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
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.
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
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