Thursday, 31 December 2009

Bare Oaks in Toronto Star



A photo taken during the Canadian Naturist Festival at Bare Oaks last August has finally made it in the newspaper. It's in "The year in pictures: the favourites" feature on page A3 to today's (December 31st) edition of the Toronto Star. The photo was originally scheduled to run last August but was pulled by an editor because of concerns that it might offend readers.

Rick Madonik, a photographer with the Toronto Star, took a number of pictures that day. But this one was his favourite. Can you identify any of the subjects?

Also available online at: http://thestar.blogs.com/photoblog/2009/12/the-year-in-pictures-the-favourites.html Note that while the online version shows 19 pictures, the picture at Bare Oaks is only 1 of 3 pictures in the printed edition.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Membership ID cards



We finally have a system to issue our new Bare Oaks membership cards. The new identification is pre-printed on one side with an image of Lake Beamor and the Bare Oaks logo. The other side is customized with the member's picture and identifying details.

In addition to providing identification, the cards are also useful for getting discounts. Some of the larger naturist resorts provide a discount to Bare Oaks members.

In keeping with the naturist philosophy, we did our best to make the cards more environmentally friendly. They are printed on a material called CornCard™ which is made using a corn-based plastic from NatureWorks LLC. This biopolymer named Ingeo™ offers more disposal options and is more environmentally friendly to manufacture than traditional petroleum-based plastics. It can be composted or recycled. If burned in an energy-from-waste plant, it provides more energy by weight than wood or newspaper with no volatiles and low residue. The manufacturing process is also more environmentally friendly. They are continuously reducing the waste,  greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy use in the manufacturing process.

To get your card, just come into the office anytime during our regular business hours and we will take your picture. Right now there's only one person trained to print the cards so you may have to wait a few days to receive it. But we will be training more people in the next few weeks.

A big thank you to Kim, a long-time Bare Oaks member, who works for Identicam and helped us acquire the necessary equipment.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Hot Tub is working! (but not quite open yet)



Yes, the hot tub is finally working. After an unbelievable number of challenges and delays, it is finally operational. The photo features Peter (who has been doing much of the work and coordinating the rest) bravely sacrificing himself to test the water. We have experienced many, many small issues: a week's delay because of the heater needing service, 2 weeks' delay to diagnose and repair a faulty electrical panel, 2 weeks to replace a brand new relay that failed, (special parts that must be ordered can take weeks to arrive) another week's delay to replace hoses that were too short, and I could go on and on...  But it is now working!!!  Lots of pressure, no leaks and plenty of heat!

But... it's not open yet. As a commercial facility, the new hot tub has to be approved by the department of health. Stay tune to this blog for that final announcement!

As well, the room hasn't been completely repaired and cleaned up. As you can see in the picture, we've also replaced the windows and we will be redoing the floor. But if you don't mind the mess, we will open the hot tub to regular use as soon as it is approved.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Holiday Hours

Just a reminder that the Bare Oaks office/store will be closed on December 24, 25 & 26 as well as on January 1.

We are generally open everyday, including holidays during the summer, but we are closed on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), Family Day (3rd Monday in Feb.), Good Friday (Friday before Easter), Thanksgiving Day (2nd Monday in Oct.), Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and Boxing Day (Dec. 26).

But facilities are always open to members using their key fob.


Sunday, 13 December 2009

Olympic Torch coming near Bare Oaks

The Olympic Torch Relay will be passing near Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park on Friday December 18th. Of course, they won't be nude like the Greek athletes were in the original olympics. Given the weather right now, that's probably a good idea.

The torch will be coming up Yonge Street in Aurora in the morning. It will enter Newmarket around 10:30 a.m.

There will be a special stop/celebration in Newmarket on Friday around 11 a.m. at the new community centre in Newmarket. (performances begin at 10 a.m.) From there it will go up Bayview/Prospect to Davis Drive. And then up Leslie and into Sharon/East Gwillimbury. It will be passing by Mt. Albert Road around 1:15 p.m. (the closest it gets to Bare Oaks) From there it will continue up to Keswick.


Keep in mind that it's a run. It will go by in seconds. (except for celebration points like in Newmarket) So if you want to see it in a particular place, get there early or you might miss it.




Thursday, 19 November 2009

Keeping in touch


We thought that we were doing a good job of keeping everybody informed. Then we learned that some people were not aware of the many different methods that existed to keep in touch with what is happening at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. So we are going to make a concerted effort to be better communicators about our communications! We have added several new electronic contact options. Plus we have installed a bulletin board in the clubhouse that features a paper version of the news and events for those who don't use the internet.

So keep in touch using:
  • Email: Subscribe on the front page of the Bare Oaks website at www.BareOaks.ca and get blog updates by email. Or click here to subscribe right now.
  • Website: Read the blog right on the website at blog.BareOaks.ca.
  • Twitter: Get notifications of new posts (with a link) at twitter.com/BareOaksPark
  • Facebook: Become a fan of our facebook page and read the blog on the page or get notices of new posts on our wall. facebook.com/BareOaksPark
  • Blog RSS/Atom feed: If you know how to subscribe to an RSS or Atom feed you can get updates in your favourite feed reader. blog.BareOaks.ca/feeds/posts/default
  • In person at the park: You can read printouts of the blog posts and the calendar on the bulletin board at the member’s entrance near the store/office. But remember that it may take the paper format a few days to catch up with the electronic version.
Note that the events posted on the calendar are not announced in the blog newsletter. There are just too many of them. To keep up with those, view the calendar at www.bareoaks.ca/Bare-Oaks/Events.html or subscribe to the Bare Oaks Google Calendar.

