Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Naturist Vacation to CHM Montalivet & Paris, France

Water Park at the CHM Montalivet

This year, Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is introducing a new event: a group trip to France!

We have partnered with one of our members, Pauline from, to organize a fun and affordable naturist vacation to France.
The beach on the Atlantic Ocean in the CHM Montalivet near Bordeaux, France.

While the modern naturist movement is generally accepted to have started in Germany, it was France that perfected the large scale naturist resort. The combination of warm southern France, beaches on the ocean, and the French passion for vacationing naturally combined to create massive naturist resorts.

The oldest of these resorts is the Centre Helio Marin Montalivet – best known as the CHM Montalivet. With over 3,000 sites (tent, RV, cabins, and bungalows) and as many as 15,000 people per day, Montalivet is certainly one of the largest naturist resort in France. (you can listen to a podcast about Montalivet) The commercial centre in the middle of the resort has 22 shops and restaurants.

Karen and Stephane enjoying a morning coffee and fresh bread in one of the restaurants at the CHM Montalivet.
After World War 2, the naturist movement around Paris had quickly returned and was growing. Two of its leaders, Christiane et Albert Lecocq, realized that naturists needed a vacation destination. After a bit of searching, they ended up leasing some beachfront on the Atlantic near Bordeaux. Thus, the CHM Montalivet was founded in 1950.

Walking to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean at the CHM Montalivet
Montalivet was not just a place to relax. It was also a place to live a naturist life and develop the philosophy. To this day, discussions and lectures are an integral part of Montalivet. Some of the greatest thinkers in the French naturist movement have been members. In 1953, the French naturist federation (FFN) and the International Naturist Federation (INF) were created at Montalivet.

Now you have a chance to spend a week in the CHM Montalivet and experience European naturism!

    Paris, France
  • July 5-16, 2013
  • Airfare from Toronto or Montréal included. (other departure points are also possible)
  • 7 nights at the CHM Montalivet.
  • 3 nights in Paris.
  • Optional excursions in both Bordeaux and Paris
  • Affordable! Discounted group pricing on accommodations and airfare. All costs included except for your meals which you can cost-effectively prepare yourself in your bungalow while at Montalivet.
  • Family oriented – children's pricing included.
  • Maximum of 50 people (capacity of the bus) which is as few as 25 couples and less if they have children. So book soon if you want to be included. First come, first served! Last date for booking: Feb.28 or when the maximum is reached.
Photos, pricing and other details at:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Ethical Naturism

From our new webpage at:

Nudist vs Naturist

Naturist or Nudist?Which term is used depends partially on where you are. In Europe, the term "naturist" is used almost exclusively while "nudist" is often derogatory. In the United States, most people who attend clubs call themselves nudists because they belong to the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) who uses the term "nudist". Americans who go to free beaches tend to prefer to identify themselves as "naturists" because historically, the Naturist Society (TNS) has been the biggest defender of free beaches in the United States. In Canada, the official naturist organizations are called the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération québécoise de naturisme (FQN) but many Canadian use "naturism" and "nudism" as synonyms.

At Bare Oaks, we believe that naturism more accurately conveys what the movement is all about. Our philosophy is much more than just taking your clothes off and the term “nudist” suggests that it is only about nudity. It is a life philosophy with physical, psychological, environmental, social and moral benefits. Furthermore, we argue that it is not about nudity. It is about respect for self, for others and for nature. It is about being more natural. But clearly nudity is a critical tool that we use to achieve those goals.

Yet many people who call themselves nudists still clearly hold naturist values. So what matters most is what a person believes and how they act.
naturist or nudist podcastListen to a podcast where people from North America and Europe discuss the two terms.

The Naturist Recreation-Ethical Scale

Over time, people sometime change from being a mere participant in naturism to being an activist. But not everyone sees naturism as a life philosophy. Thus we introduce two categories within naturism: the Ethical Naturist and the Recreational Naturist. These are not finite classifications. Rather, it is a scale with most people positioned somewhere between the extremes.

Recreational Naturists

Many people start out as Recreational Naturists for the simple reason that it just feels great to be free of clothing. There is no denying the fact that skinny-dipping is one of the great joys in life. From that initial beginning, many naturists progress to understand the more complex ideology behind the movement – but not all do.

Recreational Naturist versus Ethical Naturists
The Recreational Naturist views nudity only as a recreational activity. While they enjoy being nude, it is only within the confines of their club or while at the beach; most are rarely nude in their home. Generally they don’t see any naturist implications out in the textile world.

Since there are few principles connected to their nude activities, the Recreational Naturist is unlikely to object to fashion trends or how people are portrayed in the media. The objectification of the body and unattainable standards of beauty are probably not concepts that concern them. They are likely to judge others on their looks and sexuality. Some even yearn to wear items of fashion in naturist environments; which is why many of them prefer a clothing-optional environment. Almost certainly, the Recreational Naturist doesn’t associate getting closer to nature with their hobby.

Many prefer the term nudist since nudity is what it is all about for them. But some use the term naturist as a euphemism for nudism because they think the word will be less offensive to their relatives, friends and neighbours.

At Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, the office staff works nude. As naturists, we see the human body as wholesome and natural. Since we deplore the use of clothing to denote status, having staff wearing clothes (or worse uniforms) seems counter-intuitive. Yet some people have fiercely criticized that policy as “unprofessional”.  In discussing the issue with some of the critics, it became clear that they saw nudity only as an alternative to the bathing suit. That made sense. If you visit a Caribbean resort in the textile world, you would not expect the office staff to be wearing bathing suits – that would indeed seem unprofessional. So consequently, nudity in the office at Bare Oaks appeared unprofessional to the Recreational Naturist.

