Visiting the TNS Western Naturist Gathering
Where in the world can you take a ukulele lesson, talk about the philosophy of humor (which has to be a form of FUN) or enjoy a presentation on old postcards with a funny nudist/naturist theme-and do it all naked? I would not have known-except that I chose to attend the Western Naturist Gathering at DeAnza Springs Resort (Jacumba, CA) July 23-26, 2015. I had never before been to a Gathering-sponsored by The Naturist Society-but I thought I knew what to expect. And in some ways I did.
As an AANR meeting junkie, I had been to all kinds of regional and AANR conventions over the years. I expected meetings interspersed with FUN activities. Although there were a lot of activities, in fact, too many to attend every one of them, the Gathering seemed less focused on Robert's Rules of Order and more focused on casual exchanges of information and hands-on workshops. That doesn't mean that the AANR and regional conventions don't have many FUN moments or that there are no serious discussions at a Gathering. In fact, I believe the similarities outweighed the differences. I have a lot of friends in both organizations and many of them belong to both.
So, did I learn to play the ukulele? Well, honestly I tried. I borrowed a ukulele that was already in tune (thank goodness) and tried my best to wrap my unwilling fingers around the neck of the instrument. But beyond that, they (my fingers) were most uncooperative. So no "Tiny Bubbles" from me in the next talent show. Did I enjoy the presentation on the Philosophy of Humor? No-it was at exactly the same time as my futile ukulele lesson. Did I laugh at a few funny postcards? Yes, and they were all the funnier because both the humor and the common misperceptions of the general public were on display. And I also sat through a number of serious workshops entitled "Women in Naturism," "It's Time to Look More Closely at Public Lands Managers," and "Thinking Like Naturist Adversaries." One of the highlights? Getting my new book "Naked at Lunch" autographed by the author, Mark Haskell Smith.
All in all, it was a tremendously interesting - and FUN - experience. I am very proud to be the first sitting AANR president to attend a TNS Gathering.
Bev Price, AANR President, and Bob Morton, Executive Director of NAC, share a laugh and a libation at DeAnza Springs Resort