We use Google Calendar to publish Bare Oaks’ Event Schedule. This gives you a great deal of advantages. You can subscribe to our calendar and it will then be included in your own calendar. Events will be automatically updated. You can also add specific events to your calendar or subscribe to event reminders. For more information, go to http://www.google.com/intl/en/googlecalendar/overview.html

If you have an ICS/iCalendar enabled calendar program (e.g. Microsoft Outlook 2003, Mozilla Calendar or Apple iCal) you can subscribe to the calendar and have Bare Oaks events automatically added. The calendar address is:

More information on the iCalendar format can be found at:

...or you can read the printed version of the calendar on the bulletin board inside the clubhouse near the store/office.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Grower’s Cider nude ads



In early June, we received a call from Westside Studios, Canada's largest Advertising and Design Photography facility. They were inquiring about using the park to shoot some photography featuring nudity for a campaign they were putting together. Having spent 15 years in advertising, I was very familiar with both Westside Studios and the process. I jumped at the opportunity. It was a chance to make a bit of money in location fees and it would also be fun. I didn’t know who the client was nor did I know what kind of photos they would be taking. But I wasn’t worried because I knew that any work done by Westside studio would be for a major and very public campaign. Besides, the ad most certainly wouldn’t name Bare Oaks as the location anyways. They were coming to us because, when you want to shoot people naked outdoors, your options are limited. We agreed tentatively on June 12th. The final decision would be made the day before depending on the weather.

As the cast and crew arrived very early in the morning, each one very nervously entered our main office. The producer came to the front desk and explained that two of the models cancelled out at the last minute. (cold feet?) He asked if we knew anyone at the park who would be interested in stepping in. He then added that it was a paying job. Well, I’m nude all day anyway and it certainly doesn’t bother me to be in an ad campaign so I jumped right in. Stony, who happened to be hanging around was also quick to volunteer.

While being nude in an ad is no big deal, being a model is certainly a lot of work. It took most of the day to setup 3 scenes and shoot enough material for the 3 pictures they wanted. The non-naturist models were a bit apprehensive at first but soon got right into it and stopped getting dressed between sessions. I guess having Stony and I nude all the time probably helped them. Plus the other members who kept walking by and watching also set the tone. None of the crew stripped off but that was probably due to the peer pressure of being there with their co-workers. The models had the excuse to be nude since that was their job. But an excuse was not needed that day given the warm sunny weather.

The photographer, Matt Barnes, did take all his clothes off for the group shot at the end. And one of the models loved Bare Oaks so much that she has since spent several days at the park with her friend.

The campaign is for Grower’s Cider. The original ads were on billboards and transit shelters in British Columbia and Alberta at the beginning of the summer. The ads feature images of naturists enjoying Growers in various outdoor settings with headlines like, “Being All Natural is Quite Refreshing. And Chilly.” Andy Shortt, the founder of HQvB, the agency behind the campaign says that Growers is a natural and unassuming brand, and “who’s more unpretentious than people who don’t wear clothes?”


That set of ads was so popular that it inspired a new promotion. I was contacted in August for permission to use my likeness in the extended campaign. I didn’t mind and it also meant more money!

They created a website where you can upload any picture of your choosing and have the site "nudify" the pictures which are then posted to the site's gallery. Three pictures will win $500. By “nudifying” they mean that you insert the picture of one of us (the original models in the ads) into your own picture. “You can take any bland, boring holiday or family photo and you put a nudist into it, it makes it kind of funny,” said Shortt. Naturists have so far been added to events like family camping trips and wedding pictures.

Take a look yourself: http://www.growersaunaturale.com/

Credits:
Advertising Agency: HQvB, Toronto, Canada
Creative Directors: Andy Shortt, Mark Tawse-Smith, Chris Hall
Copywriter: Mark Tawse-Smith
Photography: Westside Studios, Toronto
Photographer: Matt Barnes
Production Company: Lollipop, Toronto
Creative Director/designer: Michael Gramlow
Executive Producer: Amanda Loughran
Web Developer: Amanda Lutz
Flash Developer: Jim Bachalo

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Nude Volleyball in January


Indoor Naturist New Year's
Volleyball Tournament
London, Ontario
Saturday Jan 2nd

Location
Spikes Indoor Beach Volleyball
120 Weston Street
http://www.spikes.on.ca

Details
Signup and registration: 9am
Game play: 10am-6pm
All play is NUDE, unless your parent requested otherwise!
Cost: about $15 per person with a $30 family rate depending how many show
(we are just covering cost of rental & prizes)
Spikes now has 4 beach volleyball courts.

Levels
A 4 on 4
B 4 on 4
Novice Plus 6 on 6
Novice 6 on 6



Hotel Recommendations by Chris:

Closest
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson
774 Base Line Rd East
(519) 430-1150

Nicest
Best Western Lamplighter Inn and Conference Centre
591 Wellington Rd
(519) 681-7151

Cheapest
Super 7 Motel Inc
697 Wellington Rd
(519) 681-7272

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Hot Pool Update


The pool temperature is not climbing as fast as we expected. The water temperature has climbed overnight from 10ºC (50ºF) to 16ºC (61ºF) in about 10 hours. As such, it will not likely reach a decent temperature until late in the day. So we're keeping it going through tomorrow (Sunday). So if you are brave and hardy, please feel free to have a dip today. If not, you are welcome anytime tomorrow!

