Bare Facts
Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
May 1, 2002

Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: Website:

Return To Edun/10 - Around The Corner

Some Eduners don't realize that three remarkable events occur on the weekend of June 21-23. Return to Edun, the major annual fundraiser sponsored by LEF is one. The other two are the Summer Solstice, and a full moon. With this much going on, it will be an amazing weekend!

If you have not yet received your advance tickets to Return to Edun/10, save yourself some money. The advance ticket price is only $75/single or $90/couple. Tell your friends; bring a group to experience this truly unique event. If you have not attended Return to Edun in the past, it is an experience you will not forget; if you have enjoyed the celebration before, share the experience with your friends this year. But, order your tickets NOW!

Check out our new RtE web site. Libby spent some time redesigning it. From the Lake Edun web site, click on Return to Edun. A Return to Edun brochure is enclosed with this issue of Bare Facts. You may use the order form at the end of this issue or the one included with the brochure. Remember: Members may order advance tickets for half price. However, everyone pays full price at the gate.

May Is Busy Outreach Month

Between Coffee Shop Talks and Open Houses [See related article on Page 2], those interested in learning more about Naturism have many opportunities.

Dee has already completed two very successful coffee shop talks and still has one more scheduled for May 8. Typically, these talks do not attract a large crowd, but those who come often visit our special place. This year, one newcomer has come to each of our coffee shop talks to learn more about Naturism. Already one of those has visited our special place. The other used to frequent Lake Henry. We expect to see him much more.

We all have friends, acquaintances, and business associates who have inquired about or made comments concerning Naturism. A flier for our Open Houses is enclosed. If you are reluctant to identify yourself with Lake Edun, just drop the flier on the desk of a co-worker. If you need more just ask. Or, if you prefer, we can send them an email

If you wife or girl friend has not joined you at Lake Edun, suggest she come to the coffee shop talk. It is held in a very public area and she will feel "safe". This is one of our ways of getting the word out about the benefits of living a clothing-free lifestyle. Help us spread the word to those close to you.

We have one final coffee shop talk scheduled for May 8 from 6-8pm at The Buzz in Brookwood Shopping Center on 29th St. We have three open houses coming up: Saturday, May 18; Sunday, June 9; and Saturday, July 13. Either event is a great way for your friends to learn about Lake Edun and Naturism. And, if you visit The Buzz, be sure to tell them you appreciate their support for Naturism.

Return To The 60's!

Our annual 60's weekend is coming up May 24-27. As is customary for this special event, you can expect great oldies, and wonderful food. Unfortunately, we just learned that the tie-die activity which usually accompanies this event must be rescheduled for July because Vicki, our tie-die expert, seriously injured her fingers on one hand.

This last minute and very unexpected change of plans will force our Social Committee to make some new plans for the weekend. However, at this point, you can expect Saturday will be the first visit of the season for many Eduners. Listen to 60's music and enjoy the lake. We have made lots of improvements. Take time to see what has changed. If you have special taps or CD's to share, be sure to bring them. We will feast on a fabulous LEF potluck Saturday evening. Plan on your appetite kicking in about 5. If you are unable to bring a dish to share, make a $5 contribution to our legal defense fund.

Sunday, which was to have been the tie-die day will be a complete surprise. Watch your email or perhaps we will post a schedule on the barn, or just come out and be pleasantly surprised by what the Social Committee puts together on short notice. The tie-die event will be rescheduled, probably for the period around the Fourth of July.

Monday we will relax under the LEF sun and, if the water is warm enough, test the lake. Memorial Day Weekend is always one of the best events of the year. Plan to share it with your family and friends. If your children have not joined you at Lake Edun, remind them that it is clothing-optional for minors. Don't miss this traditionally fun-filled weekend at Lake Edun.


