December 20, 2010 | 6:58am
The Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort
is tucked away from prying eyes. To get there, you have to drive down several dirt roads in the already remote western Palm Beach county town of Loxahatchee. Inside the gate, families and visitors are welcome to be free as jaybirds.
The resort boasts 40 acres of naked freedom and includes amenities like a pool, hot tub, and sand volleyball pits.
Don't be fooled by the drum circle pit -- this isn't a Girl Scout camp. There are 50 permanent residents at Sunsport, including ten children.
But why would families want to live in a place where their children will see grown-up genitalia all day?
"Because they grow up without body hangups," said Morley Schloss, majority shareholder of the resort. "They grow up seeing varieties of body types."
Schloss has been living the nudist lifestyle since he brought his wife and kids to Woodstock in 1969. Because of the dust, everyone was forced to bathe together in the lake at the concert-grounds. He said that experience changed his life.
Since then, Schloss has been an outstanding figure in the national nudist community.
Before he moved to Sunsport permanently, Schloss was a school administrator in Rochester, New York. During his time at the school he helped institute "top-free swims" for the elementary students.
Yes, his students were aware of his love for nudism. His state-level activism made the news during the period of time that New York state was instituting a "top-free" law. Schloss was influential in passing that law, which dictates that women can have their tops off anywhere men can.
Now he and his second wife, Anne Fischer, live year-round at the resort in a trailer they say "doesn't have much room for clothes."
The youth director, a woman named Sandy, lives a few trailers down from the couple along with her 14-year-old son Bud and grandson, 2-year-old Xavier.
Leslie and her father, Grey
Photo by Devin Desjarlais
It was there that we met Leslie, a nine-year-old nudist who lives at Sunsport
with her parents, older brother Nathan, a large rabbit, a boxer dog, and two hermit crabs. When we first met her she was clothed and baking gingerbread cookies with Bud, Xavier, and Nathan.
But eventually Schloss brought me over to Leslie's home to meet the rest of her family. There she was nude and gleefully playing with her pet rabbit.
Her father was nude but her mother was clothed. Grey Vanaman has faced some serious opposition since bringing his family from New Jersey to South Florida. Although he didn't want to go into much detail, he did say his extended family staged an intervention recently.
"There's nothing wrong about being a nudist," he explained. "In fact, there's everything right about it."
While the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't disagree or agree about children growing up in nudist communities, spokeswoman Terri Durdaller said "there are currently no rules or regulations about the situation."
Despite the obvious difference between nudists and not, Schloss, Fischer, and Vanaman have found that they aren't judged by the clothed members of society. They will frequently talk to grocery store clerks about the advantages of nudism. When flying, Fischer has talked nudism with TSA agents, whom she said are very interested.
Currently Schloss is one of nine people in North America to be elected to a position within the Naturist Action Committee. Through the committee he's working to protect the current nude beaches in Florida, create more, and reestablish formerly nude beaches, like the beach at John D. Macarthur state park.
To read more about Leslie either follow the links throughout the story or click here