Ultimately, this is a useful test. As mentioned in the previous post, the propane heater is all new. We're getting very useful data on performance that we can use next year. We're also making sure that it works up to specifications.

Photo by: pntphoto

Friday, 16 October 2009

Trailer Show this weekend


This weekend is the Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale at the Toronto Congress Centre. If you have been thinking of getting a new trailer, this is a great opportunity to touch and feel all the different types. In addition, there are great deals to be had for those people who are willing to make a deal at the show.

At the show you can tour many different models and types. From tent trailers to park model trailers. To understand the difference, visit the Go RVing website by clicking here.

One of the brands that Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park sells, Northlander Industries, will be at the show. Ask for Kyle or Morgan from Cedar Beach if you visit. Special promotional pricing is available at the show only.

  • Friday Oct. 16: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (discount price after 5 p.m.)
  • Saturday Oct. 17: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday Oct. 18: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hot Pool Party



As part of the upgrades for the new hot tub, we have installed a propane heater. It is faster and more effective at heating the hot tub than an electrical heater. It will also be able to do double-duty as a pool heater. We still plan on making good use of the environmentally-friendly solar heating system. But, from time to time, the pool drops in temperature quite a bit during cold spells. (like this past summer!) The solar system can take days to bring the temperature of the pool back up. So when we see good weather coming, we can now switch the hot tub's propane heater with a few valves to warm up the pool several degrees. Then, we will let the solar heating system do the rest.

So now that it is connected, we're announcing what we plan on making a yearly tradition:

The End-of-the-Season HOT POOL Party
Saturday, October 24th
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Last chance to swim in the pool before it closes for the season. We will be using the new propane heater to bring the pool up to a balmy temperature so, regardless of the outside weather, it will be nice in the pool!

After that, we will be closing the pool for the season.

Seasonal Water Shutdown
Please note that the seasonal water will be shut off on Monday October 19th. (which affects mostly the campsites in Becket Circle) But we will keep the water running in the Beckett Circle washrooms and indoor showers for a while longer.

Hot Tub Update

We're getting very close to having the new hot tub operational. We're now waiting for delivery of a sand filter (that was not originally part of the plan we were given) and the 5 horsepower pump that will power the jets. The first pump specified turned out to be the wrong one. It needed 3-phase electricity and we only have a single phase available in the park. Once that arrives, it should only be a few days worth of work to finish all the connection and then a few more days of testing. Once that is done, we will need approval from the health department before we can open it up. It will be several more weeks before the new windows are installed but we will start using the tub even if the windows are not in.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Members' Meeting


When: Sunday Nov 1, 2009
11 am – 1 pm

It's time again for the annual member's meeting. All members are invited to come and get an update on what's happening at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and ask questions. Food and drink will be served.


Photo by liam de burca

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Keeping Bare Oaks' ponds, lakes and rivers clean


As naturists we seek to live in harmony with nature. As part of that commitment, we are doing our best to create as natural an environment as possible.

There has been some discussion about the health of our ponds and lake. You can rest assured that they are in great condition. What you are seeing is the result of a great deal of work and expense to bring the water bodies into ecological balance. That way, all of the plants, animals, insects and amphibians work together to keep the water clean. The proof is that when we send water samples to a lab to test the water quality of Gymnos Pond and Lake Beamor, they both come back well below the limits. In the last test, both samples were at less than 10% of the bacteria level that closes beaches in Ontario. (some level of bacteria is normal) That level is so low that the test results don't report an exact number. They just say that it is less than 10.

The most important changes can be seen in Lake Beamor. We use only natural techniques to keep the lake clean. Aerators, natural bacteria and native plants are some of the methods we employ. We have taken steps to create a naturalized shoreline. (Except for the beach area so that we can all enjoy a freshwater swim.) An ecologically balanced body of water is beautiful to look at, delightful to swim in, and fun to fish.

There are two key parts:
  1. Aquatic plants that grow in the shallow portions of the lake add aesthetic character and provide valuable ecological functions. Aquatic plants stabilize banks, oxygenate the water, absorb nutrients, (which prevents algae growth) provide shelter and spawning habitat for fish and amphibians, and are a food source for wildlife.
  2. A riparian buffer is also important. This is the strip of shrubs and grasses that line the edge of the pond. It intercepts sediments, pathogens, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants that could reduce water quality and harm fish habitat in streams, creeks and rivers. It also prevents erosion of the bank and improves habitat for fish by shading and cooling the water.
Preventing shoreline erosion and filtering run off is very important because sediment in the runoff from the land will:
  • slowly fill the pond over time
  • cloud the water
  • reduce water quality
  • serve as a source of nutrients that promotes algae growth
  • harm the fish that live in the water
So everyone can enjoy the rich and diverse nature of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in confidence. We can all feel good that we are living by the basic tenets of naturism. Of course, our very presence is having an impact on the environment. But our efforts will help minimize any detrimental effects and hopefully prevent any permanent repercussions.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Final Numbers - World Record Skinny-Dip


On July 11th, 2009 at 3 p.m. 95 members and visitors at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park contributed to the 13,648 people who simultaneously skinny-dipped in 140 locations across North America for a Guinness World Record. See the video of the event at Bare Oaks: http://www.youtube.com/BareOaks

Friday, 4 September 2009

The closure of Glen Echo


I was very sad to hear that Glen Echo Nudist Park, Ontario's oldest continuously operating naturist club, was closing. In a letter dated August 21st, Mary and Edward Todorowsky (the founders and owners of Glen Echo) announced that the park would be closed effective October 1st. Apparently, the property has been sold to an individual as a private residence.