Ethical Naturists

While Ethical Naturists enjoy the freedom of being nude, they also see naturism as a creed and a life philosophy. They believe that it is immoral to make people ashamed and embarrassed of their own image. They understand that society’s attitude towards the human body results in a lack of self-esteem.  The consequence is often a lack of self-confidence and the beginning of a variety of emotional dysfunctions. Accordingly, they strive to accept their natural selves and to respect others.

Respect for the body also leads them seek out healthier practices for their physical self. The Ethical Naturists see themselves as part of nature and consequently endeavor to minimize their impact on it.

Thus naturism is fundamentally about ethics and morality for the Ethical Naturist. So much so that it even takes on a spiritual dimension for some.

Although cultural restrictions generally limit nudity to their club, beach and home, the Ethical Naturists bring their ideals everywhere. Naturism is a creed that shapes how they perceive the world and how they react to it. They seek to incorporate the principles of naturism in all aspects of their lives.

Some Ethical Naturists identify themselves as nudists but many prefer to call themselves naturists because they see that it is more representative of the complete ideology.

Although nudity is preferred, the Ethical Naturist can practice naturism even when clothed.

Seminar about naturist values, ethics and morals


Again, it is important to understand that most people don’t fit neatly into either category nor will anyone manifest every single characteristic described. Like many classifications, these two categories of naturists represent a continuum with almost all people positioned between the extreme ends. But for those who believe that naturism typifies an ideal for a more wholesome society, being an Ethical Naturist should be the goal.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Winter Nude Beach Volleyball Tournament

Spikes Beach Volleyball
120 Weston Street
London, Ontario
Saturday, January 5th, 9am registration start.

Please RSVP to ASAP.

Click for Facebook Event or Google Plus Event

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bears not bares

A bear was spotted on Wednesday night near the garbage bin. While this is the first confirmed sighting that we know of, we have been told by the Ministry of Natural Resources that they do live in our area. They are rare and generally stay away from people and residences. And we want it to remain that way. In particular, we want to avoid having "smells and treats" that might invite him further into the park (bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, pet food, composting etc.) as bears at this time of year are looking for food before hibernation.

The following link has some great information both about what attracts bears and what to do if you encounter a bear. The MNR will not intervene unless the bear becomes a nuisance, but any sightings should be reported.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Seasonal Water Shutdown

We've already had a few nights below freezing. That means that we need to shut down the seasonal water supply to prevent damage. That impacts all campsites in Beckett Circle and a few connections in Helios Circle.

The shutdown is scheduled for this Friday (October 19th)

We will try to keep the washrooms and showers in Beckett Circle open a bit longer.

If you have a trailer, this is also the time to winterize it otherwise you may experience damage.  If you need someone to winterize your trailer, please contact the office for recommendations.

We will also be closing the pool. But given the weather in the last few weeks, that probably doesn't impact anyone.

But the clubhouse with its hot tub, saunas and fireplaces is open all year and members are most welcome to continue using the property and their trailers throughout the winter.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Halloween Party & Children

There has been a rumour going around that children are not welcome at the Halloween Dinner and Dance. It is the policy of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park that nobody is excluded from any park-sanctioned activity. That includes events organized by volunteer members and approved by the social committee.

With regards to the upcoming Halloween Dinner and Dance, we have spoken to the organizers and they told us that they are not excluding children from attending. In order to emphasize this, they are now offering a half-price ($10) ticket for children 10 and under.

There certainly are events at Bare Oaks that may be better suited for more limited demographics. But whether a child should attend an event is up to the parents to decide. For example, how late a parent allows children to stay at an event is their decision. As well, parents understand that if they bring their children to an event where adults consume alcohol, they could be exposed to language and behaviour that they may have to explain. But any behaviour that is truly inappropriate for children to see is almost certainly unsuitable for Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.

It is understandable that adults sometime want to spend time without their children. Of course, there are many places outside of Bare Oaks where people can do that. And at Bare Oaks, members are welcome to hold events at their campsite where they are free to invite (and exclude) anyone they want. But park-sanctioned events will never exclude children because we do not want to preclude parents from attending. (sometimes, parents cannot find child care) As long as parents take responsibility for their children, as they are required to do, it should not impede anyone else's ability to enjoy themselves.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Where's Willy?

Where's Willy

You may have wondered why so many of the $5 bills you get at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park have been stamped with the words "Track this bill online:".

That's because we're participating in a currency tracking website called Where's Willy? (related to the US version called Where's George?) "Willy" is a reference to The Right Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911, who adorns the Canadian $5 bill.

Why?  Because it is fun to see just how far money travels from Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. So far, we've entered the serial number of 354 $5 bills and 43 of them have been re-entered somewhere else. A few have been entered twice and one three times. So far, the furthest distance travelled by a bill is 324km to Gatineau, Québec.

Is it illegal to mark your money? Apparently not. Read this.

So try it yourself. It's interesting. (and yes, it is also a bit geeky)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

We're on TV again!

Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park on Rogers TV

A report about Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park by Michael Donly of Rogers TV:

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Memorial Cairn

Memorial Cairn at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

Most people by now have noticed the monument on the north side of Jarvis Pond that was lovingly built by Ulli, one of our members who is a very talented mason. The inspiration for the memorial cairn was the sudden and unexpected loss last year of Steve Cripps who was a very active member of the Bare Oaks community.
Steve Cripps memorial plaque at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

While we hope that all our members will live a very long life, we also recognize that we are all here temporarily. A memorial seemed like a perfect way to remember those who would always want to be here in spirit.

It is our hope that the monument will become a peaceful place to remember and reflect. Perhaps in the future, it will be further developed into a memorial garden.

