|Club Visits near
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Nudist Club Visits near Washington DC
During the summer of 2000 our family visited four nudist locations within driving distance of Washington DC. While we had previously been to clothing optional beaches at Assateague and Sandy Hook, we had never attended a club or resort. We have two young children, the youngest of which can now handle overnight camping. The first two landed clubs were visited in the early summer and the last two in the late summer. Mid-summer was full of business travel and camping at textile locations. These are our thoughts about some of the things that are important to us.
Pine Tree Associates
We decided to go here first because it was closest to home and had the first free open house of the summer. Finding it was straightforward, and they had an intercom at the gate for entry. This is not a clothing-optional club, but a nudity-required club. They had an extensive check-in process where we filled out a form and had our drivers licenses photocopied. Everyone (lots of people) at the welcoming area was very friendly. A couple from the membership committee was assigned to give us the tour. We were given the usual tour talk, asked a few questions, then were left to enjoy the day.
- Camping: Camping area was tiny and in the center of a road loop with seasonal RV users around the outside. Family camping not advised.
- Kid Stuff: Kids playground was good, with nice equipment, toys for various ages, and wood chips under the equipment. Small fenced-in kiddie pool adjacent to main pool. There were a few other young children, including another boy and girl with the same name as our son. Also a number of older early-teens.
- Facilities: Nice pool and tennis courts, good-sized sunning lawn, snack shop, sauna, indoor pool, and more stuff we didn't see or use.
- Visitation Policy: Limit of 3 visits before membership required.
- Membership Policy: Mixed-gender couples only, very limited singles. Must attend with partner.
- Overall Impression: Extremely paranoid about privacy (only first names may be used, and we were advised to not ask people about their jobs). Apparently discriminatory homophobic admission policies. General age-range was late 30's-mid 50's. Higher-income yuppie-ish health and athletic-minded membership. A couple of people talked to us, but mostly we were ignored. Fees on the high side for how often we would be able to attend, since it is mostly a day-visit club where we wouldn't camp. High social-contact commitment expected (you need to get to know some members well enough in 6 months so they will vouch for your membership approval). We might day-visit again, but membership unlikely.
Penn Sylvan Health Society (P S H S)
This club was more distant and in a very popular antique-shop area. Since our kids had already gotten used to camping earlier in the summer, we decided to do some antiqueing and arrive Friday night, camp for two nights, then antique shop more on Sunday before heading home. Check-in at the gate office was pretty easy. No discount for TNS membership (AANR only), and the woman didn't even seem to be aware of TNS as an organization. No credit cards; cash or personal checks only (their website now says CC's are accepted). No offer of a tour, but we did get a map and directions to the camping area. More info for visitors would have been nice.
- Camping: Large grassy area inside the perimeter road with mobile homes and cabins to the outside. Inside boundary was a small stream valley, and adjacent to tennis courts. Most of this area was sloping, but not too badly. Clean area with a couple of trees (very little shade) and some picnic tables. Right in the middle of everything.
- Kid Stuff: Some good equipment for grade-school age kids. Childrens water slide in shallow end of pool. Although it was a bit rocky (shoes/sandals suggested), playing in the small stream valley was very popular. Lots of very friendly kids around willing to play with visiting kids.
- Facilities: Very nice outdoor pool with a big water slide. Constant-depth heated indoor pool and adjacent 6-8 person hot tub. Snack/sandwich shop. Some motel-type rooms available.
- Visitation Policy: Unknown. We weren't told of any, and didn't ask.
- Membership Policy: Also unknown.
- Overall Impression: We loved this place, kids and adults alike. Some kids used the brightly-lighted tennis courts near our tent a bit too late for our young kids bedtimes, and there was a loud racetrack nearby, but no other complaints. We didn't have too many conversations with people, but many people extended greetings or comments in passing. Much friendlier than the previous two clubs. Would strongly consider joining if we were a couple of hours closer. Hope to visit again when possible.
We visited late in the season the weekend after the last music festival. Nights were getting cold, so we only planned a Saturday overnight. Arrived Saturday afternoon. Check-in was no problem. Told of events and given map and directions to campsites. First-time visitor orientation was Sunday morning. By that time we didn't need a tour, but we were shown a video and given some new-nudist literature. We were able to see inside one of the condos. Departed Sunday afternoon and only charged grounds fees for one day since we were there less than 24 hours.
- Camping: Lots of camping spaces in wooded areas due to their big music festivals. Unfortunately they have not put much effort into them. The main area is very steep and rocky, and only had 1-2 sites that could accommodate our family tent (luckily we went late in the season and had our choice). Additional campsites being developed farther away are also way too small and much too close together, with little work done to make them really useable. They have plenty of land to work with, so we were confused about why they made such a poor planning decision. Priorities are apparently elsewhere, like the new condos being built.
- Kid Stuff: A couple of token pieces of equipment in a terrible location, clearly just to meet AANR requirements for a playground. Kids were done with it in less than 5 minutes. Nothing special for kids at the pool except for a few "noodles" that adults also can use to float with.
- Facilities: Everything very spread out, and members mostly had golf carts to get around with. Pool was ok, with lounge chairs inside pool fence for about 50 people. Tennis, volleyball, and petanque courts. New indoor pool was under construction (completed in 2001). Nice main building and restaurant with adjacent lodge rooms. Condo rentals also available.
- Visitation Policy: Operated as a club and resort destination.
- Membership Policy: Unknown.
- Overall Impression: Very few people at all due to the time of year. Good age mix starting generally in mid-30's with most a bit older. Almost no interactions with members, but we were very busy with keeping the kids occupied the short time we were around people at the pool. Some friendly greetings. Likely to be very different with warmer weather. We liked it enough to return, but would probably rent a lodge room rather than being so far away in terrible campsites with the kids. The lack of child-friendly facilities is a big drawback, and we aren't too into the dances and other activities they have. Wonderful night-sky viewing.
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