By Mark Blinch
When you’re a photographer, every day brings the unexpected.
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Case in point: My assignment at the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.
Imagine a campground where people perform everyday tasks but without a stitch of clothing on.
Mowing the lawn, coffee with friends, dinnertime with family members, even board meetings with colleagues — at this camp, there were no exceptions to the no clothes rule.
But Bare Oaks, located about an hour north from Canada’s largest metropolis Toronto, is about more than just nudity. It’s about community and trust, self-respect and self confidence, naturalism and naturism.
Most people might be familiar with the ideas of naturism or nudism. The International Federation of Naturism defines the term as “a way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging respect for oneself, respect for others and respect for the environment.”
Inside the naturist community at Bare Oaks, clothing is only used for protection, whether it be from the cold or from work that might injure your body, but most of the time you would never see a naturist in clothing unless they left the park and went into the general public.