If there is anyone that is connected to the park that you wish to remember, you can also commission a memorial plaque on the monument. Just contact the office for details.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Rental trailer/cabin

Rental Trailer / Cabin at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

At Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, we are committed to ensuring that there are affordable options for everyone who wants to visit us. We've always had unserviced campsites (only $5/night), serviced campsites, and guest rooms. We have now added a new, more luxurious (and therefore more expensive) option: a rental trailer. This park model unit offers all the amenities that you would expect to find in a vacation home:

Kitchen in the rental trailer / cabin at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park
  • One bedroom with Queen-size bed
  • Full bathroom
  • Full kitchen with stove & fridge
  • Large living room & dining room area with sofa-bed
  • Basic dishes and utensils provided
  • Bed linens and bathroom towels provided

Things to bring with you: Beach towels, paper products (facial tissues, paper towels), garbage bags, dish soap, food, condiments, drinks, small grill or BBQ, toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc...), sunscreen, & bug repellent, games, & sports equipment. Depending on your plans, you may also want to bring additional appliances such as a blender or mixer.

See the Rates Page on our website for pricing.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Things To Do

East Gwillimbury Farmers' Market

The town of East Gwillimbury is made up of several small villages – Mount Albert, Sharon, Holland Landing, Queensville, River Drive Park, Holt, and Brown Hill.  There are many things to do in those communities. Here are a few that you can do as part of your visit to Bare Oaks:

Shop at the Farmers' Market

East Gwillimbury Farmers' Market
Saturday, 8am to 1pm
East Gwillimbury operates a Farmer's Market from late May until early October. This is the 3rd season. It is a small and vibrant market where you can purchase goods from local producers and learn about area businesses. It is held at the East Gwillimbury Civic Centre on Leslie Street in Holland Landing - just 9km from Bare Oaks. It's a great place to get some fresh ingredients for your weekend meals. Visit their website for details.

Go to the Drive-In

North York Drive-In, East Gwillimbury, Ontario
Yes, there are still a few drive-in theatres operating and one is very close. The North York Drive-In is located on Mount Albert Road between Sharon and Holland Landing - just 11km from Bare Oaks. They operate on weekends from April until around Thanksgiving. With 3 screens showing 2 movies each, they give you lots of variety. The audio comes through your vehicle's radio so the better your car stereo, the better the sound. Visit their website for operating hours and movie listings.

Learn about History

Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum
The Sharon Temple is not just an interesting piece of architecture. This simple but unique building is closely tied to our history which is why it is officially called the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum. Built by a community of former Quakers known as the Children of Peace, it played key role in the development of democracy and responsible government in Upper Canada. It is located next to the East Gwillimbury Civic Centre on Leslie Street in Sharon so you can easily combine a visit to the Farmers' Market with a tour of the museum. There are many special events held there throughout the season. Visit their website for details.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Campsites available

As explained in the July 4th blog post titled Campsite Policies, there is a process by which sites are assigned. It follows this order:

  1. Members with a serviced site can move to the open site
  2. Members with an unserviced site can move to one of the open serviced sites
  3. Members on the waiting list

So far this year, we have managed to open 10 new serviced sites either through people giving up their site or by dividing large sites. Most of the people who have taken these new serviced sites were already on an unserviced campsite. But a few were from the top of the waiting list.  There are still a number of people on the waiting list but if you are not there, you will never get the opportunity. So if you are interested in a campsite, please contact the office right away to place yourself on the list.

In that same post, we also said:
On some of the larger sites, we may specify a minimum trailer size or sell a trailer with the site in order to maximize revenue.
That opportunity has just come up.  There is a premium site in Helios Circle on Lake Beamor with year-round water, 100 amp electrical service and sewage connection that has become available. The first person who contacts the office during business hours and commits to purchasing a peaked-roof, park model trailer from an authorized dealer with get the site. Please note that the person who takes this site is responsible for the costs of hooking up the services in addition to the regular site fees.

As well, we should point out that there is currently a trailer for sale in Helios Circle. See the Used Trailers section of our website for details. (you can also subscribe to the RSS feed or the Google Feedburner email list if you want to receive notifications when a new listing is added)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Water Quality

We have just received the latest test results on the quality of the lake water for swimming.  In addition to testing the drinking water every two weeks (which we must do by law) we also test the lake water occasionally. (which we are not required to do) We use SGS Canada Inc., an independent laboratory, to do all our water testing.

Bacteria level is measured in colony-forming units (cfu) per 100 mL. The E.Coli limit at which a swimming ban/notice is posted varies by jurisdiction. In Ontario, it is 100 cfu.  In Alberta, B.C., & Quebec, it is 200 cfu.  In our latest test, the E.Coli in the lake at Bare Oaks was 005 which is clearly well below any limits. We also test for Coliform and that result was 018 which is also well below the limit. The samples were taken on July 23rd which is after more than a month of full-capacity weekends, a lack of rainfall, an unusually low water level, and a water temperature above average – all factors which should aggravate the bacteria levels.

While we test the lake water a few times per year, we don't usually report it because it has always been below the limits and, as you can see above, the explanation is quite technical.

We are reporting it this time because we received an anonymous communication a couple of weeks ago, from a concerned member, with a test result that showed E.Coli in the lake. The key is that the test was for drinking water. It didn't measure the level of bacteria. It simply indicated its existence. The presence of E.Coli in a natural pond or lake is perfectly normal and part of a natural ecosystem. Based on the limits set by the government, it is perfectly safe for swimming. But we certainly advise against drinking it!

If anyone wants to see the original laboratory test result, please contact the office and we'll be happy to email you a copy.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Family Weekend: schedule

children kids naturist nudist

Less than a week until Family Weekend!

The schedule of activities and events can be downloaded here. Lots of fun for children of all ages!!
Of course, the schedule is subject to last minutes changes and updates.
Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park 2012 Family Weekend Schedule

Family Weekend
July 21-22, 2012

Discounted rates are available for visiting families. (If staying overnight, reservations are strongly recommended.)

