Fun to Be Done
"Oh, the places you'll go! There is FUN to be done!"
Sound vaguely familiar? I never imagined that Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Suess, could see my future when he wrote those tall tales, but that is precisely what happened. I've had the privilege of growing up in the world of nudism and there was indeed a whole lot of fun to be done. I spent almost every weekend at Shangri La, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, skateboarding or roller skating on the volleyball court and yes, playing volleyball.
I was a teenager when we formed the Arizona Wildflowers, which was categorized as a "travel club" at the time ... and boy did we go places! We traveled to landed clubs all over the Southwest, and we planned crazy camping adventures on public lands . . . anywhere being nude was legal, all in pursuit of the magical thing called FUN. I even got to celebrate my "sweet 16" at Glen Eden, where fellow nudists made sure I was surrounded by "family" for my special day.
My travels took me back home to Colorado for college, and I was too busy, too poor and too far away from a club to seek out the FUN every weekend, but I was still a proud nudist. One of the best birthday gifts I received every year was my AANR membership, because reading The Bulletin helped me stay connected to the fun.
Today I'm proud to serve on the AANR board alongside many second and third generation nudists. I've enjoyed going all sorts of places, meeting new friends wherever I go ... working hard and seeking fun. You might be saying to yourself, "Wait, there's so much important work to be done to protect our common cause." I'm likely to agree with you, and I would add that the FUN is the reason I'm willing to do that important work. I certainly never imagined becoming involved in the governance of AANR when I was splashing around in the pool at Shangri La.
Because of my history, I am often asked "How do we get more young people involved?" and my answer is fairly consistent. There is no perfect activity that will attract a lot of people. It's about the FUN. If I value my AANR membership, I need to be willing to give that same gift to someone who wants it but could not otherwise afford it. Bill Bowser, a friend of mine that I rafted the Grand Canyon with in 2011, suggested that AANR sponsor a mentoring program. His concept is that seasoned adult nudists would take new adult nudists under their wing and help them over the tough spots— even the tough spot of being able to afford the cost. What a great idea. If each of us who value our membership would be willing to mentor one person, we wouldn't even need to create a program or budget for an expensive activity, and our membership would double almost overnight.
Yes, you're right. I was born into a nudist family, so I've always been encouraged to participate and maintain those connections. I now invest in my own membership, and I know I don't have to look very far to find someone like me who wants to be part of the FUN, too. I'm always looking for ways to pay it forward and give them a hand up. So, are you ready?
be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball, will make you the winning-est winner of all.
The (volley) ball is in your court!