Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
August 1, 2002
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.lakeedun.com
Tie-Dye Weekend Scheduled
Because our tie-dye expert had an accident, we were forced to postpone our annual tie-dye weekend. Plan on joining other Eduners on August 18 for an afternoon of creative tie-dye fun. We will have a complete assortment of professional grade tie-dye supplies on hand as well as expert advise and assistance. All you need to provide is the garment and the courage to do-it-yourself.
Pre-washed cotton is recommended. It seems to take the dye best. If you have never tried your hand at tie-dying in the past, experienced tie-dyers will be on hand to offer suggestions. Try it, it's fun!
Cost will be $2 for most items. If you bring sheets or other dye-hogs, be prepared to pay extra. All supplies should be in place by noon on Sunday and we will continue until about 4 pm.
This annual event has proven very popular in the past. Often Eduners can be seen wearing their handiwork when they must wear something. Plan to join us this year. If you wish, a limited number of white Lake Edun t-shirts are still available for $12 ea. They accept the dye well and are attractive when completed.
Final Open House Successful
Our special place was crowded for the final open house of the year. Nearly two dozen visitors came to Lake Edun, almost half of them had never visited before. Combined with a heavy dose of Eduners, we had a wonderful group at the lake.
Some old timers, such as George or Mark & Karla used the opportunity to visit old friends. It was good to see them all again. We hope to see them more often. Everyone seemed to appreciate our new format with clothing-required everywhere except at South Beach and Locust Grove where it is optional. It is becoming almost standard for most visitors to head south as soon as they learn where they may disrobe. If those new to Naturism find it so easy to undress once they visit our special place, it makes us wonder why it is so difficult to get them to visit in the first place.
While this may have been the final formal open house of the season, there are still many who are interested in learning more about Naturism. Be sure to invite your friends to visit with you some evening or weekend. Show them the wonderful facility we too often take for granted. Experience demonstrates that once they see Lake Edun for themselves, it will not be long before they want to experience body freedom for themselves.
Saturday, August 10, will be a big day at the lake. John is hosting a Mexican theme pot-luck complete with a Taco Bar. He will provide the meat, Eduners should provide the side dishes and taco condiments such as shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced tomatoes, sauce, etc.
As the sun sets, Allan will explain the rules for an active game of Capture the Flag. We got rained out last year but once again we are going to attempt the contest. For those who are unaware, Capture the Flag is war without violence. The playing field will be from the East shore of the lake to the West property line and the North and South property lines. We need at least 30 participants to have a good game. Those who don't wish to join in can stay East of the lake and watch the game much as was done in the Civil War.
Don't miss the activities on the 10th. They will be new for us at the lake, but it should be a fun weekend.
Labor Day Weekend Plans
Labor Day is the last long weekend of our active season. Heather has been working on various activities and is enthusiastic about the plans she is developing.
As Bare Facts goes to press, she has a Fish Fry scheduled for Saturday the 31st. While she is working on a number of possible events to carry us through the cold, winter months, this will probably be the last weekend of the season where most Eduners will be together. We hope all Eduners and friends will be on hand to make this event special.
Although most of Kansas, including Shawnee County, has been declared a disaster area because of severe drought conditions, ptMike has been watering to keep our special place looking great. Be sure to join us over Labor Day weekend. If you have difficulty getting to our special place, it will be an opportunity to generate some pleasant memories to carry you through the long Kansas winter.
Activities designated HN are sponsored by Heartland Naturists
Aug 3; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire
Aug 10; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting
Aug 10; Sat; 12-1; Membership Forum
Aug 10; Sat; Taco Bar/Pot Luck
Aug 10; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire
Aug 10; Sat; night; Capture the Flag
Aug 16; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in Lenexa
Aug 17; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire
Aug 18; Sun; 12-4; Tie-Dye afternoon
Aug 24; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire
Aug 31; Sat; Fish Fry
Sept 14; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting
Sept 20; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in Lenexa
Oct 26; Sat; 6:30; Annual Meeting & Election of Board
Word From The Prez
by John Ritter
THANKS to all who visited Lake Edun during the month of July, especially those who volunteered to assist trimming, watering, raking beaches, tending the Barn, etc. July has been extremely hot and dry, so in August when the weather gets you down, why not come to the Lake to cool down and get wet? July was a very successful month and we look forward to the same in August. We do have three concerns. Bottles, butts and tents.
1. Recently we found several glass bottles in the trash containers. Glass in any form is not permitted at the Lake, regardless of how carefully it is disposed of.
