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At first, it looks like any other upscale campground. There’s a bathhouse, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, walking trails, grills and picnic shelters. The people there are just like anyone else—except they’re nude.
At Whispering Pines Nudist Resort, members and guests do everything any other camper would do; they just leave their clothes at home.
According to the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), this week is National Nude Recreation Week, and the nudists and naturists at the resort have planned various activities to celebrate. The week’s events will culminate with the AANR’s World Record Skinny Dip event this Saturday, July 13.
But the campers at Whispering Pines don’t need a set week to participate in nude recreation; they do it every time the visit. For them, it’s a way of life.
One resort member, Lana, equated nudism to getting back to the innocence of childhood, and described a time she watched a woman try to put clothes back on her toddler while he was playing on the beach.
“She kept trying to put the Pamper back on him, and he would run away screaming, like, ‘No, no’ because it’s not natural,” she said.
According to John Frick, the resort’s owner, many people have a misconception about the nudist lifestyle.
“People think they’re going to come here and people are going to be having sex all over the lawn,” he said. “It has nothing to do with sex.”
Lana agrees, and even says nudism is about getting back to one’s innocence.
Frick said the nudists at Whispering Pines are a close-knit group, and enjoy many social activities and sports on the grounds.
“One of the favorites is water volleyball,” he said. “And we’ve got hiking trails and biking trails too.”
The 33-acre resort also offers traditional volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and various activities. They also have live bands, and John said the members get together at the clubhouse every week for pot luck dinners and dances.
One of the resort’s frequent visitors, Larry, said the pot luck dinners were one of the best parts of being a member of the resort.
“Yeah, us naked people can cook,” John said, laughing.
Larry, his wife, Julie, and Lana’s husband, Ed, all said they enjoy spending time at the campground because of the people.
“You get more hugs here than anywhere else,” Larry said.
The members of Whispering Pines are a close-knit group, and several of the campers say being nude helps people interact with one another more easily because it gives people a sense of equality, whereas, when people are wearing clothes, it is easy to tell who has money and who does.
According to Frick, most of the nudists at Whispering Pines are just frequent visitors and do not actually live at the resort.
However, he said that many of the members are friends and maintain those friendships even when they’re not at the resort. However, at the resort the campers use only first names to protect the anonymity of anyone who’s not come “out” yet.
“They have whole other lives,” he said. “Many of them are doctors, lawyers or teachers.”
For them, the resort is a place where they can relax and get away from the stress of their day-to-day lives.
“You take off your dress, and you take off your stress,” Lana said.
This Saturday, the public is invited to participate in the AANR World Record Skinny Dip event at Whispering Pines Nudist Resort, 1114 Sun Street in Ocean Isle Beach. Participants will be required to pay the $40 daily fee, and are invited to stay from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. Frick said the resort will have a DJ playing music by the pool, and there will be games including corn hole, horseshoes and volleyball.
For more information, about the event or to find out how to become a member, call (910) 287-6404.