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Camp Hormone:

Nude Teen Summer Camp

Week of June 23, 2003


            I might dub it “Camp Hormone” if its real name wasn’t bad enough:  White Tail, a Virginia nudist park, has now opened a bare summer camp for children aged 11 to 18. 

            Another way to think of it is as a camp for the children of people who have lost their minds.  Mixing 18-year-olds and 11-year-olds at any camp is asking for trouble; putting unclothed teenage boys and girls together for a week raises bad judgment to an art form. 

            I concede that the fashions favored by some teenage girls make nudity a matter of degree, and that operations like White Tail will simplify talking some kids into going to camp.  It also takes New Age parenting to its logical extreme; stories of parents supplying their children condoms, overseeing underage booze parties, and hosting coed sleepovers have long left me wondering how much common sense is left in the parental pool to abandon.  After this I’d say the well’s dry.

            According to Associated Press, camp director Bob Roche claims “This is actually a camp-type camp.  All the meals are inclusive, the camp is totally structured with arts and crafts for the younger ones, with swimming lessons and firefighting lessons.” 

            Nude firefighting?  I’ll wager that won’t catch on, but other than that it sounds like a normal camp, expect the au naturel part.

            Well, there is the pudding toss. Roche explains “We give each camper a cup of pudding and a spoon and just let them plaster each other.”  No fuss, no muss.  Simply hose ‘em down and they’re ready for the next activity, heaven forbid.

            Like a lot of parents I struggle to drum up ways to keep my two teens occupied each summer, though I don’t recall giving much consideration to sending them off to get naked and lather on pudding.  Still, I can see where many traditional camp activities might pose a problem.

            Marshmallow roasts would be downright hazardous.  A snipe hunt might work if you didn’t have to worry about kids not coming back.  I always made wallets and leather belts at Scout camp, but these campers won’t have a place to put them.  And Camp White Tail doesn’t sound like the kind of place where one sits around the fire singing Kumbayah. 

            To the Virginia attorney general’s office it sounds more like Club Ped, as in pedophile.  “We’re very concerned about this development,” according to a statement from the department.  “An atmosphere like that is very clearly an invitation to pedophiles.”

            I have little doubt that’s true, though the greater danger is from within.  The camp claims most of the kids signed up for the summer are children of nudists and accustomed to the bare life.  Roche says his operation already features “Junior Fest” activities for teens and younger children on weekends; the main difference is that the summer camp will be parents optional.

            That is no small matter.  Nudists assert their lifestyle is not about sex, and most of them probably believe it.  Adolescence, however, is very much about sexuality; ask any teenager you know who might be honest with you.  Teen boys in particular fill their spare thoughts with little else, though that is more about urges than the responsibilities that go (or should, anyway) with becoming a physically, emotionally, and spiritually mature adult.  Anyone who believes teenagers running around naked for a week want only freedom from the tyranny of clothing has been in the sun too long without a hat. 

            What kids need is for parents to be parents, not accomplices.  I can’t imagine having asked my mother for a coed sleepover or supervised drinking party, much less a naked pudding toss.  Let’s hope this generation of youth remembers most of us the same.






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© 2003 Brent Morrison