Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Campsite Waiting List

Aerial of Beckett Circle campsites at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

Most people know that we have not been assigning any long-term campsites since March 2015. Other than trailer sales, long-term sites that were relinquished became short-term campsites. As we explained in the March 21, 2015 blog post, the cause was an individual who managed to convince the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) that he was protected by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). For the reasons explained in the blog post, this was very problematic to maintaining a naturist environment.

Emboldened by this decision, two other members decided last fall to ignore our rules and turn their campsite into a permanent residence. They filed a claim with the LTB asking for RTA protection. This time we presented a much more detailed legal argument (thanks to a very good and expensive lawyer) and WE WON! (Landlord Tenant Board File # TNT-87932-16)

That, combined with some other changes we made, means that we now feel comfortable starting a new waiting list. However, the policies and procedures have changed based on what we've learned.
  • We will favour intensification of sites. For example, a couple will get higher priority than a single person.
  • People with children will get priority since naturism is beneficial to their development and they grow up fast!
  • People with a dedication to naturist values and Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park will also be favoured.
  • As some people prefer unserviced campsites, there will now be separate serviced and unserviced waiting lists. Members will no longer be able to automatically switch between campsite levels.
This revised policy applies only to the waiting lists. Trailer sales will continue as before.

We realize that this revised policy will please some and disappoint others. Ideally we would have enough long-term campsites for everyone who wants one. If we can manage it, we will add more in the future. But for now, we believe that this is best for Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.





Photo: Aerial of Beckett Circle by Marc Deschênes. Airplane ride courtesy of Ron Schout. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Summer Water is ON!

Showering outside at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

The summer water system has been successfully disinfected and flushed so all campsites now have access to potable water.

The toilets in the Beckett Circle comfort station are working. But the indoor showers are being renovated because we discovered that several of the walls were rotting. We thought that they would be open by now but some of the parts are coming from Europe so it is taking longer than expected to receive them.

But the outdoor showers are working!  Of course, the temperature is a bit cool in the morning even with lots of nice hot water coming out. So if it is too cold outside for you, the showers in the clubhouse are your best option.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Trailer Storage at Bare Oaks

Scene from Unashamed movie (1938)

Success is a wonderful thing but it can also create some challenges. As many people know, demand for camping space has exceeded supply for several years. For visitors we keep 25 serviced campsites open for short-term use. But for people who want to keep a trailer here on a long-term basis, there has essentially been no availability for years.

This has led to people trying to find ways around our rules. At first, people started booking 8 week "vacations" or every weekend in July and August. So to keep things fair, we had to limit the amount of short-term booking time and institute a rule that people must be occupying their trailer every night if they were booking our transient campsites.

Then some folks asked us if they could store their trailer between reservations. Initially it was only a few people for a short period of time. But last year, there were so many trailers being stored in Glen Echo field that it sometimes looked more like a parking lot than a field. People who were actually camping there began to complain.

So this year, we will no longer provide trailer storage. There will not be any exception because if we do, everyone will expect it.

Of course, doing this will result in lost revenue. But it's about being fair to everyone and looking out for what is best for Bare Oaks overall.

We do understand that pulling a trailer regularly can be challenging and expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of storage places within a few kilometres of Bare Oaks:

Doan Road Storage (7km away)
1825 Doane Rd, Queensville, ON L0G 1R0
http://www.doaneroadstorage.ca/
(905) 478-8867

Squirrel Storage (9km away)
19 Albert St, Mount Albert, ON L0G 1M0
http://squirrelstorage.ca/
(289) 879-6887

Green Storage (11km away)
122 Bales Dr E, Newmarket, ON L3Y 4X1
http://www.greenstorage.ca/self-storage/newmarket-storage
(905) 853-4934

Apple Self Storage (12km away)
31 W Bales Dr, Sharon, ON L0G 1V0
https://www.applestorage.com/self-storage-units/gwillimbury-on
(905) 715-7009

Please note that these listings are provided for your convenience. They are not recommendations or endorsements. We have no relationship with these business and have not scrutinized them in any way. Caveat emptor!

