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NAKED @ CAMP

There was a YWCA camp I went to as a kid on the Oregon Coast in the 70s. It wasn't a nudist camp, or at least it wasn't officially a nudist camp, but a clothing-optional culture had developed. It wasn't like someone officially decided that nudity woudl become part of the Westwind experience. No one really knows how it started, but in the late 60s, a lot of people at Woodstock, or the Vortex concert, or Golden Gate Park, had gone naked publicly. People who had lived on communes were accustomed to shed their clothes with warm weather. Nudity was definitely associated with the counter-culture, but in the 70s it was less rebellion and more a "back to nature" zeitgeist.

One of the camp sessions was just for mothers with very young children. It was a retreat for them and a fun treat for their kids. So it'd be common to see naked toddlers playing in the sand, splashing in the water, and a mother strip down to skinny dip to play life guard, or layout and soak up sun. Since it was all women, and none of it sexual, no one seemed to care. It was like a women's gym locker, just outdoors and scenic. Since the mothers and the young kids did it, a lot of times, the counsellors (may who had been campers themselves) went au natural on the hot afternoons, at the beach, or laying out on the deck. Or just hanging out in the cabins.

I was a young girl then, but I remember it with fondness. The women came in all shapes and sizes. and so I never grew up to think the body was ugly or shameful. As a result, I never developed an eating disorder in high school, and never let anyone make me feel bad about the shape and size of my breasts or my hips. The 70s might have been a little reckless in drugs and had other drawbacks, but I really do miss that sense of acceptance of the human body as natural. Things are so much more conservative today, and our daughters at camps are not able to just be themselves as we were. And I worry for them.
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