Copyright 1999 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc

Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc          May 1, 1999

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


A Naturist in Costa Rica
By Biology Bill

When I learned that I was accepted into a program to travel to Costa Rica this winter with 24 other biologists, I knew that I was going to be visiting a lot of really hot places with occasional opportunities to go swimming on beautiful tropical beaches and in scenic swimming holes underneath impressive waterfalls.  I was going to be living, sometimes under rough conditions, with this group continuously for two months.  Whether it was in a swimming hole, the bathroom, or a bunkhouse, individual views on modesty and/or casual nudity would become relevant sooner rather than later.  I hadn't thought seriously about how or whether to tell the group that I was a naturist, but it was inevitably going to be revealed somehow.  How would people react to seeing others dress and undress?  Would I have to wear a swimsuit when bathing with the group? What would the views of the local people be?  The following article describes the developing views of my companions regarding modesty, skinny-dipping, and casual nudity.

The information packet I received from the program was not encouraging: it stated that in most places in Latin America nudity is probably a stronger cultural taboo than in the United States.  In order to be cautious and to avoid possible legal problems in a foreign country we should never consider going nude on any beach no matter how secluded it appears, it said.  As the purpose of this program was to visit areas of interest to

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Here it is May already.  Yeah, warm weather, time to get out to the Lake and do some swimming, camping, volleyball, and a luau! It's that time of year again.  I will be sponsoring the Luau this year.  I will provide hamburgers, and hot dogs.  I'm asking everyone to bring a side-dish.  I'm gonna start grilling the hamburgers and hot dogs around 6p.m. so bring a covered dish and come ready to do the limbo!  (Also, maybe if we ask nicely and give him puppy dog eyes, Bobby will bring some barbecued chicken!)

Plans for Return to Edun are going well.  Please remember to get your tickets early.  From what I understand, requests for tickets are coming in fast!  I look forward to another great Return to Edun!  If anybody would like to help out with RTE7, please see Vickie, our Social Director, for what else needs to be done for this event.

Return To Edun 7
June 25-27, 1999

Are you a free spirit?
Are you ready for a weekend of Sun, Fun and great Music?  Plan on attending Return to Edun 7 June 25-27, 1999.  Your return to Edun committee is planning a fabulous weekend just for you! We have even put in a request for a perfect  weather (we haven't gotten any answer on that one yet though).

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biologists, we were not going to be visiting those few places where money from foreign tourists has led local people to tolerate nudity.  While preparing for the trip, I resigned myself to the idea that I would spend two months in tropical climates but would have to stay fully clothed at all times.

However, as the trip began I realized that issues surrounding nudity and modesty would be pertinent after all.  I was going to be with the same group of biologists around the clock for two months.  A certain familiarity was inevitable; everyone would sleep in large bunkrooms, and bathroom facilities were not to be segregated by gender (although with individual stalls for showers).  People were bound to see each other in various stages of dress and undress.  We were also going to be in highly secluded places like biological reserves and remote national parks, so there weren't going to be many other people around when it was time to go swimming.  Once I got to know them, it seemed like I might be able to get my co-travelers to accept some casual nudity.

For the first week of my trip, we visited a high-altitude cloud forest.  There were no places to swim, and the cool days and chilly nights made clothes a logical necessity.  The next week, however, we visited a seasonal dry forest site where it was truly hot.  When working in the forest and fields I certainly needed to protect myself from ants, thorns, and biting flies, but in camp there was no obvious need for clothes other than to adhere to social custom.  I usually wore a pair of shorts, but nothing else because of the heat.  It was hard to have to wear clothes in a place that was as natural and as hot as Lake Edun in the summer!  Additionally, it was very hot at night, so it was untenable to feel required to wear clothes or to cover myself up while I was in bed.  I decided to make my companions aware that I was not concerned about body consciousness by warning them I was

not going to make an unnecessary effort to hide myself while changing my clothes, sleeping, or using the bath facilities.  A few of my ompanions were a little surprised the first time they briefly saw me nude in the bunkhouse, but they soon accepted it, or simply turned their heads.  Using a little discretion, I had made it clear to the others that I considered mere nudity to be unthreatening and natural.