Several people have asked me whether I'm happy about this. After all, it is well known that I tried to purchase Glen Echo several years ago and it ended in a disagreement between the owners and I. Some also theorize that Glen Echo is competition for Bare Oaks given that they are a mere 30 kilometers away.

The fact is that I am sad that 54 years of naturist history is coming to such an abrupt end. I'm also sad for the hundreds of people who grew up at Glen Echo or who raised their children and grand children there. Many members are being forced to abandon elaborate cabins that have been constructed and expanded over the decades.

It has certainly generated a lot of press. See:
From a business standpoint, the loss of a naturist park in the Toronto area is a bad thing. We are not in competition with each other. There are at least 400,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area, according to a survey by the Federation of Canadian Naturists, who are interested in naturism. If I add up all the clubs in the Toronto area, I only get to less than 5,000 members. Even if I assume that another 5,000 people are visitors and not members, that still leaves 390,000 people unaccounted for. If we assume a huge margin of error (which is unlikely given the methodology) I am still left wondering where the other 90,000 people are.

In my opinion, they are not visiting naturist clubs because of a lack of awareness. When I talk about Bare Oaks to my neighbours I frequently get a surprised reaction that "there are places like that in Ontario." All naturist clubs need to work together to get the word out. If we managed to get another 10,000 people participating in naturism, we would all be completely overwhelmed! That's why we need more clubs than less.

It's true that Glen Echo's membership had been dropping steadily in the last decade. But that's not because there aren't people interested in naturism. The steady growth of young families (who have never tried naturism before) joining Bare Oaks proves that. Glen Echo could have continued to be very successful. But to do that, they needed to improve their offering. People are no longer willing to camp in a tent without water and electricity. That was fine in the 1970's but today they want 30 amps for their dishwasher and microwave. People also work more hours and have less leisure time so when to join a club, they expect full service and modern amenities. Gone are the days where naturist club members would all pitch in to clean, mow the lawn and cut down the trees on weekends. Now, members expect to be served but they are willing to pay for it.

So all this has motivated me to start working with the remaining three clubs in the Toronto area. The Ponderosa was sold several years ago and has spent a lot of money improving the amenities. The Four Seasons was also sold recently to new owners. They have budgeted a lot of money towards improvements. Many changes have already been made despite the fact that the deal has not completely closed yet. All three park owners have met and are in agreement that we are not in competition and that we all have much to gain by doing joint promotions.

Besides, each club is truly unique. While we all share the naturist/nudist label, the application and interpretation of the philosophy varies greatly in each club. Some clubs offer a more urban experience while others are more nature-oriented. Some are passionately naturist while others are more clothing-optional. (click here to read why Bare Oaks is not clothing-optional) We don't even all agree on whether to use the term "nudist" or "naturist". (Listen to the Naturist Living Show titled Naturist or Nudist for a discussion on that topic.) So between the 3 of us, someone will offer the type of naturist experience that each person is looking for.

Friday, 14 August 2009

We're in hot water!


We are in hot water...

Well, almost! The hot tub has now been delivered and should be installed in the next few weeks. The Hydropool H-1200 is a 12 person commercial hot tub. Here are some specifications:
144"x 92"x 42"deep / 366 x 234 x 107 cm
Height: 42" / 107 cm
Volume: @866 US gallons / 3275 Litres

As well, our shipment of on-demand hot water heathers have also been received. Once installed, they will provide an endless supply of hot water at both the Beckett Circle showers and in the clubhouse. They are also more environmentally-friendly because they use less energy – hot water is only heated when required.

Speaking of water, the area around Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park experienced several small deluges last Sunday and Monday. As a result, the Black River flooded over its banks. That normally only happens during the spring run off. The Black River is an important watershed in this area. The following is an excerpt from State of the Watershed Report: Black River Subwatershed, by the Lake Simcoe Region Convervation Authority:

The Black River Subwatershed

The Black River Subwatershed is located south of Lake Simcoe in approximately the centre of the watershed. The main tributaries of the Black River include Harrison Creek, Mount Albert Creek, Vivian Creek and Zephyr Creek. The Black River Subwatershed drains an area approximately 325 km2 in size. The main tributaries of the Subwatershed include Harrison Creek, Mount Albert Creek, Vivian Creek and Zephyr Creek. As with many of the subwatersheds south of Lake Simcoe, the headwaters of the Black River originate in the Oak Ridges Moraine.

The Black River Subwatershed is primarily a rural subwatershed with agriculture as the main land use. Good forest cover still exists throughout much of the subwatershed. There are several communities throughout the Subwatershed including Sharon, Holt, Mount Albert, Zephyr, Brown Hill, Baldwin and Sutton. The Subwatershed lies in the municipalities of Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury, Georgina and Uxbridge. This includes two regional municipalities, specifically York and Durham Regions. The Subwatershed ecosystem has felt the impact of human activities associated with changes in land use and development. It is therefore relevant to briefly examine the history of the Black River Subwatershed to appreciate these changes.