Activities designated HN are sponsored by Heartland Naturists

May 8; Wed; 6-8; Coffee Shop Talk at the Buzz

May 11; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting

May 11; Sat; 1-5; Work Day

May 11; Sat; 5-6; Membership Forum

May 11; Sat; 6-8; Sauna

May 17; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in Kansas City

May 17-19; Bare to Breakers Run in San Francisco

May 18; Sat; 12-3; Open house

May 18; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire

May 19; Sun; 1-5; Work Day

May 25; Sat; 60's Party

May 26; Sun; Tie Dye Party

June 1; Sat; 12-4; Work Day

June 1; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire

June 8; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting

June 8; Sat; Wedding Vows

June 8; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire

June 9; Sun; 12-3; Open House

June 15; Sat; Dusk; Friendship Fire

June 21-23; Return to Edun/10

July 8-14; Nude Recreation Week

Report From the Chair

by Bornnude

The Board of Directors has been working hard this year to make it the best year ever at Lake Edun. You can see the tangible evidence of that by just walking around our special place. However, as hard as we try, and as much as we think we know, it is always good to touch base with our membership to make sure we are on the right track. That is why we hold periodic Membership Forums.

We will hold our second Forum of the year from 5-6 on May 11, just before the sauna. This is our chance to share our plans with you and to answer your questions or address your concerns. Take time to participate in this Forum. It is a good way to keep up on our plans for the future.

A Boy's Rite Of Passage

by Chuck H.

For thousands of years and in every culture of the world, there has been a Rite of Passage for boys. It is usually a perceived near death experience or at least a very tough challenge designed to test a boy (physically, mentally, emotionally, morally and spiritually). When the challenge has been met - there is a celebration and festive dance publicly proclaiming that this Boy should now be considered by all to be a Man. The concept works great - although the (new) Man sometimes slips back to the Boy. But he is still learning. Even in Western Europe until about 100-150 years ago, boys endured their Rite of Passage by serving as an apprentice to a craftsman.

In our society, we have moved away from this Rite of Passage. However, the truth is, the need for a Rite of Passage still exists. It is a very primitive need - something out of our control. Because of this primitive need, some would argue boys still go through a Rite of Passage on their own. In my opinion, irresponsible use of drugs, or alcohol, reckless driving or engaging in other high-risk activities are done to satisfy this inner need without being aware of it.

In societies that utilize a Rite of Passage, a knowledgeable elder would recognize the need for this milestone in a youthful individual. He would then counsel and prepare the youth for the challenge, in every way possible. Adults in our modern society need to learn how to step up and become the elders that these youth need in order to learn to be Men.

I found a great summer camp in New Hampshire that seems to be based wholly on this mix of native traditions, practices, customs, and ceremonies. It combines these native strengths with a ropes course and all the standard aquatics programs. And, this year the camp is moving more toward a naturist friendly atmosphere.

If you know a youth interested in learning about tracking and wilderness survival skills in addition to some wonderful native-American traditions, they should investigate in New Hampshire. It can be a fantasy summer actually living the traditions established by Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

For additional information, contact Chuck at Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601

Don't Keep Our Open Houses A Secret!

An Open House is an opportunity for those interested to satisfy their curiosity about Naturism. Along with our other outreach activities, open houses are an important way for others to learn about Lake Edun and the benefits Naturism can bring to their lives.

During an open house, guests may talk with Eduners and look around at our beautiful facility. All their questions will be answered. Because everyone is dressed, it is all done in a relaxed, unpressured atmosphere. This removes the concern a newcomer might have about seeing or reacting to nudity.

We have three Open Houses scheduled: Saturday, May 18; Sunday, June 9; and Saturday, July 13. All open houses last from Noon until 3 pm. From 3 until 5, the dress code becomes Clothing-Optional. After 5, we expect everyone to be unclothed. This schedule provides an opportunity for everyone to acclimate to Naturism at their own speed. If they like Lake Edun, they may remain after 3 pm but are not required to disrobe until 5.

A flier for our open houses is enclosed. Be sure to tell your friends and acquaintances about these events. It is a great chance for them to learn about Lake Edun and Naturism.

LEF Provides Setting For Ethics Class

Mary, who first came to our special place as a child with her mother, is now a student at Allen County Community College. When she noticed an upcoming chapter on Naturalism, she volunteered to bring her class to Lake Edun.