After a few days, on a hike a large number of dirty, hot people found themselves in front of a very inviting swimming hole without any swimsuits!  By the looks on peoples' faces, they did not know how much of their clothing to take off- some local people were swimming there, so they were concerned about offending them.  Most of my group quickly stripped down to underwear and jumped in, except for a few who jumped in fully clothed!  Soon I noticed that those who had been swimming in all of their clothes had removed most of them.  They had come to the rather obvious conclusion that (some) modesty is in conflict with practicality!  Once all of the locals went home, I decided to take the plunge.  I wrung out my boxer shorts and left them on the bank (they were consistently slipping off in the water, and I wanted them to dry for the trip back).  A few people were curious about what I would do when it was time to get out of the water, but nobody gave any objections to swimming with a nude person.  When it was time to leave, I casually climbed out of the water, dried off, and put my clothes back on.  While getting dressed, I had a conversation in which I explained that swimming nudewas logical to me- there is no practical reason to need a suit, and carrying a wet one home is a bother!  Several people seemed to agree that this made some sense, and two women simply turned their backs to exchange their wet bras for their dry shirts.
At two other study sites, there were convenient and secluded swimming areas.  I went swimming at least a dozen times, and only once wore a swimsuit due to the presence of


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unfamiliar people. The first few times I asked if anyone would be offended, but nobody ever objected.  Except for one fellow who regularly said things like "I should have placed a bet that he would lose his shorts!" all of my companions readily accepted that I would swim in the nude.  Several other people went skinny-dipping with me at one time or another on the trip, but the conditions under which they were willing to do it were interesting.  One clique of people swam nude only at night and only with each other for moral support.  They considered it to be a very adventurous game, only done to cap off a social evening.  Several others swam nude with me during the day when they had no swimsuits, but invariably would bring a suit when heading out from camp specifically to go swimming.  As far as I knew only one other woman initiated group nudity, but despite a complete lack of body shame she still felt that bathing nude required spontaneity to be appropriate.
In all, after the first week I was known within the group as the resident nudist, and participated in a couple of discussions in which I described the naturist clubs I have visited.  In a hot, humid climate where no dryer machines were available, the logic that it is comfortable not to wear clothing in hot weather and inconvenient to have to deal with wet bathing attire was indisputable.  At one time I had an extended conversation at the edge of the Pacific with the course coordinator (an associate faculty member at a major U.S. university) during which she completely ignored the fact that I was fully nude.  However, I never felt that I had sufficient acceptance to be fully nude except while swimming and none of my companions showed any real interest in naturism.  Nevertheless they all accepted or tolerated some nudity in others, and many realized that at least under field conditions extreme modesty is impractical.  For myself I learned that some non-naturists

can tolerate or even accept casual nudity, an that in the right context I can safely and confidently discuss naturism with others.  From this experience, I hope that I have developed more confidence in discussing the benefits of naturism with my friends and colleagues.


* A subscription to our quarterly journel, Nude & Natural, the highly acclaimed publication on Naturism in the world.

* Membership card, which gains admittance and discounts at hundreds of Naturist clubs throughout the world.

* The Naturist Network. Contact information for affiliate groups, clubs & special interest groups listed in each issue of Nude & Natural.

* Discounts on most items available through The Skinny-Dipper Shop, includes books, magazines, clothing, accessories, etc.

* Regional gatherings.  Members receive advance information and discounts on admission.

* Membership dollars help support TNS' political action affiliates - Naturist Action Committee and Naturist Education Foundation.


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Those of you who have attended in the past know to expect lots and lots of fun.  Those of you who haven't attended should look forward to lots and lots of fun.

This year on Friday night we have an evening packed with events.  The band Puddle will be playing.  They combine great vocals with guitar riffs that will surely keep us rocking.  We are also going to have
Karaoke with our very own president Dizzy as the KJ.

On Saturday the bands start at about 1pm with four great groups to keep our fingers snapping and toes tapping until about midnight.  We are excited to have Frank Ace with Big Woody Blues, Julia Surrendered,
Blue88 and Good Advice playing for this year.  One of the bands-Julia Surrendered- has been nominated for a Klammie (a regional music award),  We wish them the best.