Photo: From the movie "Unashamed" (1938)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Volunteer Day 2017 & World Naked Gardening Day

Naturist Volunteers
It's time again for our annual volunteer day. While there are many people volunteering all year, this is the day we set aside for a massive volunteer effort to get things ready for the season. We are told that it is also a fun day that many people look forward to. A big thank you to the multitude of people willing to give up their time to make Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park a better place.

Volunteer Day -  Saturday May 6, 2017

It's also World Naked Gardening Day so expect many of the volunteer activities to follow that theme!

10am to 3pm

  • Everyone is welcome! Lunch will be provided, free of charge, for all volunteers by the Bare Bistro.
  • Jobs vary from light gardening to construction. A little something for every skill level. There will be projects suitable for all abilities and levels of ambition.
  • Annual Members meeting runs downstairs from 4-5:30. Come along and hear what's new this year and have your voice heard.
  • Non-members who volunteer will not be charged any day fees. (please register at the office)

4pm to 5:30pm – Members' Meeting

All members are invited to come and get an update on what's happening at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and ask questions.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Problem with Some Swingers


What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home/trailer/tent is generally not our concern. We try to be open-minded and tolerant of the various ways that people choose to live. But when people do things that negatively impact the experience of our visitors and members, we have to get involved.

Because they don't know the reality, the general public assumes that our movement is about sexuality. We have been fighting that assumption for nearly a century. But it persists and it is a key misconception that keeps people away.

When a new visitor comes to Bare Oaks, it is with the expectation that it will be an opportunity to get away from the hyper-sexualization and objectification of mainstream society. Yet they often still maintain some apprehension which makes them very sensitive to any hints that what we claim is not true.

So it only takes one person to speak about their fetish around the campfire or a casual invitation in the hot tub to make a new person very uncomfortable. When they hear it from one person, they start to suspect everyone. Once suspicious, they question everyone's motives and it becomes difficult for them to just relax and enjoy themselves.

It happened a few times last year and there are two couples who are not returning because of it. But the reality may be much higher because those are only the people we have heard about.

What is worse is when people spread false information about Bare Oaks as one deceitful individual did. They posted a recruitment ad on Craigslist. One of our members saw the ad, contacted them, and found out that they advanced some absurd propaganda. (you can read the email here) Certainly there are a few couples at the park who identify as "lifestylers". But most of them are very respectful of our policies.

Our policy, as stated in the Member & Visitor Agreement that everyone gets, is that people:
  • will not partake in any overt sexual behaviour,
  • will not try to recruit or invite anyone for a sexual activity, and
  • will not promote – either internally or externally – any sexual activities at Bare Oaks.
  • will let us know immediately if they witness or experience any of the above.
So if you observe or experience anything that makes you uncomfortable, please report it to the office immediately. We need your help to maintain our authentic naturist environment.








Monday, 27 February 2017

Naturist Night at the Theatre!

clothes-free (nude) night at the theatre

Veritas Theatre and Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park are bringing you a clothes-free theatre night. Join us for this very special presentation of the play S h e e t s. by Salvatore Antonio. Purchase your tickets now because there are only 120 seats in the theatre.

S h e e t s. is an original play by Salvatore Antonio exploring the theme of intimacy in its many forms through the experiences of various inhabitants of a single hotel room. It play unfolds through a series of vignettes dovetailing and linking these seemingly random strangers in their private moments and vulnerability. In several of those moments, the characters ponder their true selves through intimacy and their nudity. On this very special evening, all links to a voyeur-exhibitionist relationship will be broken because the audience will also be nude. The actors’ nakedness will be normalized and the focus of the audience will be solely be on the play and its performance.

In order to create a true naturist experience, clothing will not be optional - nudity will be required of everyone in attendance.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: Children are allowed but parents/guardians should be aware that the play contains mature themes that some would consider only appropriate for people 18+.

No photography will be allowed without the explicit permission of everyone involved.