2. Numerous cans and buckets are provided for the proper disposal of cigarette butts. If you smoke (as I do) please use the container so Volunteers, directors, officers and grounds keeper don't have to clean up after us. Non-smokers find this particularly disgusting!
3. For the convenience of members and visitors the Foundation permits tents to remain standing when in use. Tents left in one position more than three days kill the grass. Once dead, it is nearly impossible to get grass to grow again in these areas.
Please help to keep our "SPECIAL PLACE" beautiful and safe. Thanks for a very enjoyable July.
Report From the Chair
For the past couple of years, the Board of Directors has been listening to the membership and their concerns on a number of issues. As a consequence, at last month's meeting, three members were notified that they would not be permitted to renew their memberships.
For those who are not aware, every month membership renewals for the coming month are discussed and voted on. Usually this is routine. This month was not typical. However, the entire Board is committed to a membership that is in concert with the highest ideals of naturism. The result is that in the past two years membership has grown by over a third. I believe we are on the right path.
There will be a member forum on August 10th. If you have anything you wish to contribute about this or any other subject, please plan to be there.
Kudos From Suzie Q
This might be a month late, but the appreciation is heartfelt. I would like to give credit and say thanks to a few people who were most helpful during Return to Edun.
First, thanks to Ken and Kay for all they did to keep us safe during the festival. They were ever present and somehow managed to stay cheerful throughout. I'm not sure how they do it, but I'm glad they did. They are terrific.
Second, thanks to Diana (Carver Dave) and Barb (Don and Barb) for their help and support for a successful trail sale.
Finally, Sally deserves a big thanks for her help organizing activities and games. It's a task that seems to follow her every year whether she likes it or not, and she does a great job.
From The Mail Bag
Dear Lake Edun:
I wanted to write and tell you that my wife and I took advantage of your open house today at Lake Edun. We really enjoyed taking the tour. You have a very nice and clean facility. Our tourguide was Bret. We met Susie Q and other members. Everyone there was very welcoming and friendly. We did not stay past the 3 PM Open House period so we did not get nude - this time.
Before our visit my wife was very hesitant about visiting a naturist club and going nude. Our experience today has changed her mind as she (and me) discovered how nice the people are there and the ease with which the people at Lake Edun enjoy recreational nudity.
We will be back for a nude visit at a future time. We'll probably pick a weekend and come out for the day. My wife is now in favor of a return visit to enjoy our first nude recreation experience.
Your idea of making most of the grounds clothed from Noon to 3 PM was a brilliant idea to initiate wannabe nudists to the lifestyle. Without this introduction in such a non-threatening manner, I don't think I could have been able to get my wife to actually try it.
We're both looking forward to our return visit.
Actually, we'd like to come back at a time when the crowds may be a little less. The main reason my wife didn't want to get nude on this visit was because there was a large crowd at the (south) beach area. She didn't feel comfortable with that many people there and would like to try a return visit where we could start out with a little more seclusion and work her way up to being nude in a crowd.
If you could recommend a time (Saturday or Sunday?) or certain weekends when you might expect the crowds to be a little less, then that would be helpful. Once we break the ice and adjust to the nudity, then I'm sure it really won't matter. But the first time is always the hardest.
Thanks again for putting on such a great Open House!!
Dear Lake Edun:
Made it out on the 28th. Met a lot of great people, and had a wonderful time. It's a really nice facility for enjoying nudism in a natural setting. John and Marian were very gracious and welcoming. Please convey to them my thanks. I told her that I hated having to put my clothes back on and returning to home. Enjoyed visiting with a lot of new friends. I certainly hope to get back there soon. Thanks very much. - Gary
Items We Need
Polling For Winter Event
Recently, we received a suggestion that we plan a winter event for Eduners in Topeka. Based on the suggestions so far, it might shape up something like this:
We could reserve a complete floor of rooms at a local hotel. During the day, we could visit the Treasurers of the Czars which will be in town for about six months, arrange for a specially guided tour of the Kansas History museum, and investigate some other interesting but little-known sights in Topeka. Hopefully, the hotel would have a pool and we could easily schedule a sauna. Very rough calculations suggest this might work on a budget of $100-$150 per person for Eduners which would include the hotel, entrance to events, etc. It probably would not include most meals.
If you think the Foundation should work on such an event and that you would participate, please let us know. If there is enough interest, we will begin making arrangements. But, you need to express your interest soon to allow time to plan the activities.
Did You Stay In A Hotel?
