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CELEBRATING ST PATRICKS DAY AT GLEN EDEN



Social Center at night:
the refurbished Jacuzzi

Tennis is the main passion at GE.

New pool opened last year with waterfall and bandstand.

Each weekend, Indoor water
volleyball goes on constantly

The monthly Billiards tournaments
are also very popular.

Photo Source: Glen Eden Web site: www.gleneden.com

March 2004 - SCNA members enjoyed a St Patrick’s Day weekend at Glen Eden Sun Club recently and this report encapsulates the opinions of many of our members who attended. The park is located about 10 miles south of the city of Corona on Interstate 15, about 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Many of us have visited the park many times and enjoyed the experience. The park is over a two and a half hour drive from my home so visits are not made as often as I would like. Still, by spacing the visits I have perhaps a better perspective on changes that are occurring at the park versus someone who visits regularly.

The new General Manager Gayle Hansen was busy with meetings the day we were there, but she had arranged for our SCNA club members to pay the same entry fee as GE members and to allow our single male members entry to the park without any hassle by showing their SCNA member card (instead of the usually required AANR or Naturist Society card). We much appreciate her kindness and support!

Our only peeve was that the park failed to inform us ahead of time that the restaurant was undergoing renovation (until the end of April 2004) and no food was available for purchase after 2pm when the local Roach Coach departed. We certainly would have packed our own food had we known. This is not the first time the office has failed to notify its day visitors of similar problems ahead of time. A year ago we know of dozens of potential visitors who left quite upset when they learned the pool was under construction, which wasn’t told to them when they booked their reservation. As one staff member told me, “Yeah we messed up but we’re working on it.”

On this current visit, the park was celebrating its annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities including Green Beer Drinking (through a baby bottle), Hula-hoop twirling (don’t know how this is associated with the Irish, but oh well) and an Irish Trivia game (example: "Name the 1960 movie Disney made about the Irish." Answer: Darby O’Gill). SCNA members won both the Beer Drinking Contest (Ricc) and the Trivia (Gary M). Later in the afternoon the activities staff served free corn beef and cabbage to everyone in honor of the day, and in the evening there was a dance with a live band plus a raffle contest for various donated prizes.

According to a copy of the Board minutes received by one of our members, the club had over 1900 paid members during 2003, about 2/3 of them couples (there is a 3 to 1 male to female ratio among the singles). Sources tell us that number is starting to grow again after several years of decline. Much of the park’s revenue comes from the 200+ mobile homes situated on the upper rear portion of the property. GE is home of mostly older and retired nudists, and several of them currently serve AANR or AANR-West in some capacity.

On the day we visited we did not see many families although we understand that during the summer months the resort is packed with local families and those who travel to California on vacation from other parts of the world.Many unofficial activities at Glen Eden go on regardless of special holiday promotions, such as tennis (6 courts), volleyball (both indoor water and outside padded courts), and on weekends there is often a billiards or pool tournament. Of course the most popular recreational diversion is the large swimming pool and Jacuzzi complex.The pool was totally rebuilt last year and reopened after several months’ delay that cost GE much of their spring and early summer business.

The pool is now heated very nicely for social recreation but a little warm if you want to do exercise laps (assuming you could find a clear lane to do so on busy days.) The park provides Styrofoam noodles for floating, and during the summer we hear the pool is covered with all kinds of other floats and blow-up chairs. One advantage of not having a diving board is the splashing and “cannon-balling” is kept to a minimum (but again, with few kids in sight, perhaps we just saw the area on a good day!) As part of the remodeling they the blocked off the old access way to the pool that used to cut between the pool and Jacuzzi, and instead there is a bandstand there, rising above the pool area. A waterfall mists down the side of the band area alongside the pool, giving the area a nice ambiance.

On the other hand, many people simply choose to sit under a tree and catch a snooze or talk quietly with friends on the lawn area between the parking lot and pool area. In other words, it looks like any other typical nudist resort.

However, for all the physical changes at GE during the past few years, we find there is still an unofficial “caste system” among the residents and long-time visitors against newcomers. The caste system is just under the surface of friendly smiles, and the cliques divide between the mobile residents, the tennis players, and the non-resident weekend-only members. (If you want to play tennis as a newcomer, you may be out of luck unless you know one of the tennis “in-crowd” AND are a very good player, as the existing players are known to monopolize the courts during much of every weekend.) Each clique has its own agenda about what needs to be done to improve the park, and sometimes they work together and sometimes they are in conflict. Glen Eden is membership owned, with By-Laws as thick as a telephone book. Each year they traditionally overthrow the existing Board of Directors and replace it with new members representing a different “political” faction of residents or sports enthusiasts. Former Elysium member Hans S. served as a Board member last year, and lasted there only one term. The members who only visit on weekends are usually shut out in these elections, but for the most part they don’t mind ("just give me a lawn and my pool and don’t bother me” is their prevailing attitude). The Board meetings occur monthly and go on all day, with progress often strangled by parliamentary procedure. Somehow it all works despite itself, and I dare say any newcomer will scarcely see any of this turmoil occurring just under the surface.

We also noticed that GE has absorbed many of the former members of Elysium in Los Angeles that closed a few years ago and in so doing, the old-time culture of GE is starting to change in spite of itself. People now are allowed to hug their hellos poolside and apply suntan lotion to each other. For years such touching was deeply frowned upon. Also people can now dance nude at the monthly dances (in the old days you had to be covered up, believe it or not). I also noticed a massage tent placed way off in a corner between the parking lot and the mobile homes (run by a GE member who goes by the name Sparrow). This is definitely growth for GE who for years distained such healthful activity on its property. Perhaps it won’t be long before massage is considered more acceptable behavior (as it was at Elysium) and allowed to take place out in the open under a tree in the lawn area where it can be marketed better?

Also we observed an improved (for the moment) attitude toward single men, forever a hostile topic at GE. In past years SCNA had trouble getting our male members admitted for the day without a partner of the opposite gender accompanying them. [Editor's Note: Single male discrimination is a problem nationwide at many nudist parks as the management mindset seems to be it is the gender balance causes the problem instead of focusing on the actual behavior of the individual guest. But I digress…]

The front office has had several turnovers of personnel in the past few years, and the hardliners seem to have left. There is still in place the policy that if you are new to GE you must be given a tour of the grounds in the nude before being allowed entry, although this rule seems to be enforced differently by different front office people.

Sometimes the staff has been known to be less than gentle with “first time women” partners and teenage children, and we know of some who say they will never go back to GE because of it. However, our observation of the current General Manager and her staff is that they are far more sensitive to people across the counter, although occasional problems still occur. The point is that when you come to Glen Eden, prepare to drop your clothes in a hurry and take the required tour. If a partner or child is “not sure” about the nudity thing, then don’t bring them to this park as it is NOT clothing-optional except during inclimate weather and after it gets cool at night.

My advice to those who want to visit is book an overnight trailer well in advance as they fill up early for holidays (there is a 72-hr cancellation deadline that is strictly enforced!) Check on what isn’t open in the park, if anything, and confirm in advance that you can play tennis, volleyball, or be in the pool tournament if that is your calling If people on the lawn give you a scowl, just ignore them as they probably are one of the old timers. There are plenty of friendly people around the pool to make up for them! And then enjoy your day at one of the nicer nudist resorts in the Golden State.


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