Naturism is a family activity that is good for kids. Children benefit from being raised as naturists. Read about raising Children in Naturism.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Campsite Policies

The success and associated growth of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park have meant that for the last few years all of our year-round sites have been full. More than 65% of our members do not have a year-round site and many of them want one. We are sorry that we can't accomodate everyone but expanding is both expensive and dependent on complex government regulations and approvals.

We do keep 25 sites open for short-term camping. These sites could be filled with year-round campers tomorrow. But we keep them open to make sure that sites are available for the majority of members who do not have a year-round campsite, for visitors who are trying our park for the first time, and to welcome vacationers who visit us from around the world.

How sites are assigned

When a year-round site becomes available (either because someone vacated one or because we have managed to create a new one) they are assigned in the following order:
  1. Members with a serviced site can move to the open site
  2. Members with an unserviced site can move to one of the open serviced sites
  3. Members on the waiting list
On some of the larger sites, we may specify a minimum trailer size or sell a trailer with the site in order to maximize revenue.

We have managed to divide several of the larger sites so we will be making more sites available next week. Members with unserviced sites will be contacted first. Then, if there are any spaces left, members on the top of the waiting list will be contacted.

More sites will be evaluated

We try to be as fair as possible when it comes to making campsite policy. That sense of fairness and a need to keep the park financially stable is why we will be equalizing the lot sizes over time. Of course, there will always be some sites which are bigger and more private but we will strive to minimize the inequality. Additionally, the demand for campsites currently exceeds our supply so future expansion will be necessary as well.

Marketing Fee Increase

Trailers that are sold with a campsite have been selling for up to 300% of their value. Why? Because we've done such a great job of developing the value of the park and marketing it to new members. So it is only fair that we would share in that additional value. Until now, we have charged a 5% marketing fee (with a minimum of $500) on trailers that are sold with the campsite. That is lower than what most other campgrounds in Southern Ontario charge. That fee increases to 7% with a minimum of $600 effective immediately. Of course, you can always sell your trailer independently and avoid the marketing fee but then it must be removed from the site after the sale.

New Development Fee

Many campgrounds force their campers to purchase trailers only from specific dealers. We leave you free to purchase from any dealer.

But we do have an arrangement with a couple of trailer dealers. They were selected because we like their products and services. As well, these dealers share with us a small portion of their profit on units sold in the park. These contributions help defray operational costs and contribute to development.

However, these preferred dealers are at a disadvantage since other dealers are able to undercut them. So members are still free to purchase from any dealer but, effective immediately, trailers not purchased through a preferred dealer with be assessed a development fee of $2,000 for a new trailer or $500 for a used trailer. These fees are waived if the trailer is purchased through one of our preferred dealers.

Trailer Safety

Trailers come with many systems that have the potential to be hazardous. (electrical, propane, furnace, hot water heater, etc...) We want to make sure that trailers brought into the park have systems that are in good condition for the safety of the occupants and their neighbours. As such, effective immediately,
  1. New trailers brought into Bare Oaks must have a CSA certification and must not exceed maximum size limits.
  2. Used trailers brought into Bare Oaks or trailers sold onsite at Bare Oaks must supply a safety inspection report, from an inspector approved by Bare Oaks, before they are allowed to stay. Please contact the office to arrange an inspection. We do not get any financial remuneration from these inspections. This is strictly about safety.

General Campsite Policies

While the parameters of campsite use are generally well understood by most members, a recent discussion with a campsite holder suggests that not everyone understands the situation. Most of the terms surrounding campsite use are outlined in the License of Occupation. But here are a few important points:
  1. Site holders who keep their trailers at the park year-round pay a fee to occupy a specific lot. However, the land remains the private property of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. Occupation agreements are for one year at a time and we generally renew them but have no obligation to do so.
  2. We are a community and all members have equal access to the park and its amenities. Occupying a lot year-round makes them a part of our community. But it does not give them space where they can expect seclusion and isolation from the community.
  3. Campsite lots should generally be at least 30 feet wide and 50 feet deep. (with the exception of the larger lots in Helios Circle) However, previous owners were not very consistent in the layout of the campsites, so some lots are actually smaller while others are much larger. We do not guarantee any fixed size nor do we specify boundaries. We expect site holders to live respectfully with their neighbours.
  4. Because we are a community and because there are no specific site boundaries, we do not allow site holders to isolate themselves with fences or tall bushes. Some site holders that have been here a long time may have sites with fences or tall hedges that predate the park. We encourage them to open their sites up to the community.
  5. People with larger than average lots have generally been allowed to keep them as is. However, that is a consideration that we have extended and not a right. Most business-minded campground owners would have immediately terminated such arrangements. But we try to take a more charitable approach. However, those with larger sites should not expect that they will be able to sell or transfer their trailer with the site as is.  Those larger sites will be redeveloped in the future.
  6. If a campsite holder’s lot backs onto bushes or the forest, they are welcome to use it. However, that area is not part of their lot. Landscaping it does not make it their exclusive domain and the park can use it for other purposes at any time. If they choose to landscape the areas beyond their site, no compensation should be expected if we decide to use it.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Photo Exhibition

June 23rd was the official opening of Never Not Naked: Natural Nudes at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. It is a solo exhibition of Art Nudes by award-winning Oakville, Ontario photographer Michael Willems.

In this exhibition, Willems presents a selection of his Art Nudes, featuring his favourite Life Model in various locations. Juxtapositions are prominent in this work, which is designed to show the beauty of the pure and timeless human form in unexpected contemporary settings. The Nude has been a favourite subject for artists through the centuries, and Willems shows here that “Nude is not Lewd”. Pictures are framed and are for sale; limited edition unframed 13x19” prints, signed by the artist, are also available.

Michael Willems BSc, LPPO, is an Oakville, Ontario-based photographer whose previous solo exhibitions have included “IV-Intravenous” as part of “Contact 2009” and at The Kodiak Gallery, in Torontoʼs historic Distillery district, as well as “Urbanesque” at Torontoʼs Insomnia. He also teaches Photography subjects at Sheridan College, and in his own school,, and he writes a regular column exclusively for Canadaʼs Photo Life magazine.