We believe most Eduners either visit for the day or camp overnight. However, some prefer the comfort and service a hotel provides. Dee has discovered that the Topeka Convention and Visitor's Bureau is willing to assist our Foundation if we can show we bring Eduners to town who stay in hotels. Since their funding comes from the bed tax, this connect is logical
While we are not suggesting any Eduners go out of their way to stay in Topeka hotels, we are interested in cultivating the assistance and good will the Convention and Visitors Bureau might offer. To develop this relationship, we must keep track of the number of room nights Eduners are responsible for.
So ... If you have spent even one night in a hotel in Topeka this year, or if you do so in the future, please let us know. We will tally the total number of room-nights Eduners generate during a year. You can report your contribution to this tally at the barn or email your name and total number of nights to firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact us on both of these issues. We can not know about the issues of concern to our membership if you do not tell us! Write, call, email, or participate in the member forum on August 10.
Design Your Destiny: An Interview With Bill Quain, PhD
Author of 10 Rules to Break & 10 Rules to Make
Life, notes Bill Quain, can truly be great when you govern yourself by rules that work to your advantage. In this interview, Dr. Quain offers 10 "universal laws" that he feels are important to every human being.
1. Go out and claim what's already yours. People say, "I don't know if people like me can have this." But whatever you want is already yours. It's just that you haven't gone out and picked it up. You've been granted it already so go out and claim it.
2. Get the whole story. Most of us accept what unsuccessful people tell us. We stop short of getting all the facts and then we use it as an excuse. Don't talk to unsuccessful people about how to be successful.
3. Become UNequal. In this country we are all created equal. We're granted equality but that means equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. In many cases, being equal means being average. Challenge yourself to be unequal and put yourself ahead of the pack.
4. It's better to own half a watermelon than a whole grape. This one is for the control freaks in the group. If you keep control of everything you'll have a whole grape. But if you can let go and let other people help you, you won't have everyday control of everything, but whatever you have will be much bigger.
5. Make some bad decisions. People are so afraid of failing that they won't make decisions. The only way to make good decisions is to start out making bad ones. I'd rather someone make bad decisions than none at all. Eventually you will learn to make good decisions.
6. Develop X-ray vision. Learn to look through your challenges for the rewards. Obstacles are scary. If you focus on them you can't get around them, but if you look through them you'll see what's on the other side.
7. You are who your friends are. It's so simple: If your friends are stuck, then you're stuck. If you become friends with people who are moving on, so will you. I never advise people to get rid of their friends but if you change dramatically, some of your friends may eventually fall away.
8. Show what's in it for them. When trying to influence people, you have to show them what's in it for themselves and that their time will be well spent. No one ever gets tired of hearing about that. Tell them what's in it for them and then show them how to get it.
9. Go a little crazy. Why not? Being crazy is more fun. We take ourselves too seriously. I'd rather have people think I'm crazy, because eventually they may look at me and say they want to be crazy, too.
10. Enjoy the journey. People are so set on the end of the task; they forget that the journey towards the goal is where they'll find the meaning in life. If you live only for the reward, you're postponing so much of your life. What if you fail to attain that reward? Enjoy the journey because that's all you're going to get. The minute you make that decision, you're free of the things that hold other people back, and free of the things that tie you to your lack of success. Make the journey the goal.
What is the most important advice you can share?
Look around you. Find the people who are on the road with you, hold their hands and go with them. If you have that - friends and family on the journey with you - you're a wealthy person.
Legal Defense Fund Established
At its last meeting, the Board of Directors established a Legal Defense Fund and set a goal for it. This action was taken in recognition that, no matter what path we choose for the next year, in all likelihood, we will face legal challenges.
The Board of Directors is considering several courses of action for the next year: Hopefully, once the county understands the significant impact we have on tourism in and to Shawnee County, they will reconsider their opposition to our use of Lake Edun.
To insure we can successfully defend ourselves against these expected challenges, the board seeks to raise $15,000. At its last meeting, we transferred $5,000 raised through our Return to Edun celebration into this fund. Thus, we must raise an additional $10,000 for legal defense by year end.
Those interested in making a tax deductible donation may use the form at the end of this issue of Bare Facts. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. If a member has an idea for a fund-raising project, please bring it to a member of the Board.
Random Thoughts & Reflections
Naturists are wonderful people. In nearly six years of operation, we have received only two or three bad checks. However, in just the last month, we have received three more. As a result, the Board voted at their last meeting to institute a $30 charge for any checks returned unpaid.
Thanks, Darren, for the new cable spools. They are great and needed, as many of our old spools are badly deteriorating. Now, if someone has a large umbrella to put through the center, that would be terrific!