Date: Saturday April 1 (Despite the connotations of the date, this is a real event)
Time: 8pm (arrive as early as 6:30pm for a clothes-free reception)
Location: The Theatre Centre (Mainstage) 1115 Queen St. W., Toronto
Towels: Everyone must sit on a towel. Bring your own or rent one for $1.
Clothes-check: There will be a service to store your clothing during the event.

Tickets:
Use the "Presale Access Code": NATURISTNIGHT
$35 or $22 for seniors, students, and arts workers
https://tickets.theatrecentre.org/TheatreManager/1/login?event=181

Veritas Theatre
https://veritas-theatre.com/
Twitter:@SHEETSthePLAY
Donate: https://fwyc.ca/campaigns/s-h-e-e-t-s-salvatore-antonio

Naturism? Nudism? What's the difference? See: http://www.BareOaks.ca/ethic



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

20 years of topfree rights!

Gwen Jacob speaking at a Kitchener-Waterloo topfree rally in 2015

On Friday, it will be 20 years since women won the right to be topfree. On December 9th, 1996, the Ontario Appeal Court reversed the 1991 conviction of Gwen Jacob for indecency making it legal for all women in Ontario to be topfree. Jacob, at the time a university student, had walked bare-breasted through the streets of Guelph in July 1991 in order to protest the inequality of current law.

http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/1996/1996canlii1119/1996canlii1119.html

On July 19, 1991, Gwen Jacob took off her shirt and walked home from the University of Guelph. She was charged with committing an indecent act. (Section 173 of the Criminal Code of Canada)

It was actually the second time that she had walked top-free in the City of Guelph during 33C weather. The first stroll only generated puzzled reactions. But on the second day, she ran into more opposition when she stopped to talk on Ontario Street. A Ms. Pettifer called the police after after Gwen Jacob refused her request to cover up. Another resident of that street, Ms. Snarr, expressed concern about the impact that bare breasts would have on her young children. The police asked Gwen Jacob to put on her shirt. They arrested her when she refused and charged her with committing an indecent act.

At the first trial in 1991, Ms. Pettifer testified that bare breasts were "disgusting" while Ms. Snarr said that it is "dirty" for women to expose their breasts. Gwen Jacob was found guilty and fined $75. In 1992, the Ontario Court's General Division upheld the ruling. But on December 9, 1996, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reversed her 1991 conviction and gave all the women of Ontario the right to be topfree.

You can hear Gwen Jacob tell her story on episode 28 of The Naturist Living Show.

Photo: Gwen Jacob, on August 1, 2015, speaking at a Kitchener-Waterloo topfree rally organized by Alysha, Tameera and Nadia Mohamed. Only July 24th, the three sisters had been cycling topfree when they were told by a police officer to cover up because it was the law. That confrontation motivated them to organize this rally, which drew hundreds of people, in order to assert women's right to be topfree.



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Promoting Naturism in France

nude naturists at an exhibition in Paris, France

This picture looks like a typical naturist activity - but it's not. This is a booth promoting naturism this weekend at the Fête de l'Humanité. It roughly translates to Festival of Humanity and it attracts over half a million people to a 415 hectare (1025 acres) park north of Paris. Started in 1930, it has become a massive cultural expo and concert. Over the years, it has featured many acts including big names like Pink Floyd, The Who, Joan Baez, and Avril Lavigne.

According to a report on the France Bleu website, it all started with the poster for the festival that featured a nude man and woman. This motivated the leaders of the Association de Promotion du Naturisme En Liberté (APNEL), which translates to the "Association for the Promotion of Liberated Naturism", to approach the organisers with the idea. Much to their surprise, they agreed both to the booth and to the exhibitors being nude. So with the support of the Fédération Française de Naturisme (FFN), the naturist federation for France, they organised this booth at the festival. Their own promotional materials feature a clever play on the word "humanité". They replaced the "ni" with "nu" which means "nude" in French.

While people in North America believe that France is far more tolerant about nudity, that is not always the case. Yes, it is true that Germany and France are the cradles of naturism. And there are more naturist resorts in France than anywhere else. But outside of the naturist clubs, resorts, and beaches, nudity is very restricted. For example, unlike in Canada and some states in the USA (like New York) women do not have the right to be topfree. And unlike in Germany, being nude in a public park will get you arrested. So having this level of nudity at a large textile event is quite unprecedented.