The exhibition is open until July 8, 2012. Visitors are welcome but they must register at the office and must disrobe to view the exhibit.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Boot Camp Comes to Bare Oaks

Be your own best friend with this unique opportunity to train like the ancient Greeks at Bare Oaks' own Summer Boot Camp!  It's the perfect compliment to yoga and aquafit. Naturism is all about a healthy mind in a healthy body!

Your Boot Camp instructor is Margaret, a Bare Oaks member and a certified Canfit Pro Personal Trainer specializing in running and cardio-strength training. She is also a certified swimming instructor/lifeguard and trained in both CPR and First Aid. (hopefully you won't need the latter)

Boot Camp classes will consist of outdoor exercise circuits for up to 12 participants. For one hour, you will sweat through cardio drills, kettlebell swings, and weightlifting reps while Margaret encourages you with personalized tips. Ropes, resistance bands, and TRX suspension cables all play a role in this exciting and challenging class!

Classes start with an introduction on Monday July 2nd at 1pm. (a holiday for most) After that, they will meet on Tuesdays and Thursday at 6:20pm (except for the week of July 23rd) on the lawn in front of the Bare Bistro. (if you miss the intro or the first classes, you can still join in anytime) The class will start with a review of the new exercises and the workout begins at 6:30pm sharp! The cost for each session is $10/person. If you sign up for at least 8 sessions in advance, you will also receive a half hour of personal training with Margaret.

What do you need to bring?  Please bring a small hand towel to use with some of the equipment and to wipe your brow! You will also need to bring a 1L container of water or electrolyte drink with you to keep hydrated. Bring a yoga mat or large towel as you will finish each class with a cool down and stretches that are more comfortable if you use some sort of mat.


  • July: 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 31
  • August: 2, 7, 14, 16 

Because the sessions are limited to 12 participants, please sign up with the office in advance to ensure that you get a spot.

The first time you participate, you will have to fill out the health form. (You can download it and fill it out ahead of time)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Recent media coverage (or is it media exposure?)

Robert, a Bare Oaks member, suggested that we do a media release during this week's heat wave. So we sent out the following by email:
Nudity: The natural way to deal with the heat
The human body is very capable of handling this heat wave that Southern Ontario is experiencing. But the key is to remove all clothing so that the skin can do its job. Even a bathing suit or a pair of shorts will impede the body's ability to dissapate heat by confusing their thermoregulatory systems. In fact, most people's natural ability to control body temperature is dormant because we spend all our time clothed in temperature-controlled environments. But that system can be reactivated if people begin to spend more time completely nude in varied temperatures.
During this heat wave, Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is welcoming first-time visitors between 10am and 4pm at no charge. Not only will they be much more comfortable nude, taking a quick dip in the pool or the lake is just a matter of stepping in.
Of course, naturism is much more than just taking your clothes off. It is a life philosophy with physical, psychological, environmental, social and moral benefits. But with weather like this, the physical comfort benefits are most obvious!

We only know the results if people tell us. But we did hear that it ran on radio stations CHAY and 680 News.

On CITY-TV's Breakfast Television, Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese did a segment yesterday morning.

There is also an article in today's Toronto Star by Tim Alamenciak with a photo gallery online by Steve Russell.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Defibrillator Training

As many of you have undoubtedly noticed, we now have two defibrillators – one outside the office and one at the shower building in Beckett Circle.  This is all thanks for the incredible fundraising efforts of our members. While we hope they never need to be used, if they are, they just might save a life!

If you are interested in learning how to use them (anyone can do it) there will be a training session next to the Beckett Circle Fire Pit on Sunday (June 24th) from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. If you can't make it, there is a training DVD available that you can watch. Just ask at the office. There is also an online Flash demo here.

The AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) that we selected is the Philips HeartStart OnSite (HS1) Defibrillator. A lot of research was done on selecting the right one including consultations with York Region EMS.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Visitor Fees

It used to be that visits to a naturist club were limited. (typically 3 times) After that, you had to take out a membership or you were not allowed to visit anymore. That policy continues in many clubs today. But at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, we don't limit the number of visits. We prefer to let people make their own choices. It's the same reason that nobody is forced to join a naturist organization. We offer a generous discount to members of naturist associations because we think that their role is important and we want to support their work. But membership in those associations, like membership at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, is voluntary.

Clearly that has been a popular option since we had over 1,500 day visits by non-members last year and the majority were repeat visits. But when we analyzed our costs, we realized that expenses are disproportionally paid by members. So as we announced in the May membership meeting, the day visit fee will be increasing to $48.67+HST ($55) effective June 28th. That's still a great deal when comparing it to a round of golf and other attractions in southern Ontario.

But we also want to encourage trial. So we are now making coupons available in a number of places for a free first visit. Those coupons will only be valid during the key summer season since that is the best time for a first visit to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.

After their initial free stay, visitors have the option to take out a year-round membership or continue paying day fees each time they come. But membership at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park does have it's privileges:

  • Save time: no registration required, permanent parking pass
  • Save money: unlimited use all year round
  • Save more money: free use of mini-golf, boats, umbrellas, darts, etc..
  • Convenience: come for just an hour if you want (a quick swim, hot tub or sauna)
  • Greater access: 24/7, every day, all year round
  • Inexpensive overnight stays: camping as low as $5/night
  • Charge account: no need to carry money - charge meals and store purchases on account

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Clothing Drive

Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is hosting a clothing drive Saturday, June 9th from 10am to 1pm. We heard there was a need for various items at local shelters and, with the community spirit that is Bare Oaks, we decided to rise to the call. Items collected on Saturday will go to one of three places: Yellow Brick House, Blue Door Shelter, or to the Goodwill.