Lane and Rose saved their loose change for several days before their most recent visit. Upon arrival, they donated it to our legal defense fund. What a great idea. Thanks Lane and Rose!
Some Eduners enjoy riding their bicycles. Those from out-of-town may appreciate knowing about the Shunga bike trail. It extends across much of Topeka and can make for an enjoyable afternoon [clothed] ride. If you are interested in knowing more, ask at the barn.
While driving with my three young children one warm summer evening, a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my five-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!"
The Naked Truth About Nude Beaches
Intrepid reporter grimaces and bares it all
TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE
TANNIS TOOHEY/TORONTO STAR
The signs to Hanlan's Point are long and narrow. They point with confidence and strength, foreshadowing a woman's fears when walking toward a nude beach. THIS is the way to the place you will disrobe publicly, they proclaim. THIS is the way to the place where people will look at THOSE areas of your body. This is where you will see THOSE areas of theirs.
To many, Hanlan's Point would seem a soothing escape from the corporate warfare of downtown. Stepping off the ferry, you are swallowed by a rural landscape of blooming flowers, whispering trees and ducklings waddling in lines behind their mothers.
For me, it screams with anxiety.
I'm not sure what is more frightening - being naked before lots of people, or looking at the naked bodies of men without being able to react visibly.
What really induces stomach cramps though, is the thought of bumping into someone I know - especially if it should be one of those jerks from high school who always made me feel naked when fully clothed. Without pockets where would I hide my fidgeting fingers? That fear confronts me even before I leave the office for Toronto's ferry terminal at the bottom of Bay St.
It comes in the form of a phone call from Stééphane Deschêênes, president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.
"I've cancelled my afternoon appointments," he bellows enthusiastically. "I'll meet you at the docks." His good humor doesn't dissipate after we disembark and begin the 10-minute walk to the beach.
"It's liberating to be naked," he says happily, swinging his hands, oblivious to the doom we are treading towards. "It's like unleashing all the societal chains we have wrapped around our bodies."
Just past the tennis courts and down a small sandy path I am confronted, finally, with my task. There by the sign that reads, "You are entering a clothing optional area," a man is peeling his shorts off in the carefree manner of a 4-year-old. With one sweeping hand, he throws them up on his shoulder, and almost skips past the fence and onto the enclosed beach. I half expect him to flop down before a towering sandcastle and begin digging furiously.
Between him and Deschêênes, it's obvious these men don't share my anxiety about public nudity. For one, they have clearly been to the beach before and have grown accustomed to the feeling of fresh air and eyes on their more delicate parts. But, more importantly, they are men.
"Our society tells you as a woman the only time it's acceptable to take off your clothes in public is when you are paid for it," Deschêênes says. "In North America, in general, women are much more uncomfortable taking their clothes off than men. Here, if you take your clothes off it means you are a little loose of morals."
But the fears are deeper than that. They have to do with the parts of a woman's body she stares at intently before a bedroom mirror, wishing she could saw off or pump up.
"The major issue is we're not comfortable with our own bodies," says Jennifer, a curvaceous 35-year-old opera singer who began frequenting the beach with her husband last summer.
And then there is the fear of men. Walking naked onto a secluded beach to some women might feel like setting a dish of honey out in bear territory. You are just asking to be mauled.
For all of these and other reasons, Hanlan's clothing optional beach has been frequented by far more men than women since it opened as a pilot project three summers ago. Although increasing in numbers, only one in six of the bodies that regularly frolic along the crescent of sand belong to women. That becomes immediately obvious when I step out onto the sand.
It's 70 degrees in downtown Toronto, but with the wind whipping the lake up into frothy mix, the temperature by the lakeshore is cooled to a balmy 59. Only the most dedicated sun-worshipers and hard core naturists are out, speckling the dark sand with their bodies. There are 21 of them when we arrive. All of them are men.
The disproportional number of women is something Hanlan's Beach Naturists is trying to address. Since he founded the group of 40, Dave Flemming has dedicated thousands of hours to creating a family orientated atmosphere on the beach. He's set up a volleyball net, a bowling pitch and he can be regularly found at the picnic table by the beach's main entrance handing out pamphlets on clothing-optional etiquette.
"We want to promote the naturist environment as strictly non-sexual, so that it is a comfortable place for families, couples, friends and singles," he explains. He's not just talk.