The History of the Black River Subwatershed


The Black River Subwatershed saw some of its first human inhabitants after the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier more than 3,500 years ago. The native inhabitants included nomadic hunters, the Laurentian Indians and the Woodland Indians. Just prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the Iroquois occupied the region. This group had a strong presence in the area since the 12th Century.


Settlement of the area began in the 1790's in the southern headwater areas of the Black River Subwatershed but it was not until the 1820's that settlements reached the mouth of the river. In 1821, Samuel and Rufus Birchard settled along a tributary of the Black River in what is present day Mount Albert. The community that grew around them was originally called Birchardtown, then shortly there after changed to Newlands. In 1860, to honour the Prince of Wales visit to the area, the name was changed a last time to Mount Albert.

One of the first settlers in the northern portion of the Subwatershed was Capt. William Bourchier after which the first community in the area was named, Bourchier’s Mills (later named Sutton). Jackson’s Point was also originally named after Bourchier until he sold the land to his father-in-law John Mills Jackson.

William Bourchier’s namesakes grew rapidly due in no small measure to their close proximity to Lake Simcoe. The Lake not only supported a healthy fishery, was a port for schooners and steamers, but was also renowned for its ice which was shipped as far as the United States. Tourism also developed into a major industry for the area and when the Radial Railway came to the area, it brought some of Ontario’s first cottagers and seasonal residents as well.

Throughout the rest of the Black River Subwatershed, industry in those early years, was understandably resource based with logging and agriculture being the main industries. The logging industry was advanced considerably by the coming of the railroad, so much so that within 50 years the area was mostly stripped of Detrimental effects of deforestation. (Durham Region, 1930's) marketable lumber. Due to this over logging, the ability of the land to store water was lost and severe spring flooding resulted. The summers brought intense droughts to the area and wind erosion was so severe that some roads were blocked by the shifting sands. To mitigate these impacts a reforestation program was adopted in 1911, with the passing of the Counties Reforestation Act, and subsequently by the Reforestation Act, which was passed in 1921. The Reforestation Act enabled the establishment of tree nurseries and the supply of tree seedlings, in addition to planting and management by the province. Counties were able to purchase barren farmland and place it under “management agreement” with the Department of Lands and Forests. This eventually led to the establishment of municipally run reforestation areas such as York Regional Forest tracts which exist today.

Agriculture has remained as one of the prominent land uses in the Black River Subwatershed, however, agricultural practices have changed over time. The small mixed crop homestead type farms were replaced as new machinery allowed farmers to increase production. During the forty year period between 1941 and 1981, the number of farms throughout the area decreased significantly. This was due to a cycle of economic pressure to produce more for less which forced farmers to adopt new farming methods and practices. The use of chemical fertilisers to improve crop yield had become a common practice, livestock operations increased the size of their herds and fence rows were removed to create larger fields. The net effect was fewer, larger, very intensively managed farms which used up soil resources and concentrated livestock waste.

Today, the Subwatershed is home to a number of small communities including Sutton and Mount Albert. While there is growth planned for both Sutton and Mount Albert, the Black River Subwatershed will largely remain as it has for the past 100 years, a mainly rural agricultural area.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Update - Nude Bus to Hanlan's Point Beach

We received the following information update from the FCN yesterday:

BUS TRIP TO HANLAN'S
The bus trip to Hanlan's Beach will be on Wednesday August 5, leaving Bare Oaks at 10 AM sharp. Sign up by phoning the Bare Oaks office, 905-473-6060 or 888-373-9124. Seating is limited. (Note: As of now, there are only a few seats left!)

Cost TBA, will be slightly higher than last year but still cheap! (Cash at boarding time, please.)

Return at 4 PM. As of this writing, it's uncertain whether the bus will go on the ferry and up to the beach, so bring clothes or a towel in case you need to walk onto the ferry and then to the beach from the island dock.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Naturist Festival!!


Next week, Bare Oaks is hosting, for the second time, the Canadian Naturist Festival. It will takes place August 5th to 9th. (one extra day this year!) This 6th annual festival, a celebration of naturist life, is drawing people from all over. It will be a very busy week! Every single campsite has been booked. But there is still room to squeeze in a few tents.

*** Full meal service is available everyday during the festival. ***

The FCN & FQN are offering Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park members the benefit of a rock-bottom registration fee of only $10 per adult for the entire festival!!!

The festival will offer many presentations, discussions, music, games, and hands-on sessions. Activities are planned for children, both youngsters and teens. Click here for the schedule.

Because of the Toronto labour strike, it wasn't clear until yesterday whether last year's nude bus ride would be repeated. But it now looks like the Nude Bus to Hanlan's Beach in Toronto will be leaving on Wednesday morning. Riders (by reservation only) are invited to ride without clothes (but with a towel at least). Of course, everyone is invited to join us on the beach even if they "missed the bus"!

