Back in the early years, when the Fraternity Snoqualmie members first moved up on the hill and established Camp Forestia, the facilities could best be described as “primitive”. In time, improvements were made and that adjective no longer applied. In the early 1960’s, a more appropriate term was “rustic”. This was the case in most nudist camps throughout the country.
But new clubs were forming in warmer climes. In such states as California and Florida, nudism was experiencing an unprecedented growth. With close proximity to large population centers and with nearly year-round sunshine, the clubs could expect far more usage of the facilities than could their fellow nudists up north. The owners were willing to risk substantial expenditures of money to construct relatively modern facilities, especially concrete swimming pools with clear, filtered water rather than murky ponds. Members of the new clubs were not referring to their facilities as “nudist camps”, calling them instead “nudist parks”.
Fraternity Snoqualmie members, in their cross-country travels, would visit some of the newer parks. They were impressed with the modern facilities. “Why can’t we have a nice concrete pool?” The answer was quite straightforward; “All it takes is money!”
“Ah, yes! If we had more money we could improve our facilities. Improved facilities would help to bring in new members and to hold onto members who might otherwise decide not to renew. Increased membership would mean increased income – more money. So we’re back at square one, we’ve made a complete loop.”
Here, in this simple closed loop were the most important factors in club growth. Once a club got into the loop, things would “kinda keep on going.” Getting into the loop to begin with was the hard part.
“It looks as if a modern pool is still a few years away. Maybe we should concentrate on things that don’t cost much but which will add to our enjoyment and attract new members. Where can we start?”
“Well, what do the California clubs have that we don’t have? Lots of beautiful sunshine! A long season. Maybe we could extend our season. Of course we can’t control the weather, but we can come indoors. Not just clothed events like Halloween parties, Christmas parties, or potlucks, but indoor nude events — a swim party. We can’t afford to build an indoor pool, but maybe we could rent one. Will anyone rent a pool to nudists? Let’s give it a try!”
The answer was, “Yes! We have a pool in Woodinville for Saturday night from 10 PM until midnight. It’s not much, but it’s a start. We’ll charge $1.00 per adult. Kids will be free. It’ll give us a winter nude event; It’ll be good public relations; and maybe we’ll even make a few bucks!”
And so, about January of 1960, Fraternity Snoqualmie became the first club in the Northwest and one of the first in the country to take this important step. At first, this was a monthly event but then it became a weekly event. Other clubs followed our example. To this day, the winter swims are very popular and are an important part of the nudist calendar. The location has changed and different clubs now sponsor the swim parties, but Fraternity Snoqualmie was the first.
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