Nearly 20 students gathered at our special place to learn first-hand about something only three had ever experienced prior. After a presentation that covered Naturism from various perspectives, they had an opportunity to look around and ask questions. Most had never though about the historical aspects of Naturism; they did not realize that nudism has played a major roll in most of the great religions of the world; and most important, they did not realize how important Naturism is in childhood development.

We were pleased to host this class and look forward to the chance to explain Naturism to others involved in the academic arena.

Items We Need

In Memory Of Bryan Wilson

by Dee Merrifield

Anyone who had the opportunity to meet Marian's brother, Bryan should consider themselves very fortunate. He was a sweet, gentle soul. I met him at Bruce and Joann's Christmas party when he came with Chuck & Marian. Right away, I found him so easy to talk with. In the short time that Bryan came out to our special place, he made many new friends who will truly miss him. Bryan died April 19 of lung cancer.

Open Letter To Jim Cates

by Webb Garlinghouse

I appeared recently on the Jim Cates show again. Jim hosts a good and well-respected morning call-in talk radio show for the Topeka market. Appearing with Jim has become an annual event for me. He tends to be fairly conservative but claims to have strong libertarian leanings. Generally, his interviews are conducted in an objective manner and he avoids sensational or prurient topics. In this appearance we touched on a number of subjects including zoning, upcoming events, and other topics of interest to most listeners. Jim made the point that he personally has no problem with adults going to Lake Edun, but has a problem with children at our special place.

Dear Jim,

As always, it was a pleasure to join you on your show. You expressed concern about our policy of encouraging families to use Lake Edun. I will attempt to address your concerns.

Since this is a subject prone to mis-interpretation and misunderstanding, it is surprising it has not received more study from the academic community. We have published the results of four studies that have been done. You may find them in the Peckenpaugh brochure. They speak clearly and with force: children's exposure to adult non-sexual nudity is not only not harmful, it appears to be beneficial. I have seen a few additional studies since this brochure was printed. Of all the studies on this subject that I have seen, all indicate such exposure is either benign or beneficial. I am not aware of a single study done with benefit of scientific controls that indicates such exposure is harmful to children or their development. If you know of one, please share it with me. (If you do not still have a copy of the Peckenpaugh brochure, please let me know and I will send you one.)

I find this research so convincing that I believe any parent who denies their child the benefits naturism offers are guilty of withholding something basic and beneficial to their child's development.

But, even more important, I believe, is the values issue. As parents we do a great deal to shape our children's values. We force them to go to our church; we approve of (or not) their friends; we teach them to either enjoy or scorn hunting, fishing, and sports. Many of the choices we make for our children others might consider controversial.

Naturism is one such choice. As one who claims to have libertarian leanings, I am amazed you would seek to deny any parent the right to pass along to their children those values they hold most dear. Since it is not easy to be a practicing Naturist in our society, it is obvious to me that anyone willing to embrace this lifestyle must consider it extremely important. I think we would agree fundamentalist Christians, Jews or Moslems may impart their values to their children; or sports enthusiasts may instill their passion in their children. We also recall how passionate believers and sports fans have brought suffering to others. If we support this right of parents, we, as parents, should be allowed to have our children join us at Lake Edun.

Perhaps you raise this issue on behalf of listeners who are unable to separate Naturism from sex. Unable to recognize the benefits research confirms, some people continue to harp on the nudity & children issue. Such people, I believe, either have fantasies they are unable to address or carry demons inflicted upon them by others long ago. In either case, I do not believe it is productive or beneficial for us to attempt to address their hang-ups.

The Highway Clean-Up

April 20, four determined Eduners gathered to make our mark on our portion of I-470. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say we were working to remove the mark left by many others. LEF has committed to keeping about a mile of this road free from trash and litter.

Weather on the 20th was cool and looked like rain. As a result, not as many Eduners were on hand to assist as in the past. However, as it turned out, the weather was perfect for our task. It was cool and the grass was dry! Doug, Dee, Heather and Webb worked until about Noon and completed clean-up on the north side of the highway. We will be scheduling another clean-up soon to complete the other side. If you are available, plan on joining the crew. With enough volunteers, the task is not difficult and shows the community we are committed to making improvements. Watch your email for the date.