Complete schedule at:www.fcn.ca/festival_schedule09.pdf

Registration for the festival can either be done in the Bare Oaks office or online at: www.fcn.ca/Festival2009Form.htm

Saturday, 11 July 2009

2009 Volleyball wrap-up

(click on the image to enlarge)

Our 3rd annual volleyball tournament was a great success! We more than doubled the number of teams and players over last year. Game play went from 11am to 4pm each weekday and from 10 am - 3pm on the weekend. The sand court and 3 grass courts were very busy all the time. We have determined that next year's tournament will require at least one more court to keep up. The final count was:
  • Wednesday's King and Queen tournament: 38 players
  • Thursday's 4X4 tournament: 5 teams
  • Friday's Woman's Breast Cancer tournament: 2 teams of 6
  • Friday's Men's Prostate Cancer tournament: 4 teams of 4
  • Friday's Coed tournament: 6 teams of 6
  • Friday's Blind Volleyball tournament: 3 teams of 6-8 players.
  • Weekend tournament: 13 teams, 3 A, 4 B, 3 Novice Plus, 3 Novice (About 75 players)
All of our serviced campsites were full. In fact, there were many more campers than sites. Fortunately, Bare Oaks has nearly unlimited unserviced tent camping on our expansive lawns.

We had quite a bit of media exposure. (pun intended) There were several mentions of the event ahead of time including an amusing discussion by Kevin Frankish on CITY TV's Breakfast Television. Rogers Community TV visited the park at the beginning of the tournament and the resulting video report aired on the Friday: www.rogerstv.com/option.asp?lid=237&rid=17&mid=52&gid=56522 (it starts about 14 minutes into the video) Today, the National Post is running a very good follow-up story. www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=1780220

Next year's volleyball tournament is already set for July 1-4, 2010.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Correction: Skinny-dipping for a Guinness World Record

When the announcement was posted yesterday, only Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park was listed by AANR as a registered location for the skinny-dip event. An additional Ontario location is now listed: Ponderosa Nature Resort. Hopefully that will make it possible for even more folks to participate!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Skinny-dipping for a Guinness World Record


How many people do you think can simultaneously skinny-dip across North America? The Guinness World Records™ organization has agreed to create a new category for the largest number of people simultaneously skinny-dipping.

Bare Oaks is participating in the plan by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) to coordinate skinny-dipping events at clubs and legally-sanctioned nude beaches throughout North America on this day at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, to coincide with Nude Recreation Week. Bare Oaks is the only naturist organization in Ontario that has registered to participate. So if you want to be part of this historic event, come to Bare Oaks on Saturday!

You don’t have to be a Bare Oaks member to participate. Non-members who come to participate in the swim will benefit from half-price day fees. We're shooting for a big, big number and we need your help. Non-members who come to participate get half-price ground fees.

This Saturday is also the Horseshoe Tournament.
Standard rules apply. $5.00 per person or $12 including lunch. Registration at 9:30 a.m. with play starting at 10 a.m. See www.bareoaks.ca/social/flyers/horse_shoe_tournie_2009.pdf for complete info.

Remember to keep an eye on our events page, www.bareoaks.ca/Bare-Oaks/Events.html, to keep up on the many events all year round!
If you have an ICS/iCalendar enabled calendar program (e.g. Microsoft Outlook 2003, Mozilla Calendar or Apple iCal) you can subscribe to the calendar and have Bare Oaks events automatically added.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bare Bistro hours & menu

Our new restaurateurs are Diane and Dave Palachik. Dave will be the one working at the Bare Oaks Bare Bistro most of the time while Diane continues to works at the Cedar Beach Grill on Musselman's Lake.

Because they have a catering endorsement on their liquor license, every weekend this summer will be licensed. They also have the advantage of having another restaurant and a catering business. That means they are going to be bringing expertise, new ideas and investing in some additional equipment.

They are starting on Friday (June 5th) with a meal special. They will be posting regular business hours and they have guaranteed that they will be open during those hours.

You can see the hours and the menu at:
www.BareBistro.ca

So whether you are looking for a snack, a drink or a full meal, the Bare Bistro will be there to serve you.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The social committee and events at Bare Oaks

The time and effort that the members of the social committee are putting in is very much appreciated! The role of the committee is an important one. They provide a key link between all the members and Bare Oaks' management. They help organize and coordinate events to prevent conflict. They also maintain the schedule and help foster a strong feeling of community at the park. (Just look at the jam-packed event schedule for this year!) The counsel that comes from their experience and knowledge helps new organizers create fun and successful events.

But there has been some misunderstanding about the role of the social committee. Some members of Bare Oaks believe that the social committee rules over all events with an iron fist and decide what is allowed and what is not. That's not quite true. For those events that are submitted, they review them to ensure that they don't conflict with other events, that they meet the basic rules of the park and that they will have the support needed. I think the terms of reference on the committee's website (www.bareoaks.ca/social/terms.shtml) make it quite clear:

Mission
To bring the Bare Oaks community together in the organization and participation of Member hosted social events.

Purpose
To schedule and promote Member hosted weekend social events at those times when there are not park hosted events and produce an annual social event calendar for Bare Oaks ensuring each weekend during the camping season offers a social event for Members and guests of Bare Oaks.

Accountability
Management and Membership of Bare Oaks Naturist Community.

So, to clarify, nobody is forced to run an event through the social committee. If a member wants to organize a card game or some other event in the clubhouse, they don't have to ask anybody's permission.

