June 29, 2020 in Uncategorized
This blog is part of an blog from Nick and Lins at Naked Wanderings titled “Can naturist resorts be successful while maintaining its values”
They have some interesting ideas about keeping youngsters involved in naturism and at the bottom of the article is part of a comment from Simon T and his experience at Vassaliki with his young daughter.
Will creating a safe environment and a decent online marketing strategy bring more youth? It will certainly help but again it’s not the one and only key to success. Teenagers and early twenty-somethings are the most difficult group to attract to naturism.
Then how did Bare Oaks manage to attract them?
We couldn’t find the answer. During one of our late night discussions about the topic which again seemed to lead nowhere we decided that we would have ask them.
Who can we ask?
Well… there are the three nice girls at the reception, how young were they? 21, 22?
Oh and there’s that girl who drives around picking up the garbage!
Oh and the guy who’s delivering the firewood!
Oh and oooooooooooooh.
The answer was brilliant in its simplicity. If you want more youth in your naturist resort, you give them a job.
The fact that teenagers turn away from naturism is something we can barely avoid. Not only is puberty a very confusing phase in life, it’s also the time when kids want to start building their personality. A personality which they often prefer to be different than the one of their parents.
The big question is how to get them back into naturism after this phase. Some of the kids who were raised at Bare Oaks got away from naturism and some didn’t. That’s how it goes, but several who went their own way decided to come back. Instead of just having to hang around all summer they could actually earn some money while being reunited with their old friends.
Generations attract those of the same generation. The more you can keep, the more others will return and eventually, the word will spread and there will be more newcomers as well.
Giving youth a job is a great way to keep them in the resort but a more important factor is to listen to them as well. Stop thinking that you know what young people want. We, although only in our thirties, often have no clue about how the younger generation thinks. When you have them available right there at your reception desk, talk to them. Give them responsibilities. Have them involved when choices have to be made. Ask them how they would make the place more attractive. Ask them to help organising new events. Ask their opinion.
It’s an easy thing to say that youth is not interested in naturism anymore or that they lost believe in the traditional values and naturist ethics. During the “volleyball weekend” at Bare Oaks we saw the opposite. There was plenty of youth who had all come down to play volleyball, enjoy themselves at the waterpark that was taken over for the occasion or just to meet old and new friends.
Attracting more new and younger members doesn’t go from one day on the other. An online appearance, a marketing strategy, modern technologies and a young influence, it all takes time and effort. But it works.
I took my family to Vassiliki in Kefalonia this summer and my despite the resort not really catering for children specifically the owners solution was to give her a staff polo-neck top and put her to work! Back at home she said it was the best holiday ever! So maybe too little trust and responsibility is another reason as to why the younger generations and families continue to only trickle in to venues.
March 25, 2019 in Uncategorized
How are family took to us changing our lifestyle.
When Mark and Samantha Taylor decided in 2006 they were going to set up a naturist resort in Kefalonia Greece, they were initially worried about telling family and friends hoping for a positive response. But they didn’t stop to think the impact this would have on family that were unfamiliar with naturism.
Here, Simon Sketchley, Samantha’s Dad tells us how he felt about his introduction to naturism:
‘Forget bungee jumping, sky diving and swimming with sharks. These extreme challenges pale into insignificance when faced with the prospect of exposing my 55 year old untanned flesh in front of my grown up daughters and a plethora of equally naked strangers.
When Samantha and new son-in-law first came to me voicing their dream of opening a resort in Greece – I thought great!! – Holidays in the sun. Then the catch – naturist. Well, my head made a quick U turn, losing my daughter forever.
But when the call for help comes from one’s offspring, we all dive into the fires of hell to help them – wouldn’t we?
The implication became more apparent as I sat on the plane. I had not seen my daughter naked since she was 6 when bath time duties dwindled away. As for her seeing me naked!
On landing, my worst nightmare arrived. The resort was full and everyone was gathered by the pool. Stars worry about walking down stairs on stage, imagine walking down the same stairs naked??? As I stood at the top step, I held my breath and took the plunge.
Heart racing, blood pumping, I was greeted with handshakes and “good morning”, “nice to meet you” in various languages. No one laughed, no-one pointed and in short, the world did not end!!
Why are we so afraid of nudity? Why are we so worried about exposing our puny bodies? I found it a liberating experience and one which I have now experienced on many occasions.
Of the “100 things to do before I die” – this has got to be top of your list.’
Simon thoroughly enjoys his naturist holidays now and what a difference it makes to Mark and Samantha that they can enjoy the family visiting and fully taking part. Samantha recalls:
‘I remember Dad having his long lazy baths on a Sunday night and taking him a glass of wine or cup of tea, so I wasn’t too concerned about seeing him naked, but I was aware that I was asking him to do quite a big thing. My Dad is the sort of person to take on any challenge thrown at him though, so I wasn’t surprised he excepted it. My sister however, I was used to being in changing rooms with her and was not worried at all, but I didn’t know what she would think and fully expected her to be very cautious. But within seconds of inviting her on a naturist holiday with us there was not an ounce of hesitation.’
Here’s how Caroline, Samantha’s sister felt:
‘The naturist holidays have become so much more than I expected, when I got the first phone call from Samantha asking if I wanted to go. I don’t think I really hesitated much, but I was at a stage in my life when I wanted to try new things and what better way to do that, than with the support of my family? Having done 4 years of life-drawing with my art studies, I wasn’t shy about seeing other people nude so it was only my own appearance that would be the barrier.
My first experience of naturism was anxiously walking to the pool in my bikini bottoms. I thought, ‘this is okay…I can cope with this’. So I whipped off my pants and swiftly dived into the beautiful blue water. It was great, so relaxing. The only problem I had was that I couldn’t find my sunglasses to read my book on the sun bed afterwards… Then it dawned on me, I’d dived in with them on my head because I was so preoccupied with worry!
A good few years have passed since my nervous introduction to naturism and it’s been taken over by a craving to get back to Kefalonia whenever possible. Apart from being able to relax by the pool without worrying about a wet swimming costume and visiting my sister, what really draws me back to Vassiliki is meeting the other guests who are always friendly and genuine. We have a great balance of time on our own as well as group socials, like the on-site barbecue evening, where we can all get to know each other better.
Although we have yet to manage to all be on a naturist holiday together, we got a taster when the family all stayed at Samantha’s resort for Dad’s wedding. After a friend had floated all the lilies in the pool the three of us couldn’t resist going for a sneaky skinny dip whilst everyone was upstairs getting ready for the service. We laughed a lot and still do whenever we are in each other’s company naked or clothed!’
Samantha just wants to finish by saying – ‘Go on, tell your families, you might be pleasantly surprised and get to enjoy a great naked future together with your family, not in secret!’