Factual Haulover Update

by Dave from Omaha

I read your article on Haulover Beach in this month's [April, 2002] Bare Facts with some interest. I've been going there a couple of times a year for the last five years or so. I fully agree with the message you're sending about the popularity, and economic benefit, of naturism (and wish Shawnee County would hear that message). But, between you and me, unless something has changed since I was last there in November, it hasn't grown in the five years I've been going.

There apparently are plans to expand the c/o section to the south, as part of a redevelopment project for all of Haulover Park. The details, and the political background (which is interesting reading in its own right), are a frequent topic in Haulover Digest, an e-mail newsletter for Haulover aficionado's. You can subscribe at ...

I'm going to Haulover next week; if it has grown, I'll let you know.

. . . .

Here's an update...

Haulover is the same size that it was when I first went there five years ago.

I had a nice chat with the folks from South Florida Free Beaches at their information booth at the beach on Sunday. Richard Mason (one their founders, and their principal lobbyist) told me that an expansion of the clothing optional section to the south has been approved by Dade County as part of a development plan for Haulover Park. He thought work should start on extending the visual barriers to the south within the next month or so, and a 750-foot expansion of the c/o section should be open this summer.

Random Thoughts & Reflections

We have planted grass seed on several trails and some other areas at our special place. If you see that a trail is roped off, please do not go around the barrier. Give the grass an opportunity to take root. It is a small sacrifice now for a summer of improved beauty.

We are still in need of a new lawn mower to take some of the load off our sole work-horse. If you have a large riding mower you no longer use, talk to a member of the board about arrangements you can make with our Foundation.

DNA tests done on blood found at the site of Jon Mills accident did not match Jon's. Thus, the investigation into his death has been re-opened. Contributions to his reward fund may be instrumental in solving this case.

Its time to change our lock again. Members will find a new combination enclosed with this issue of Bare Facts. The new combination will be effective after May 6.

Return to Edun/10

June 21-23

Work Day Workers Work Wonders

We have completed several work days already this spring and the results are evident already. Some of the major projects completed include repairs to the overflow tube on the dam to patch several leaks, reworking Carver's Crossing, redirecting water run off over South Beach to prevent water from washing the sand away, and planting about 300 trees. Not bad for the beginning of May!

Of course, we continue to seed our trails and meadows to maintain the beautiful setting we all enjoy. Many Eduners have contributed to the effort this Spring. Bret, Mike from Lincoln, John, Heather, ... have all been unselfish in their assistance. Most notable for his effort and creativity is ptMike who works tirelessly and always seems to come up with a new, improved way of solving the challenges we face.

If you haven't visited our special place recently, be sure to come out soon to see the changes and admire the lake in the Spring. Spring rains have filled the lake and, with the repairs, its more likely to remain full. Thanks to all the Eduners who have helped so far this Spring. If you are interested in assisting, come out for one of the few remaining scheduled work days or schedule a project with ptMike.

The Naturalist Naturist

By Biology Bill

A few thoughts on plants and growth as we finally get some rain and watch the grass green up and the weeds grow like mad:

If you've ever tried to take care of a lawn or a flower garden, you will have noticed that plants have a number of different growth strategies. In this column I'll mention the main strategies, and give a few examples of plants that use each one.

(1) Warm season annuals. These are plants that germinate from seed sometime in the spring or summer, flower during the warm part of the year, and completely die at or before the first frosts of autumn. In your backyard, plants like ragweed and sunflowers take this strategy. Many popular garden plants use this strategy as well, such as zinnias, petunias, impatiens, pansies, and others. Occasionally a lucky annual will live through the winter and continue to grow the next year, as did some dianthus in our flower gardens.

