Naturist clubs, run by amateurs – the future is waiting

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There are not many commercial run naturist campsites. A wild guess says that less than 10% of al the naturist places you can go to are (more or less) set up to make a profit. The rest of naturism campsites are run by amateurs. Even most of the federations/associations don’t employ a single person.

But to run any campsite, you need money. Not only to keep things going, but also to plan ahead. Where will we be in 5 or 10 years from now? And what kind of money do we need to get there? Such planning is difficult and many naturist club (with paid memberships) are more worried how to get through the current year.

The boards of those clubs do the best they can. But in many cases they are divided between people that have worked hard to get to the point they are now (and want to keep it that way), and people that see that ‘consumer demands’ are shifting towards a more servicing environment. They want to hire people to fix the buildings, work on the landscape etc. Volunteering just doesn’t suit their demands.

This status quo is hard to break, but even more difficult to maintain. If the membership clubs don’t modernize their organisation, maybe there will be no organisation left. If you only lean on volunteers (also when it comes to promoting the club) there will be a chance that these place don’t attract younger people (young families).

There are many examples of commercial clubs (found mostly in America and in France) that are flourishing and profitable (as far as we can see). Mostly they are found in the sunny parts of these countries. Unfortunately they are rather expensive to join/visit. But you also get a lot in return! From large pools to sauna’s and massage therapists to great sporting facilities and beautiful restaurants. There are not many naturist clubs, run by amateurs, that are capable to make large investments like these.

In the last year many people discovered naturism. Covid was (apparently) a thriving force behind this development. That is great news! How can we get them to our clubs? How can we convince them that a membership of a federation or a local club will help them to actually helps them to enjoy naturism more (and on more places). We really urge all clubs (commercial or naturist clubs run by amateurs) to invest, or keep investing, in facilities and promotion.

And we also know that the work of the thousands of volunteers really can’t be replaced by professional employees. Just to keep prices within reach of a large audience and to maintain parts of the culture that has got us here in the first place. We only hope that all these great people also see that the world is changing. And we, the naturist community, (if we want to stay relevant in times to come), need to embrace that change and look at the work that needs to be done to get there.

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