Also on Saturday, we will be having lots of other activities.  Of course we will have swimming, volleyball and bocce ball, we are also planning lots of other fun for the day including body painting with the sheets like last  year.  If anyone has any suggestions of activities, let me know and I will pass them on to the activites committee.

The RTE-7 committee has put lots and lots of hard work into the event this year and I know everyone will have a great time.  Hope to see you there!

Vickie Knueppel
Chairperson, RTE-7


I must admit, I played hooky from work the other day.  It was a Friday afternoon, the weather was great, so I packed up my paperwork, and snuck out the door.  Destination: Lake Edun.  I got out there and nobody else was there.  Yes! Peace and quiet at last.  It was nice and quiet, and very relaxing too. Just what I needed after a week of chaos.
As I'm laying on the dock letting sun soak into my skin, think to myself, this is what Lake Edun is all about.  No other place in this area is quite as relaxing (unless, of course, you have your own personal masseuse who is accessible at your request!)
I really look forward to playing hooky more often this summer. (If I'm missing from work, don't tell my boss where I am ok?  She might give me more work to do!)


The talks at the coffee shop did not go over as well as I had hoped. Lew Covell, myself and various other members of Lake Edun and Heartland spent the month of March in Westport Coffeehouse.  Besides the good
conversation to be had amongst friends, there were two single people and a couple that showed up the third week of the talks.  Lew and Laura talked to them about Lake
Edun and Heartland.  Lew invited them all to the Heartland Swim that Friday, the 19th.  Some of them showed up at the swim and seemed to enjoy themselves.  So if you meet any of these people, please be sure to extend a warm welcome to them!  Once again, thank you to all of you who came out to show your support for Lake Edun and Heartland.

Editors Note: Until the cutoff date for advance tickets, members may recieve their tickets at half-price.  Tickets this year will be $45/single and $55/couple in advance ($10 more at the gate).  Parking will be $5/vehicle.


From Our
Mail Bag

one woman, I did not have wild sexual feelings; on the contrary, I felt more normal than I had for some time.  I will go back!  As with most things in my life, the "anticipation"
of that one ground breaking moment caused me intense feelings of fear and turmoil.  However after breaking thru those feelings, my reward was a peeling away of layers of stimgas and pretnese I did not even know I had. I felt accepted just the way God made me!  I no longer had to worry about how I looked or trying to build an image that gave me confidence.  It was great to just be me!

- Naked & loving it!    Steve G.


Just received the April issue, my first!  I am overwhelmed by the wonderful sense of community and friendliness that comes across in your newsletter.  I haven't been to lake edun but I am excited at the prospect of visiting this summer.  Several years ago I spent the summer in Topeka, fell in love with the Gage park and running the Shumga trails.  I have been back a couple times since, love the big sky, the warm winds, and the friendly people.  Up in Minnesota people refer to the notion of "Minnesota Nice", but it is nonexistent compared to Kansas.  My wife and I are fortunate that our daughter will be attending the University of Kansas this fall so I'll have the opportunity to visit friends in Topeka and hopefully make new friends at Lake Edun.  Looking forward to visiting, who knows maybe we'll become members, certainly will have a good reason to make the drive with our daughter in Lawrence.

Thanks again
B. J. V.


Pay Phone - This would be mounted on the outside wall of the barn for use by members and guests.
Trash can lids for barrels - People are normally quite courteous and if you give them trashcans to use, they will. 
Post hole digger - This would help us in our annual tree planting.  This year we are planting 500 new trees throughout the property.

May 9; 7:30 AM; Biology Bill's Bird Walk
May 14; 8-10 PM; Heartland Swim (Elite Aquatics)
May 15; 10 AM-Noon; RTE Committee Mtg
May 15; 4-6 PM; Sauna
May 15; 6:30-8:30 PM; BOD Meeting
May 29; Luau Sponsored by Kelly "aka Dizzy"
May 31; 7:30 AM; Biology Bill's Bird Walk
Jun 5; Lake Edun Foundation Sponsored Weiner Roast
Jun 12; Noon-4 PM; Open House - Clothing Required
Jun 12; 4-6 PM; Open House - Clothing Optional
Jun 12; After 6 PM; Open House - Nudity Required
Jun 18; 8-10 PM; Heartland Swim (Elite Aquatics)
Jun 19; 5-7 PM; BOD Meeting
Jun 19; 5-7 PM; Sauna
Jun 25-27, 1999; Return to Edun 7
Jul 16; 8-10 PM; Heartland Swim (Elite Aquatics)
NOTE: There will be at least one workday every weekend between now and the "Return to Edun 7" festival.  If you're at the lake on Saturday or Sunday during this period & want to help,... look for one of the members of the board to find out what you can do to help.