(2) Early season annuals. Like the warm season annuals, these plants live only one season, but they live at an entirely different time of year. Early season annuals germinate from seeds in the fall, and generally over-winter as a rosette (a very small plant with 2-5 leaves that stays semi-dormant during the cold season). Because they already have leaves by late winter, these plants have a head start on all others when things warm up early in the spring. Some of the weeds that first grow in bare spots in lawns in the spring take this strategy, as does winter wheat.

(3) Perennials (bulbs). A group of popular garden plants generate shoots from underground tubers in the spring, flower, and then go dormant again by early sum-

mer. Typical examples include daffodils, crocuses, lilies, hyacinths. Non-garden plants also take this strategy, for instance the wild onions which pop up in your lawns in spring. Most of these plants completely disappear from above ground by the time it gets hot.

(4) Perennials (yearly). Many plants regenerate from roots or tubers, but don't try to avoid the heat or the light competition like bulbs do. All lawn grasses that people plant do this, as do common old-field plants like goldenrod and aster. An assortment of garden plants that are used primarily for foliage take this strategy as well, such as hostas. There are also plants that come up from roots every other year, or flower one year and grow foliage the next; these are called biannuals.

(5) Woody plants. You will recognize these, of course, as plants that do not completely withdraw to the ground level in the winter. Instead, they let their leaves fall off in the winter (frosts kill leaves anyways, and leaves catch snow and ice and lead to broken limbs) and try to protect the growth points inside hard, insulating wood. Trees, shrubs, rose bushes, poison ivy, and many other well known plants do this. Some woody plants have specialized leaves that are cold-tolerant and do not freeze, such as red cedar and pine trees, but these plants are not commonly native to our area.

That about does it for the basic list of plant life history strategies. The next time you're out and about looking at plants or doing some gardening, think about when your favorite plant started to grow for the season, how long it stays active, and where on the plant it starts growing new leaves.

Uncovered Opinions

By Dave Bitters

You've probably heard the old cliché, "We're all born nude." Sometimes this appears in the conditional form, "If God had intended us to be nude we'd have been born that way."

Some advocates use this argument to justify the naturist/ nudist experience. But since we all are born nude, in reality this statement says nothing about God's intentions at all. Indeed, some claim that God most emphatically did not intend for us to be nude.

Let's face it. The transition to clothes-freedom and body acceptance can be difficult. Most of us didn't grow up in clothes-freedom; we came to it by choice. Think about your first naturist/nudist experience. Likely you were motivated by the conflicting emotions of curiosity and fear. But once you made the commitment you may have been amazed at how easy it was. You probably found that nakedness in front of others really isn't a big deal in an accepting environment.

Most Americans haven't yet made the transition to clothes-freedom. Some say, "It's okay by me if you like it but I wouldn't want to do that (or couldn't)." Maybe they say this because they're self-conscious - or because they think it's a bit odd.

Others claim that public nudity is immoral, or that they don't object to it - as long as it's not in their back yard. Still others may object without offering any reason at all. They just don't like the idea.

During the 1990s the Naturist Action Committee and other organizations supportive of body acceptance fought hard to keep state and local governments from enacting legislation making recreational and social nudity a crime. At the state level the track record in defeating these initiatives was very good.

At the local level the story has been different. City and county governing bodies tend to be small and to reflect the views of their most conservative constituents. So when a group of concerned citizens urges them to take a stand against public nudity, they're only too glad to oblige. Probably they've had no direct experience with it as participants, so enacting a prohibition is an easy sell. Often they act so quickly that opponents don't know what's afoot until too late.

This happened in Leavenworth County. In August, 2000 the commissioners of Leavenworth County passed an anti-nudity resolution ostensibly aimed at strip clubs. But it was so broadly worded it applied to nudity under virtually all circumstances, not only on public property but also on private property to which the public might have access. Effectively the commissioners outlawed strip clubs and nudist parks at once, though the prohibition against the latter was an unintended consequence. The law has difficulty distinguishing between sexual entertainment and activities that might lead to personal growth and enlightenment.