But if they do not go through the social committee:
  1. their event will not be included in the calendar
  2. in case of a space/resource conflict, the event approved by the social committee will take precedence and
  3. they will not benefit from the experience and knowledge of the social committee members.
This last item is an important one. People who have not organized events before will not know what needs to be done, where resources are found, and who to talk to. So submitting an event to the social committee is highly recommended.

Friday, 8 May 2009

New Hot Tub!


Many people have heard through the rumour mill that we are getting a new hot tub. It's true!

The picture above is of the new hot tub. The Hydropool H-1200 is a 12 person commercial hot tub. Here are some specifications:
144"x 92"x 42"deep / 366 x 234 x 107 cm
Height: 42" / 107 cm
Volume: @866 US gallons / 3275 Litres

Yes, it will fit but we need to make the hole bigger. In fact, we are going to have to take out one of the windows and part of the wall to get it in.

There will be a fair bit of work involved so there will be no hot tub for several weeks starting after the long weekend. (May 18) But the pool will be open instead. (albeit a bit colder!)

The old hot tub was installed in 1984. That means it is exactly 25 years old! Below is a picture of Eric Jarvis sitting a the brand new hot tub in 1984. (note how the walls are not even finished) Next to that is Eric Jarvic in the same hot tub in March of this year. (I would say he's aged better than the hot tub.)


Sunday, 3 May 2009

Cartoon transformation

Recognize anyone above? The latest episode of the Naturist Living Show (episode 7) is about naturist cartooning. Have a listen at: http://naturistliving.bareoaks.ca

Saturday, 2 May 2009

recent arrest

We have received a number of inquiries as a result of the arrest of Lionel Gagne on April 9th. Click here to read the press release.

Lionel Gagne very briefly attended Bare Oaks. He was the very first person kicked out of Bare Oaks in April 2007. (the park became Bare Oaks in January 2007) As soon as he showed up, several members recognized him and warned the office about his history. He was then permanently banned from the park.

As a result, we have had many questions about what we do to keep Bare Oaks safe. We do police background checks on all staff members at Bare Oaks. But to be honest, that would only catch people with a known history malevolent behaviour. We also require photo identification from all members and visitors. Some visitors refuse to provide identification and leave which is a good indicator about their true intentions. We also maintain a list of people who should not be admitted to the park. That list is a compilation of several sources.

Our greatest security comes from the fact that we are a strong community. Children do not come to Bare Oaks alone. They come with their parents. Members tend to look out of each others children .

Those who prey on children are attracted to any place where children can be found. But they prefer situations where they can be in a position of authority over kids. It is a sad reality that they have been found as priests, teachers, scout leaders, hockey coaches, etc… It is therefore unrealistic to suggest that we should avoid any place that might attract them since we would rob our children of all of those institutions which are so important to their upbringing. With regards to naturist environments, they tend to have stronger feelings of community than within general society. Individuals with bad intentions within naturist environments are generally easier to identify. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that naturist environments have a lower than average incidence of sexual predators.

In the vast majority of cases, children are abused by someone they know. The abuser looks for a victim that has insecurities, vulnerabilities, and a lack of self-confidence. They typically use deception and enticement, not force, over a long period of time to gain access to their victim. They then use shame and embarrassment to keep the victim from reporting them.

It is obvious that being dressed has not kept children safe. The best thing we can do is teach our children the confidence to speak up when people do things which make them uncomfortable. Most resources on protecting children advise parents to teach kids about their bodies and give them the correct language to use when describing their body parts. If they are not ashamed of their bodies, they are much more likely to tell their parents when someone does things to them that they don't like. Whether nude or clothed, children should know that being touched in certain ways is wrong. Although good parenting is by far the most important factor in raising children, naturism helps to promote their confidence and understanding about their bodies.

Children's welfare must be safeguarded, but so too must they be given the chance to learn to respect their own bodies and those of others. There is no evidence that children are harmed by non-sexualized social nudity, and there is good reason to believe they benefit from it.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Photos – part II

We just found out that people who did not have a flickr account were only able to see a limited number of photos using the link provided on the April 5th blog post. That's because one of the account settings was set incorrectly. That has been changed. You can now see all the photos at:
www.flickr.com/photos/bareoaks/

Sorry for the confusion!!

Photo credit: ~chicchun~


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Nude in public... sort of


Peugot's latest publicity stunt does a good job at illustrating the ridiculousness of nudity laws and our society's schizophrenic attitude towards the human body.

On April 23rd, French automaker Peugeot sent out 308 actors outfitted in form-fitting body-colored suits and blue scarves to mingle with London's morning commuters. The reason? To promote the launch of it's new "topless" model, the 308 Coupe Cabriolet.

So they looked nude. But because they weren't actually nude, they were not offensive. Was anything hidden? Not really. I guess the only thing people didn't know was the colour of their pubic hair. Other than that, what's the difference?

In fact, you could wear a body suit that had nipples, penises and pubic hair drawn on it and that would still be OK. Not offensive at all. Only the real thing is apparently offensive.

And what about the actors? I suspect most of them would never have agreed to be nude in public. Yet they were OK with people thinking they were seeing them nude as long as they were not actually nude.

Doesn't that really illustrate the ridiculousness of nudity laws? Exposure of certain parts of the human body is illegal because those parts are apparently so incredibly offensive and upsetting. Yet it's the same parts everybody has and that almost every human being has seen many times in their lives. And since many people wear form-fitting clothing, the actual shape of those parts isn't even a secret.

