism is the original fundamental goal.

My first time, I arrived back in 2016, at a regular Gathering event. I was somewhat apprehensive about showing up as a "newbie" and didn't know what to expect. Because I knew I enjoyed being nude in a social setting, I did eventually become more comfortable. Arriving from the bus, members and staff of GNI greeted us and provided direction, and assisted in getting me settled in for the start of my adventure in the buff. I will say that being a part of Mingle (Zoom) first-timer orientation meeting recently was a bonus as I was unaware of the entire map of the camp.

Just a clothed shot for you guys.

Pondering on returning, I get excited about being with like-minded individuals who understand the nudist lifestyle. This time, I know a bit more than last time and hopefully, I can participate and have a grand old time (like I ended up having in 2016). The other new edition is the virtual calendar (NakedFest app/website) found online at https://eventmobi.com/gni2021/. For the record, in my opinion, this is a must-have item to have on your phone/tablet/computer so you can see the vast and diverse areas of amusement, enjoyment, and merrymaking.

This year, my second time, I have quite a few things I am going to explore that I wasn't able to back in 2016. I plan to work out in the gym (nude of course) and get some pictures. Another new thing I want to experience is to watch and possibly participate in educating myself in the BDSM world. I know nothing about this sect of the community. However, I'm trying to be open-minded and learn about other cultures that I know exist yet have never been a part of in my past. Who knows, I might discover something about myself, which to me, is growing in my world. While I know I will need a vacation from my vacation, I only get 9 days to do it "in the nude." 

Hoping to get more into the leather scene this year.

The things I did last time were playing games such as volleyball, croquet, Twister, and going to line dance lessons. I also enjoyed many of the theme nights and dressing up in costumes. Also, another highlight was making new friends, many of which I've stayed in touch with and visited after the Gathering. I did attend the body painting as a watcher and at the end, a guy laid hands on me, thus the picture below of the hands.

Bodypaint of hands on me.

Don't forget the dances and please make sure you visit the "host cabins," as they are always full of delight. The participants at GNI are extremely creative. Moreover, try to catch the shows and nightly entertainment. They have always provided jollification. I was even drafted into a show last time since they needed another baton twirler.

Twirling that baton the best I could.

When I think about what I will miss at NakedFest this year is some of the guys I met in 2016. I have contacted them and unfortunately, they are not coming this year. 

As I finish my packing and prepare for my NakedFest trip, I know my second time at camp will be even more enjoyable than the first. I am coming with an open mind and looking forward to learning about other guys' worlds and cultures. 

If you happen to see me there, say hi. I am looking forward to meeting many of my comrades there. Have a great NakedFest 2021 everyone!