In October, 2001 the commission denied the Gaea Retreat Center renewal of its conditional use permit. One of the major issues was that the camp permitted recreational nudity, in violation of the county ordinance. In fact, as a part of the proceedings the county attorney reversed a prior opinion he'd written in which he said the ordinance didn't apply to the camp.

In Shawnee County, Lake Edun has been the target of numerous attempts by proximate neighbors and others to end the nude activities that take place there. These attempts include petitions to the county zoning board and even an initiative in February, 2000 to have the state legislature declare nudist camps public nuisances. One opponent asserted that she was even afraid to let her grandchildren visit her because of the proximity of their property to Lake Edun. [Interestingly, her 18-year-old grandson is the one accused of trying to blow up Royal Valley High School. Perhaps she should have brought him across the street to Lake Edun.]

As with the Gaea Retreat Center, Lake Edun faces the prospect of closure by zoning - through denial of a conditional use permit. In both cases a central issue involves the use of private land for naturist activities. It boils down to a conflict between those who have experience of nude recreation and those who haven't and don't like it. While county commissioners and zoning boards may or may not personally dislike recreational and social nudity, it's unlikely that many of them have had direct experience with it. They bring this bias to the table with them. Nor would it be ethical to force them to strip at a naturist place to find out for themselves.

In the heartland the toehold of nude recreation is tenuous at best. The only sure way to ensure the continuation and success of this activity is for everyone involved to become an ambassador of goodwill, to speak openly and honestly about it with friends, neighbors, politicians. This is difficult, because most people still are uncomfortable with the idea of undressing in front of others. So they tend to view those who aren't suspiciously - as odd at best and possibly as deviants or criminals. The idea that they might be normal and even a bit more self-assured than most is difficult to sell. Doing so involves taking risks, "outing" oneself, so to speak.

Nude recreation may not be for everyone. But those who would argue that it ought to be for no one and would have this written into law are as obscene and immoral as they might claim naturists and nudists to be. Our culture loses something important when its lawgivers deny people the right to find out for themselves. The therapeutic nature of nudist parks has been well documented. One wonders how many lives they've saved because of the life-affirming environment they provide.

At the same time, the experiences of Lake Edun and the Gaea Retreat Center suggest no nudist park is immune from capricious closure orders by county zoning boards or county commissions. If enough neighbors say "not in my back yard," these political bodies will feel obligated to act. And they're composed of people who are disinclined to give much weight to the naturist viewpoint. They need to be educated. It's up to all of us to do this.

From The Mail Bag

Dear Lake Edun:

I recently took my father out to Lake Henry (the former nudist lake by Clinton Lake) to do some fishing. As we were walking around the lake, we were talking about all the trash that was laying around such as beer cans, empty bait jars, etc. He asked me, "Did you know that this used to be a nudist place awhile back?" I told him I had heard something to that effect.

He then told me that one of his golfing buddies used to work for the Corp of Engineers and it was his job to patrol Lake Henry. He told my father that while the nudists were at Lake Henry, there wasn't a bit of trash to be found. He said they picked up after themselves and never caused a bit of trouble! My father then looked around and said, "Now look at this place. Nothing but a mess". - Now what does that tell everyone! - Dave O.

Dear Lake Edun:

Some thoughts in response to Overland Park's proposed anti-nudity ordinance:

1) I can remember a law proposed in the state of Georgia some 20-odd years ago, that would have made it a crime to appear nude in front of strangers. It was suggested that an exception be made for babies, who are born that way.

2) I used to pose nude for art classes at Johnson County Community College. I guess if the new law passes, artists' models will have to be partially draped. This partial covering actually instills the idea in the minds of all class participants that there is something shameful about the nude human form. If that's the case, then why has it been the subject matter of art for centuries?

3) Although I now lift my weights at home, I used to do so at The Athletic Club of Overland Park. I guess if the new law passes, we'll all have to shower in our swim trunks or in raincoats. No doubt, private cubicles will have to be installed in the locker room, to accommodate changing - so that we don't appear naked in front of one another.

That means the locker rooms will have to be 3 times as big as they now are - meaning there will be less room in the facility for its intended purpose - namely working out.

--Bill P., Jr.