The Yellow Brick House and Blue Door Shelter are looking for new clothing, shoes, steel toe work boots, blankets, and towels. They are also seeking certain items to maintain operations such as liquid soap, diapers, and kids lunch snacks.

Yellow Brick House provides four core services for all:  emergency shelter, transitional housing, outreach services and public education. The two emergency shelters offer safes place for women and children fleeing their abusive relationships. Reta’s Place, their transitional housing facility, provides housing units to women and children transitioning from the emergency shelter to living independently.

Blue Door Shelters, located in York Region, provides safe, supportive shelter and services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They operate three, no-fee, emergency shelters for families, men and youth.

Each shelter provides: help to find permanent housing, accommodation and food, supportive counselling, referral to community services, life skills learning opportunities, and 24/7 accessibility.

The rest of the clean reusable items dropped-off at Bare Oaks will go to Goodwill. They use their revenue to fund their core mission: creating work opportunities for people facing barriers to employment, including persons with disabilities, youth at risk, the chronically unemployed, aboriginal people and newcomers to Canada.

The members of Bare Oaks are cleaning out their closets and will be donating what clothing they do have (we do have to come out for groceries every now and again!) to these community based organizations. Care to unclutter your closets and help the community at the same time? Then drop by Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park on Saturday, June 9th between 10am and 1pm. There will be volunteers ready to collect your donations at our designated tables on the front lawn.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Family Weekend

The start of an annual tradition – a weekend of events with an emphasis on family fun!

Activities, challenges, contests, entertainment, crafts, games and all-around fun for kids of all ages.

Family Weekend
July 21-22, 2012

Discounted rates are available for visiting families. (If staying overnight, reservations are strongly recommended.)

Naturism is a family activity that is good for kids: Read about raising Children in Naturism.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


There's a lot of volleyball going on at Bare Oaks. 

Last year was our first year to have regular casual volleyball games on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. Then our first tournament of the year was the 5th Annual Greater Toronto Naturist Volleyball Tournaments. That was followed by a mini-tournament held during the FCN Naturist Festival in August. Finally, we added a second tournament – the inaugural Lee Baxandall Memorial Volleyball Tournament championship. (August 26-28, 2011)

This last tournament was created after a Southern-Ontario club decided to stop hosting their popular annual competition and another Toronto-area club that used to have a large championship was sold to private interests. While the need for another tournament in the region was obvious, naming it was initially perplexing. But when we realized that many venerable sporting championships are named after people, the honour was instantly obvious.  The sadness at Lee's premature passing was still fresh in our minds and we were pleased to be able to commemorate him this way.

A perpetual trophy was commissioned that briefly outlines his accomplishment. It reads: 
Lee Baxandall (1935-2008) 
Lee Baxandall began his work as a naturist activist in the early 1970's. With a background in writing and publishing, Lee’s naturist passion led him in 1976 to form the Free Beaches Documentation Center, which he located in his hometown of Oshkosh. By 1980, Lee had founded The Naturist Society (TNS), and TNS had presented its first Gathering for naturists. ‘Clothed with the Sun,’ the flagship publication of TNS in its early years, was renamed ‘Nude & Natural,’ or more simply, ‘N’ magazine in 1989. 

Lee was also the initiating force behind other familiar naturist organizations. In 1983, it was a Baxandall idea that led to the TNS special interest group that would become Gay Naturists International. In 1990, Baxandall jump-started the Naturist Action Committee as an adjunct to TNS. The Naturist Education Foundation followed in 1993. 
For the decades of the 1980s and 1990s, ‘Lee Baxandall’s World Guide to Nude Beaches and Resorts’ was the standard companion for those seeking information on naturist destinations throughout the world. Each edition of the World Guide reflected Lee’s naturist philosophy, not only for growing numbers of naturists, but also for the benefit of an expanding mainstream audience.

Six teams competed for the Baxandall Trophy and had a great time playing. But only one group could reach the top. The winning team was called "Naked Ice" and featured Chris, Derek, Janice, Jim, Kevin, and Weldon. Each one received a 2011 medal and their names were the first ones engraved on the Baxandall Trophy which is displayed in the Bare Oaks office. Fifty years from now, the trophy will be much larger because of all the winning teams but they will always be there as the pioneers of the tournament.

Volleyball continues in 2012 with 2pm games on Saturday and Sundays. The games are casual but serious competition will happen at the 6th Annual Greater Toronto Naturist Volleyball Tournaments (June 29 - July 1) and the second Lee Baxandall Memorial Volleyball Tournament (Aug. 17 - 19) 

You can also find out about other tournaments at:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Now OPEN: Pool, Restaurant and Volleyball

Yesterday, the York Region Department of Health Inspector gave us the green light to announce that the pool is open!!

The picture shows the first people to jump into the pool this year. But the water was cold. While the sun is shining on the solar heaters, it is a slow process. So we will be giving them a bit of a boost with the propane heater in time for the weekend. The weather forecast predicts temperatures as high as 29ºC!

The Bare Bistro is back to summer hours so you can have a drink or a meal any day. Go to the restaurant's website for hours and other details

Also, regular volleyball games are back every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to join in!  Don't know how to play?  That's OK, the volleyball aficionados will happily teach you.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cambium Presentation Saturday

This coming Saturday (Victoria Day long weekend) there will be a presentation on Cambium, a new naturist village being developed on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The presentation will be held in the New Forest Room (downstairs in the clubhouse) at 5pm.

Here's the description provided by the representative:
An evening of Discovery.  Join us for an informative session about a new naturist development in the Dominican Republic.  Cambium representative, Samantha Gruen, will be at Bare Oaks on Saturday, May 19th @ 5:00pm to delight you with news about Cambium and some great purchasing opportunities.

