Ron Schout

No Safe Zone

by Ron Schout, FCN President

20,000 people signed a petition to stop a nude swim being held in Calgary on the principle that children and adults should not be naked together. This shows me that our job of education and advocacy is not being done. To add to that, when the mayor replies in an email to mine stating “ “, it shows me that we also have a job to do in educating fellow naturist organizations that put on events as to the type of advertising used to draw attention to the event.

I apologize for the lateness of what may be our last issue of this wonderful magazine called Going Natural/au Naturel. Why I say “maybe” is that we may still end up finding that right person who would be our volunteer editor. We’ve had several step forward wanting to help as co-editor. However, none have accepted the challenge that started with Doug Beckett, then Dr. Paul Rapoport, and then bounced back and forth between Karen Grant and Petra Scheller, ending with this issue in Karen’s lap after her final 2+ years as editor. Thank you ALL for your hours of devotion to getting the naturist word out in print. If we can’t find an editor, maybe we can find a different solution such as changing it from present magazine form to a lighter newsletter form?

I’m thankful as well that this issue is late because of events that happened the week of January 8 - 12, where an event on FaceBook was announced publicly about a nude swim in Calgary. It was picked up by one (ONE) individual who thought that naked children mixed in with naked adults as a family oriented event was not a good idea “for any reason” and took a petition which went ballistic on change. org citing fallacies and misleading information to get her points across.

Why this is important to me is because I have told many naturists that hide behind the shrubbery of their naturist parks that, “We are not safe, especially those on the outside of the park”. Beaches can be closed down at an instant by any city council at the drop of a pin citing any number of thoughts on why they shut it down. Swim facilities are no different. I’m thankful that as the convener for the GTA Skinnydippers we have not had any issues as of late, but I still remember the hoops we had to jump through with a new council when they learned there was skinny-dipping going on in their main pool. As the FCN we still have many fights going on as I write, dealing with unsanctioned beaches such as OKA, Meech Lake and Beaconia, and possibly Patricia in the near future as we keep our ear to the ground on happenings there.

What this comes down to is support. There are many ways to support naturism. Just being a naturist is certainly a prime way regardless of where you practice. It’s your attitude of support that counts the most. Then there is sharing (advertising) what we do with friends and family, going to naturist parks as a visitor or member, heading off to a beach or joining in on a swim. We demonstrate by example that what we do is right. We continue to show people that nudity does not always equate to sex! Of course the battles we fight regardless on a local or national level all cost time, effort and money on behalf of volunteers.

As a final remark, I’d like to say again, your membership fees go to this type of support and your magazine is merely a perk received so we can continue to play naked wherever that may be. In the years to come, we will have our challenges. Do not think for a moment that we are in a “safe zone”. 

Ron Schout