Saturday, 27 February 2010

A visit to the Ontario Legislature

On February 24th, I participated in a lobby day at the Ontario Legislature as part of a delegation from Camping in Ontario. We had arranged to meet a with several MPPs (Members of the Provincial Parliament) to make them aware of issues that impact campgrounds. My colleagues frequently used the naturist aspect of Bare Oaks as a conversation starter when we met with an MPP.

In the afternoon, some of us had some spare time between appointments so we decided to observe the legislature in action from the visitors' gallery. While we were there, the following exchange occurred:

Mr. John O'Toole (Durham): Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I'd also like to recognize guests in the gallery from the RV industry, as well as Camping in Ontario. One of the camp operators advises me that he operates a campground that has a dress code. I thought that was interesting information. 

(By the many smiles in the assembly, it was clear that most people, including the Speaker of the House, were clearly aware what he meant by 'dress code'. Bare Oaks had obviously been a topic of conversation that day.)

I have a petition, as well... (He proceeds to present the petition. That text is not shown here.)

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I thank the honourable member for the petition and I trust that he's a regular visitor to that camp he spoke of.

Mrs. Joyce Savoline (Burlington): What goes to camp stays at camp.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member from Sarnia-Lambton.

Mr. Robert Bailey(Sarnia--Lambton): I'm not going to touch that. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario...

(and then the business of the legislature continued normally)

While the exchange does not necessarily reflect the true character of naturism, I think it bodes well that everyone was comfortable discussing it that day. Nobody showed any disdain at the idea. And the fact that it was even referenced in the legislature (albeit in a euphemistic manner) demonstrates that we have progressed far with acceptance and understanding.

People in the textile-obsessed world are generally uncomfortable with nudity. As discussed in the December episode of the Naturist Living Show, this discomfort fits incredibly well in the definition of a phobia. When people are uncomfortable with something, the often deal with it using humour. We should never take offense at that. The fact that they are able to discuss it demonstrates acceptance. Humour is just a tool that is used to cope with gymnophobia.

Text from the Hansard Transcript of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Wednesday 24 February 2010

Photo of the Ontario Legislature Building by jimmywayne

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bare Oaks on Google Streetview

Google Maps' Streetview has been expanded and now goes right past Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. From the looks of things, it was taken last summer. It will make it even easier for anyone trying to find their way to the park.

To see it, just click here.

Streetview is also embedded into this blog post right below this paragraph. If you can't see it, it might be an issue with your browser or that you are reading this using a blog reader or email program.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Hot Tub Update

The new hot tub has been working well since early December.  And we have been approved by the department of health. But this project has been fraught with unforeseen complications and it hasn't stopped yet. We have experienced unexpected problems with the foundation, piping, heater, pumps, wiring, circuit breakers, etc... Each problem required investigation, sourcing and remediation. Each time that happened, it often took weeks to get an expert to give us the solution and then a further wait for parts to arrive. I was asked this week when I thought the hot tub would be open. My answer was "last June".  I honestly believed that. But we have run into so many weird and unusual issues with this project that everyone involved is frustrated beyond belief. And now... (drum roll)... we have a problem with... stray voltage!

Many of you will remember that getting into the old hot tub while holding the hand rail sometimes resulted in a mild electric shock. It was happening well before the park become Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and everyone assumed it was some sort of static discharge. But with the new hot tub, the problem became much more significant. While working in the new hot tub filled with water, we occasionally got painful electric shocks. Regular electricians couldn't explain it so we hired an electrical engineer to find the problem. It took nearly two weeks to determine that the problem is not on the property. In fact, when we shut down the power to the park at the street, there was still voltage running through the hot tub. We have contacted Hydro One and they are going to install metering equipment to try and figure out where the stray voltage is coming from.

So how much longer?  It all depends on Hydro One's ability to find and fix the problem. In the meantime, we have been advised that the voltage levels are significant so it is too risky to let anyone use the hot tub. Other than that, the hot tub is working very well. The water is hot, the jets are powerful, and the room is warm and comfortable. But getting into it is a shocking experience that could kill you.

It turns out that stray voltage is not that uncommon. You can read more about it at:

Note: while many of the articles above indicate that stray voltage is frequently an issue with local wiring, it is not in our case. By shutting off the electricity at the street, we concluded with certainty that the stray voltage was coming from outside our property.
Photo by sillydog