Yves Leclerc, the vice-president of the FFN is quoted as saying "We are in hundreds of selfies. We have even had people from other booths who came and got undressed to pose. It was unreal."

Jacques Frimon, vice-president of APNEL,  says that the people who are bothered by nudity are rare. He added that even some tourists from Iraq were just amused by the nudity.

The France Bleu article says that when people see them, the first reaction is to smile or laugh to hide their discomfort. Then, because this is the 21st century, everyone pulls out their smartphone to take a photo or selfie.

Well done APNEL and FFN! That's the way to promote the naturist movement!

You can watch a video (in French) here:



Here is the link if the embedded video does not work:
http://www.bfmtv.com/mediaplayer/video/les-naturistes-s-invitent-a-la-fete-de-l-huma-855851.html


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Reward for Missing Electronics

One of the artists that participated in Naked State has lost drives containing 2 years of her work. Gone are both the originals and backups. She is devastated because they are irreplaceable. Please help her if you can!

Reward for missing Electronics

Offering a reward for electronics that went missing the afternoon of Monday August 15th, in the field (where the tents are) just east of the Outback.

Reward is for two drives, if returned with all the data intact.

They are a black external hard drive with with silver G on it, and a silver Lacie drive with an orange case. These had YEARS of professional work, art and projects on them. 

The drives were in a large (40 gallon) gray plastic bin (with cover) together with more electronics, all of which went missing, bin and all, including a GoPro camera, a small Sony HD video camera, a Sony rangefinder (Nex 7, or alpha) camera, a pink selfie stick, and a bunch of cables and adapters etc. 


Asking if people find anything in their subconscious about seeing someone walk around the park with a large gray plastic bin yesterday afternoon. Any information or inquiries can be sent to her at micolart@gmail.com


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Naked State - Get Involved with the Art


The Naked State Art Residency is off to a great start! See some of the artists at work: http://nakedstate.ca/in-progress-2016/

There are many opportunities for members and visitors to meet the artists, get involved in their work, and experience their art.

Tue 9th, 2-5pm: No Object durational performance artwork without any objects, costume or clothing
No Object is a multi-generational group of artists that produce performances in empty spaces without any objects, costume or any clothing. Working from this minimalist aesthetics, the group is continuing to challenge itself with a focus on the potential of the body. Sympathy, empathy, trust, gaining strength and energy from the group are important components to the work. This practice requires them to be in the moment, being conscious of each other and being aware of our bodies in relationship to others and our surroundings. No Object will be conducting a performance in a select area of the park, to be announced over the load speakers slightly before their performance. 

Tue 9th and Wed 10th, 4-6pm: have a conversation with Naked State artists in their studios
The Naked State artists are interested in getting to know members of the Bare Oaks community, and would also love to answer any questions they may have about the art they’re creating over the 10-day residency.  Drop by their studios to schedule a visit with participating artists.

Tue 9th to Sat 13th: Free Portrait Session with Naked State artist Matt Hamon (matthamon.com
Matt Hamon is interested in making portraits of naturists. Matt is a former assistant and printer for world renowned naturist photographer, Jock Sturges. In exchange for your participation you will receive an editioned, archival print from your portrait session. Families, groups and individuals are welcome to participate. Please visit Matt at cabin 10 to set up a time for your photo session.

Wed 10th, mid day: Be in a photograph of a pile of Naturists!
Naked State artist Natalie Wardle (www.nataliewardle.com) is planning to photograph a group of naturists cuddled and piled over top each other. For details or to sign up, please visit Natalie at cabin 11.

Sat 13th 5-8pm, and Sun 14th 10am-12pm: Naked State art residency closing Exhibition

Over these two days, Naked State artists will present the artworks developed during their 10-day residency at Bare Oaks. There will be installations, performance artworks, paintings, collages, videos, participatory live artworks, and photography. This is the finale. Hope to see many of you there!