Please note that this presentation is being done by an independent organization and has no connection to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. The fact that it is being presented at the park should not be interpreted to be an endorsement in any way. If you are interested, it is up to you to ask the tough questions and make your own decision.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

20/20 Report on "Extreme Parenting"

Why does the 20/20 interviewer assume that there's something wrong with children being nude or seeing their parents nude? As we know, being ourselves is natural.

Instead of searching for experts who can tell you how wrong it is, why not look for research on the topic? There are a multitude of scholarly research studies on this topic in psychology and sociology that have shown that children raised with social nudity benefit from the practice.

Instead of assuming that children in a naturist environment are somehow at risk, why not consider the facts first? Clearly keeping kids dressed doesn't prevent abuse. Naturist environments tend to have stronger feelings of community than "normal" society. It is a group and family activity, which means that children are rarely left alone and vulnerable. Individuals with bad intentions within naturist environments are generally easier to identify. But most importantly, children raised as naturists tend to be more self-confident and not ashamed of their bodies. That means they are much more likely to say no and tell their parents when someone does things to them that they don't like. Doesn't that sound like a healthier way to raise children? It may seem like "extreme parenting" but naturists believe that it is actually the most normal way to be.

I realize that the topic causes people to react instinctively and emotionally instead of rationally. But I would expect a reporter to be able to get beyond that.

The Bare Oaks website has an entire page devoted to the topic of children in naturism. It contains answers to all the above questions and more:

Note: If the embedded video above doesn't work, you can view the 20/20 episode here:

Friday, 4 May 2012

Showers are OPEN

The renovated showers/washroom/sauna area is finally done!!  That took a lot longer than we ever anticipated (nearly 2 months) but the resulting change is quite dramatic! The new showers feature both a rain head and a handheld. And unlike the old ones, this new shower area is bright, open and barrier-free. It's been designed with everyone in mind. From the handgrips for older folks to the low handheld holder that makes it easier to wash down the kids. Come by this weekend and enjoy!

And a reminder that tomorrow (Saturday) is Volunteer Day. Everyone is welcome! Lunch is provided, free of charge, for all volunteers. There are projects suitable for all abilities and levels of ambition. Non-members who volunteer will not be charged any day fees. (please register at the office)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

When Being Nude Means a Death Sentence

On International Women's Day 2012 (March 8) a group of women launched The Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar in support of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy.

In October 2011, Elmahdy, a 20-year old Egyptian university student, posted a full-length nude photo of herself on her blog in a protest against free-expression and her society's attitude towards women.

The reaction was, not surprisingly, intense and polarizing.  Elmahdy's blog received millions of visits. She became the target of enumerable death threats. But she also received extensive support from individuals and women's rights groups including a group of Iranian women and men who risked death by posing nude with slogans against Islamic rule.

The calendar project is the brainchild of Maryam Namazie. On her blog she explains that "with Islamism and the religious right being obsessed with women’s bodies and demanding that we be veiled, bound, and gagged, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance." The calendar was designed by Toronto's Sonya JF Barnett who co-founded SlutWalk. (a movement that has since expanded worldwide)

The other women featured in the calendar are mother and daughter Anne Baker and Poppy Wilson St James, teacher Luisa Batista, We are Atheism Founder Amanda Brown, atheist bloggers Greta Christina and Emily Dietle, FEMEN activist Alena Magelat, photographer Mallorie Nasrallah, actress Cleo Powell, freethinker Nina Sankari , writer Saskia Vogel, and mother Maja Wolna.

To purchase a copy of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar via Paypal, click below. Your support is important. BUY A CALENDAR TODAY! Proceeds will go towards supporting women’s rights and free expression.

Note: Because some websites like Facebook would censor this blog if we showed full pictures of nudity, none of the images referenced are shown. However, if you follow the links, you can see all the original photos.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

100 Years Ago

Dressed appropriately for the beach in Toronto 100 years ago.
All this talk about the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic has made me think about the history of naturism. You can see in the various photos of the time just how restrictive and uncomfortable clothing was. Not even the period's bathing suit offered a respite. In their 1931 book, Among the Nudists, Frances and Mason Merril observed:
"...there never was such a thing as a comfortable bathing suit. Wool scratches, cotton grows heavy and sags as soon as wet, and silk becomes slimy and nasty to the touch; either a suit is so tight that it cuts, or else it is so loose that is flaps and bags as soon as you enter the water."
When you remember that those bathing suits usually covered you from ankle to neck, that description becomes even more vivid. So the initial motivation for naturism/nudism was comfort and health. John Langdon-Davies, (1897–1971) the British author and journalist, wrote The Future of Nakedness in 1929. In it he makes the argument that the future of humankind is to be naked:
"Science, always the destroyer of good breeding, has discovered or rediscovered the uncomfortable fact that nakedness is a medicine for the sick and an inspiration for the healthy; that clothes, far from being the ramparts of a beleaguered city, are the investing army striving to encompass its fall; that a coat, a pair of trousers, and a waistcoat are barriers between the starving, hard-pressed tissues within and the relieving army come to raise the siege."
Of course, that was certainly an outrageous thought in Europe at a time where a man never displayed his bare chest and a woman would not dare to even show her ankles in public. Yet by the time the Titanic sank, Heinrich Pudor (under the pseudonym of Heinrich Scham) had written Nackende Menschen (Naked People) in the 1890s and Richard Ungewitter had published Die Nacktheit (Nakedness) in 1906. (which reportedly sold over 90,000 copies)