My First Time At Lake Edun
  I decided to make my first maiden voyage to a nude sauna.  I was so nerveous inside I was afraid and trembling, yet I had to go on.  I opened the door, still clothed and there in my face was a man's bare butt!  Yes, I guess I was in the right place!  I meekly asked, "Uh ... do clothes go out here?"  "Yes," was the reply.  I stripped, took a deep breath then walked in.  I was greeted warmly, and nobody seemed to notice I was buck naked!  I quickly felt like I belonged there.
  After leaving the small group of 4 men and


The Naturalist Naturist
By "Biology Bill" Cook

In the last several weeks spring has come to Lake Edun.  Spring is a favorite season not just to Eduners suffering from cabin fever, but also to most of the other unclothed creatures who visit the lake at this time of year.  In this article I'd like to introduce you to some of the feathered visitors to Lake Edun.
To those of us who are interested in nature, birds are often some of our favorite animals.  Unlike most other animals, they are colorful, are active in the daytime, sing pleasant songs, and generally are easy to find and appreciate.  Why do birds sing?  There are three main reasons.  Firstly, early in the season male birds begin to sing away, and the primary message is "I'm an eligible bachelor, come and introduce yourself."  Later on, once most individuals have found mates, their main messages are "Honey, where are you?  I'm over here" and "This is my home, intruders stay away."  Most birds have an extended song used to advertise for mates and to defend territory, and a variety of short chips and twits for communication with mates and offspring.  Aside from learning to appreciate the musical qualities of birdsongs, natur(al)ists can also use the fact that each species has a distinctive song to easily census the animals nearby.
There are several groups of avian visitors to Lake Edun.  Firstly, there are the familiar birds that stay here all year long.  Chicadees, blue jays, crows, nuthatches and woodpeckers are examples of birds that both brave the heat of summer and the cold of winter.  Secondly, a large number of birds are here to nest for the summer, but fly south when it gets cold in the fall.  Examples of these birds include geese, herons, swallows and most of the birds that you hear singing in the spring.  However, this is not the only type of migrant you might meet.  Some birds from the far north such as juncos and some sparrows think that Kansas is a warm weather winter destination, and head north in April and May to nest in Canada and the northern plains.  Finally, for the experienced naturalist there are many species who merely use Lake Edun as a stopover point on their way through during the fall and spring.  The most exciting season is in late April and May when dozens of species stop by for only a week or two,

providin a big challenge to those who would like to see them all.
I know some of you have been interested in birds for years, but don't know how to start learning.  A good guide book and a pair of binoculars are useful tools, but you can learn a lot just by using your eyes and particularly your ears!  The best way to learn is to talk to somebody who already knows, which is why I am offering some beginning birdwatching lessons in May.  I'd like to do these on Sunday, May 9th (bring your mother!) and on Memorial Day (May 31) at 7:30, meeting on the main beach.  Anyone camping at Lake Edun or who can arrive early is welcome to join us on a bird walk, and while binoculars or opera glasses are useful all you really need to bring is your eyes and ears!  I'm always prepared to talk about nature, though, so if you see something interesting or have a question please let me know.  If you don't already know me, look for the extra-tall fellow with the binoculars.

Free Educational Information

We have two educational fliers people may be interested in.  They may receive a copy at the lake or by sending a SASE requesting them:

        A Soul Set Free by Julie Hebberd is a well written account of one woman's first encounter with naturism and her transition from the textile world to the naturist world.  It follows her period of transition and the
personal benefits she realized by making the transition.
        Familial and Societal Attitudes
Toward Nudity, and the Effects on Children's Development
by William D. Peckenpaugh is a well documented summary of the academic research that has been done on the impact on children's development of exposure to adult nudity.  It is particularly relevent for families considering exposing their children to a naturist lifestyle and unsure how the experience may influence their child's development.