I can wear the ugliest clothing in the world. I can walk down the street wearing a t-shirt that says nasty things about your mother. That's all OK. However, if I sit nude on my front porch quietly reading the newspaper, that is offensive and worthy of a criminal charge in most jurisdictions. RIDICULOUS!!



www.flickr.com/photos/nudeinascarf

Thursday, 16 April 2009

It sure feels good!

OK, it's not quite summer but you can feel that it's getting close. The leaves aren't on the trees yet and the grass is just barely starting to turn green. But the sun feels hot on the skin and the temperature is reaching delightful levels this week! This picture was taken today and we are not cold at all. In fact, after 20 minutes, small beads of sweat were starting to form on our brow. What a wonderful change after the snowy winter.

This weekend, all the roads at Bare Oaks will finally be open. They're still a bit rough. We have some repairs to make. But they are dry enough to support vehicle traffic.

We will also be turning on the seasonal water this weekend. I must remind everyone that although our water is filtered and chlorinated, we do not meet the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s standards for drinking water. Because we are a campground with year-round use and more than 5 connections, we must meet regulation 170. (Non-Municipal Year-Round Drinking Water System) We are in the final stages of registering the system. It should be registered in the next month or two. Until then, we must notify you that our water is not potable and you should “bring water to a rapid rolling boil for at least one minute before use.”

So we're open for camping. Well... we're always open for camping but not many people seem to want to camp without running water in the snow! ...although there are a few...

Sunday, 5 April 2009

photos


I have uploaded a number of pictures to Flickr, the Yahoo-owned photo sharing service. Take a look:
www.flickr.com/photos/bareoaks/

You can see historical pictures, aerial photos, summer images, pictures from illumination and more.

Note: The pictures are intentionally limited. Given how little control I have over what people do with with the photos, I've only included pictures without people, pictures where people are not recognizable or pictures with people who have given permission. I also avoided showing genitals and nudity in general. Not because there's anything wrong with nudity but because I don't want to attract excessive amount of website traffic from people looking for a cheap thrill.

On a slightly unrelated topic, I also added a new page on the website that explains the reasons behind the names:
www.bareoaks.ca/Bare-Oaks/Signs.html

Photo credit: ~chicchun~

Friday, 27 March 2009

Volunteer Day!

Volunteer Day!
Saturday May 9, 2009
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Everyone is welcome! Lunch will be provided, free of charge, for all volunteers.

Non-members who volunteer will not be charged any day fees.

This year's volunteer day will be focused on fixing up the Federation of Canadian Naturists' Library. The FCN moved the trailer containing the library to Bare Oaks last fall. When finished, the library will contain several donated collections of magazines, newspaper clippings, videos and other archival material from the world of naturism that go back to the beginning of the 20th century. It will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Canadian naturist history.

On volunteer day, the plan is to paint the trailer, build a deck and stairs, organize and clean up the library, and possibly replace the windows.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

BBC: What's the Problem with Nudity?


On March 3rd, the BBC show Horizon aired an episode titled "What's the Problem with Nudity?"

The show is very interesting. It takes 8 volunteers who have never been nude in public and subjects them to a variety of experiments involving nudity to measure their reactions. What is great is that the networks makes no attempt to hide anything. All parts of the body are shown. I wonder if the CBC would be as tolerant.

The show also explores why we are the only "nude" mammal. They try to answer why humans lost their fur and when. Apparently being nude has given us a tremendous evolutionary advantage. They also theorize on why we kept hair in a few areas. They report on a study which, by analyzing Lice, estimates when we lost our fur and when we began wearing clothing. Another segment talks about how we determine the gender of other people without necessarily looking at genitals.

There are some inconsistencies in the documentary. For example they try to explain the shame that humans feel when nude by saying that "all humans are sensitive to sexual modesty" even in cultures where nudity is normal. They never quite explain what this "sexual modesty" but they accept that, in some cultures, nudity is normal and accepted. In this segment, Prof. Dan Fessler, an evolutionary psychologist at UCLA, seems to believe that shame at being nude (sexual modesty) is an innate characteristic developed naturally through evolution. He believes that we developed body shame in order to reinforce monogamy.

Yet in the end, the volunteers are so comfortable with nudity that the organizers actually sound surprised by how quickly and easily 8 strangers became comfortable being nude together. The narrator remarks that "despite the potential for embarrassment, our subjects seem to be enjoying themselves."

In the final nude wine & cheese reception, the volunteers appear almost as comfortable with each other (after only 48 hours) as long-time naturists. In the end, the moderator concludes that "we're not born with sexual modesty" and adds that "so long as everyone agrees we can create new rules and avoid the risk of offense just like in a nudist camp."

The episode website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00j0hnm

A write-up about the show:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7915369.stm

The show can't be viewed online through the BBC. It is restricted to UK residents only. However, I found it on another website:
http://www.ninjavideo.net/video/19673

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Find the nude dude


Here's a fun one:
Go to: www.whereisnudedude.com.au
Find the "nude dude" and click on him

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Nikki & Chad in the newspaper

Nikki and Chad are profiled by Shannon Higgins in the February 3rd issue of The Eyeopener, Ryerson University's independent student newspaper.

Read it online at:
theeyeopener.com/articles/3970-Living-the-nude-life
(and post a comment!)

or read the printed version (more pictures) at:
www.bareoaks.ca/files/eyeopener2.pdf