Last summer, his penchant for monitoring behavior ruffled some feathers after he confronted a couple for making out on the beach. "They were doing something illegal and I would have phoned the police if they continued," he says. "The point is to keep the beach a safe and pleasant place for all people in society and every one must take action to ensure that."
When the half mile-long section on the west side of Centre Island was tentatively designated clothing-optional in 1999, many city councillors voiced concern over the corrupting effect it would have on societal mores. Councillor George Mammoliti was so disgusted, he ripped off his shirt in council chambers in protest.
Three years later, he has recanted his position.
Instead of inciting sexual activity, the beach has seen no more incidents reported to police than the "textile" beaches on the waterfront. It has brought a surge of new business to ferry operators - hot summer weekends, it teams with as many as 700 bodies, many times what's found on the clothed side of the fence.
"It's an unequaled success. It's gone beyond what I thought it would do," says Kyle Rae, the councillor who worked with a gay male nudist group to have the beach turned into a permanent clothing-optional facility. It is now the second official nude beach in Canada, after Vancouver's renowned Wreck Beach.
We head past Flemming's picnic table down on the side unofficially declared straight, and walk up to the far end of the beach into the heart of the gay section. Finding a spot more sheltered from the wind, we plonk down among 13 men. They vary from a youthful mid-20s to a more wizened 60. Most are lying pancake-like absorbing what little heat the sun will offer. Some leaf through books and a couple chat intimately together.
Three are fully clothed. The rest are stark naked. Creeping along the periphery is an older man in jeans and a coat. His eyes are hidden by the brim of his baseball hat and a pair of dark sunglasses.
"Of course there are gawkers here," Deschêênes says conspiratorially. "If you are young, well-built and attractive, people are going to look at you whether you are dressed or not."
From hard-core nudist Eddie King, I've learned it is easy to spot a first-time female nudist. "They're here for an hour and a half or two hours, and they take their top off," he explains, his skin dark and leathery from years of sunshine. "When they see nobody is paying attention to them, they take their bottoms off and feel better."
I'm determined not to be so noticeably awkward, especially next to Deschêênes who is already in the buff and talking animatedly about the uselessness of bathing suits. "Why would you want to wear a piece of clothing swimming? It doesn't keep you dry. It doesn't keep you warm. Does it really hide what your body looks like?"
I quickly whip off both ends, lie down, and press my body into the hot sand for both heat and imaginary protection. But no one around seems to take notice. The man beside me flips the page of his book casually as though lying beside a naked stranger is the most normal thing in the world.
The muscles in my legs begin to relax, and slowly, my breath slides down past my throat and into my lungs. The sky hasn't opened up to smite me down. I begin to feel a little less like a skinned frog on a laboratory tray, and more like just an ordinary frog.
"It's one thing to lay down naked. It's another to get up and walk around," says Deschêênes smiling.
Right! I fill my abdomen with air and stand quickly. I will walk the whole length of the beach from one end to another alone, determined to confront my fear and to test the atmosphere. Will I feel objectified? Will people stare blatantly at me? Will I see anyone else I know?
I'll admit it - I might have kept a concrete grip on Deschêênes' eyes while interviewing him, but my gaze becomes more exploratory from a distance. I soak in all the folds of bodies around me - the baggy ones, the buff ones, the tattooed ones, the - Oh My God - really, really large ones.
Later, I ask Deschêênes about men's insecurities of being publicly measured. "What men most fear is getting an erection," he says without a hint of embarrassment. "I've never seen it happen."
On one end of the beach two older men are talking animatedly. One is wearing a straw hat and is gripping his bare hips with each hand. Neither looks up when I pass. In fact, I am so ignored it's almost insulting. I get more vibes around the buffet table of a waffle house.
"I don't get the impression its about sex. It's more about communing with nature - being out there and being free," says Jennifer, for whom summer only comes once she's been skinny dipping. "Total nakedness is not erotic. There's no mystery without clothing."
The real reason she comes here is the same as most naturists - to feel the sun, wind and water brushing against her skin. "The most fundamental reason is that it feels good," Deschêênes observes.
I definitely feel the wind - its biting grip on my body has raised the hair on my arms, among other things. I muster the courage to wade into the water to my knees. I will feel the sun on my shoulders and chest the next morning, when I awake, rosy in bed.
Mostly, I can feel the grip of sand between my toes with each determined step. But, that I could feel with a bathing suit. Deschêênes promises me it gets easier with time - I have years of socialization to wash away, after all. Once I can run down the beach naked and catch a Frisbee, then I will earn the title of "naturist."
I smile at that thought, and look up at the skyline in the distance. That could take some time and layers of skin.