It has been a good summer for Young British Naturism (YBN) with success on many levels. Reorganisation of the YBN forum has provided the spur for many of us to come together and start making plans. The launch of the YBN Whatsapp group by Mikey has made it much easier to exchange ideas and led to meetups at Clover Spa and other small-scale events. The real show stopper of the summer was the gathering at Waterworld to celebrate the end of Septembare and the Great British Skinny Dip. Officially, the event drew in a healthy number of YBN members but on the day it was clear that a similar number again of under-35s had heard about it and turned up, meaning that the whole thing had a really youthful atmosphere. The downside of that was that spaces on the slides were much more hotly contested than normal, but we are always ready for a challenge and just had to run from the bottom, back to the top of the flumes that much faster. For many, Waterworld was the first experience of a naturist event, an experience that they are very keen to repeat. On top of the young adults, there were a handful of families with kids – maybe they are not YBN age yet, but we know where the next generation is coming from!
Waterworld also acted as a focal point for additional activities. The problem with single-evening events are that it is difficult to justify the travel and it is a late trip home if you do not live nearby. Luke solved this problem by renting an Airbnb house that was shared by people who travelled a greater distance, meaning that we weren’t facing a long journey home through the night and were able to keep the party going to make the trip more worthwhile. Others such as David took advantage of the trip to explore some of the more unusual scenery around Stoke and take photographs. Granted the weather wasn’t ideal for a naturist day out, but fun never the less.
Looking forward, things are even more exciting and a healthy number of us are doing Alton Towers. Next year will be better still as the plans for the NKD festival, which is an event specifically targeted at YBN members and families, are advancing quickly. Naturism should be cross generational and we certainly want to be involved in the existing events as much as possible. But the chance to shape an event ourselves is fantastic and will be a great way to draw in other young people who are not yet engaging with the full organization – mainly because they don’t realise what they are missing!
However the social events are not the most exciting step forward this year. The biggest change is the involvement again of YBN at the Executive Committee level. We have created a leadership panel, comprising Drew Thom, Cassie Wright, Jack Leggett and Emily Hannan. A panel, rather than a single leader ensures that the full range of desires and opinions of YBN are represented, that the work load is spread and that the whole structure doesn’t come crashing down if one of us is forced to step back (life gets in the way sometimes). We had our first involvement at the EC meeting the day before Naturist Vision Day. We were able to discuss plans, identify how BN can help us grow, and more important, what we can contribute to BN. Some of us have already been able to contribute to newspaper articles through interviews, get involved in campaigns and spread the word ton social media. We are keen to bring new ideas to how BN runs both events and campaigns, and we have a lot of ideas. This is an exciting time for us, and hopefully an exciting time for all of BN. Trust us, there are a lot of young people out there enjoying social nudity. Now is the time to bring them into the fold.