When the Titanic hit that fateful iceberg at 11:40pm, Paul Zimmerman's Freilichtpark Klingberg, north of Hamburg, Germany, had already been in existence for nearly a decade. It was founded on a philosophy of nude healthy living: fresh air, sunlight, frequent physical exercise, vegetarian diet, no smoking and no alcohol. Jan Gay described her visit with Zimmerman at Freilichtpark in her 1932 book, On Going Naked. She complained of the regimented exercise schedule and the "unsatisfactory" vegetarian meals. The Merrils were far more appreciative in their description:
"We had come to Klingberg for a few days–to see it. We had stayed a month, leaving at the last possible minute and curtailing our stop in Hamburg to one day. We had sacrificed not only such an inveterate habit as meat eating, but several weeks of our long-planned tour, for a physical rest and benefit, a mental peace and joy that we had never found before. For a month we had played like children."
At that time already, you can see the developing difference between mere nudists and those with a naturist philosophy. At the end of their book, the Merrils observe:
"The naturists, advocating a life in accordance with natural laws, consider the practice of nudity a useful hygienic measure, though not the most important."
But regardless of whether it was naturism or nudism at that time, the foundation of the movement was physical. The psychological benefits (acceptance of self and others) came later. Perhaps people didn't have as much body shame back then. Or it could be that they didn't recognize until later the emotional damage that this shame creates. It is certainly clear from the photos and writing of the day, that pre-WWII naturists and nudists sought physical perfection. (as did mainstream western society) But while today we recognize the damage that body shame causes, it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Everyday we are bombarded with messages that make us feel ashamed and insecure about what we look like. Media sexualizes and objectifies our bodies. More than ever, we need naturism as an antidote to all those ills that afflict our world.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

"Naked, With Children" Brouhaha

Globe and Mail article by Aviva Rubin

On April 1st, Toronto Blogger Aviva Rubin wrote an article in the New York Times about how they are casually nude in their home with their children.

Apparently she was unprepared for the intense reaction she received. In a follow-up column in today's Globe and Mail she explains how she is "used to my parents providing advice and constructive criticism on my parenting methods – whether I agree or not, they've earned the right to weigh in. But it seems that putting “Naked with Children” in public gave the whole world that right."

I've posted a comment from a naturist's point of view.  Since the G&M lists them by default based on the number of "thumbs up", please feel free to give it one if you agree:

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Volunteer Day & Members Meeting

Naturist Volunteers

As announced in September, the members' meeting was moved from the fall to the spring because it works better for everyone.

Spring is also the time for our annual volunteer day. We really appreciate the multitude of people willing to give up their time to make Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park a better place. 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.

Since the people who volunteer are often also the ones who come to the members' meeting, it made sense to combine the two.

Saturday May 5, 2012

Volunteer Day - 10am to 3pm

  • Everyone is welcome! Lunch will be provided, free of charge, for all volunteers.
  • There will be projects suitable for all abilities and levels of ambition.
  • Non-members who volunteer will not be charged any day fees. (please register at the office)

Members' Meeting - 3pm to 5pm

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

Euchre Night - 7:30pm to 11pm

The Bare Bistro, along with Marc & Suzy B., host their regular Euchre Night

Monday, 26 March 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Turn off your lights for Earth Hour 2012 on Saturday March 31st at 8:30pm.

Join Us At Bare Oaks

Join us this Saturday (March 31st) from 8-10pm for our Candlelit Game Night for Earth Hour.
Turn off your lights and electronics at home and come join us to celebrate Earth Hour at Bare Oaks. The lower level of the clubhouse will be beautifully lit with candles as members challenge each other to a game of pool, ping pong, darts, and various board games. Snacks welcome, keeping mindful of where your ingredients come from and challenging yourself to shop locally.

About Earth Hour

Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.

More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.

Where Earth Hour Began

In 2006, WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action in the first ever Earth Hour event. It showed that everyone, from children to CEOs and politicians, has the power to change the world they live in.

Then in March 2007 in Sydney, Australia, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

In 2008, the plan was to take Earth Hour to the rest of Australia. But then the City of Toronto, Canada, signed up (as did Bare Oaks) and it wasn’t long before 35 countries and almost 400 cities and towns were part of the event. It said something compelling to the world: that the climate challenges facing our planet are so significant that change needs to be global.

With the invitation to ‘switch off’ extended to everyone, Earth Hour quickly became an annual global event. It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March – closely coinciding with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it rolled out around the Earth.

In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries switch off for an hour. But it also marked the start of something new – going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change. And with the power of social networks behind the Earth Hour message, we hope to attract even more participation so we can build a truly global community committed to creating a more sustainable planet.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Creative Nude Photography Workshop

While this is not a naturist event, Rob Davidson is a talented professional photographer who has participated in naturism and has been very supportive of the naturist movement over the years. I've never attended Rob's workshops but knowing him, I'm sure they're excellent.

New Workshop Announcement

The Creative Nude Workshop
presented by Struan
April 29

This is a really fun and informative full-day hands-on workshop of creative nude photography, taught by internationally respected fashion and fine art photographer Struan.  You'll have a chance to learn from the best, then try out what you've learned with our professional models.  This has been a very popular, and successful workshop, and students have produced some really beautiful photographs! (register early to ensure you get a spot)
Workshop Details: 
April 29, 2012    9:30- 5:30  (1 hour break for lunch in studio)

Cost:  $300 & HST (includes lunch)
Class size is limited to 12 students.

A $50 deposit is required to hold your spot.

Also, there are still spots in the Digital Printing Workshop on March 31 and April 1.

There are a couple of spots left in Nadia's Beauty Photography workshop on Saturday!
This is a full-day, intermediate level workshop where you will work with agency models and professional talents from the fields of both commercial and fashion photography.   There will be a demo during the morning and students will then be provided with an opportunity to shoot in the afternoon in small groups using different lighting setups within the studio.  The idea is to learn how to interact with a model and direct her to achieve the desired image, while exploring the effects of different lighting.

When:   March 24, 2012  from 10am - 6pm


             April 21, 2012  from 10am - 6pm

Where:  19 Atlantic Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3E7

Fee:       $275 & HST = $310.75

For further information or to register for this workshop, email Nadia