Last night I was saddened yet again to see that there was another school shooting, this time in Ohio. Reports last night indicated that one person had died as a result. News reports this morning state that two people died. This is very, very sad to me. Though I have no children of my own, I am in schools constantly as I work with children in crisis, I taught for ten years, and I have nieces and nephews who I love. Truly, nobody with a heart is immune to such tragedies.
I’ve heard many theories on why these school shootings occur. Bullying is often referred to- the person who did the shooting is often found to be someone who was bullied pretty bad. Many, many kids endure bullying. This is a not a new problem, though the way bullying occurs now is “new and improved” as we add the Internet as a place to more publicly bully someone or anonymously bully/ terrorize someone and as we live in an age where so many parents- not all, but so many- insist that “their perfect child” can do no wrong. My parents were far from perfect and there is no perfect parent, but I can guarantee you that if teachers had told my parents that I was bullying others, they would not have said “not my child” and they wouldn’t have threatened to sue the school for speaking negatively of me- they would have taken care of the issue and I would have stopped.
What does this have to do with nudism, you ask? Well, we could note that if schools were nudist schools then we probably wouldn’t have a gun problem because nudists have no place to hide a gun. Ok, even I know that’s a stretch with the topic. But there is a reason I bring this issue up on my nudist blog: I’ve seen many parents within nudism and I’ve seen many kids. Nearly all of the kids that I know within the nudist community are absolutely amazing: they are positive, accepting, helpful, well-socialized, and overall really good kids. Perfect? Heck no- neither kids nor adults come in “perfect” anywhere. But the kids in our nudist camps are very well socialized and know how to handle themselves. I’ve heard many say that they don’t dare to misbehave too much because “I have ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ all over the place, so I’d never get away with it!” From what I’ve seen, it’s very true. The kids at a nudist park are the most treasured people in the world. They do have a million aunts and uncles, though these people often aren’t blood relations.
Our kids are the pro0f that it DOES take a village to raise a child- and these are the kinds of kids that come out RIGHT. I can think of one resort in the AANR-East region that has (seemingly) a zillion kids. I know many of those kids from youth camp and some that I knew as kids are now well in to college. Those kids, once they become responsible teens, are allowed to travel throughout their park pretty freely, as teenagers who are old enough to go the mall or take long walks by themselves are able to do. But I can tell you that those kids know every person in that park, which means that they have a whole lot of people who are there for them if they need anything AND they have a whole lot of eyes watching them and more than willing to correct them if they do wrong or call their parents to have the problem addressed. Within my own park, I see kids who are treasured and love to be here. As the queen of the hot dog stand, I know that I always go out of my way to find well-behaved kids to give ice pops out to (with parent/ guardian permission) and I don’t think twice about giving extra-large fries to kids who are sharing them. At my park, the parents don’t worry too much about sending their child out to me to pay for their food or get extra ketchup because they know that I- or anyone else- will go out of my way to make sure that I help the child to count their money out correctly and help them to reach the ketchup bottles/ put the desired amount on their food. I’ve been at many, many campgrounds in my life as an avid camper and can tell you that there are no campgrounds out there in which I’d have this trust outside of our AANR Camps.
In short, I see how our nudist kids are raised and treasured. I see how they’re loved and appreciated. I see how they’re watched over by the whole community- which includes making sure they’re safe, making good decisions, and encouraged often. It’s the only environment in which I would allow myself to raise a child and I can see how this environment helps to create positive, optimistic, and loved people who will be tomorrow’s leaders rather than tomorrow’s bullies or school shooters.