The Golden Apple is recruiting. The oldest naturist association in the department of Eure, among the eight listed in Normandy, relies on nature and family spirit to attract new followers of life without clothes. With nearly 2.6 million regular practitioners, 500 authorized spaces, the France is the first naturist destination in the world but clubs are nevertheless seeing their membership crumble, especially since the pandemic and also because of a lower commitment of new naturists.
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The Euroise association was founded in 1966 and joined the French Federation of Naturism in 1974. But it was in 1980 that its members settled in Harcourt on a private plot of land of four hectares that they will develop over the years, building in particular "Le Home", a common room with a wood sauna. "On this site, we have been up to more than a hundred naturists. You come when you want. There is table football, archery, volleyball and pétanque. You can also simply do nothing, sunbathe, read, have a sauna or a barbecue. We are the kings of the nap," admits Gilles, the president of La Pomme Dorée.
"It's a state of mind not a question of sunshine"
Today, the "nature and family" club has only twenty-three members, some of whom have had their card for forty years. "In Normandy, we can do naturism all year round. It is above all a state of mind, before being a question of sunshine. It is a relaxation, a way of living, of seeing the world differently. The fact of being naked is not trivial. It is the respect and acceptance of one's body and that of the other. Here, we do not judge, "argues Mimi.
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Like other naturist associations, the Golden Apple is losing members. "There are regulars and opportunists," says Daniel, who has been practicing for 40 years. Of course Covid-19 has hurt us but there is no longer the associative spirit. Young people no longer want to enter the structures. They prefer for many to experiment, sometimes with drifts. Here, we do not do exhibitionism or swinging. And then, the external vision changed. There is a return of Puritanism, we are again afraid of being frowned upon. »
"We want to keep our freedom"
In the shade of trees and looks but perfectly accepted in the village, La Pomme Dorée tries to find its hours of glory. "First, with the return of an annual calendar of activities. Once a month, we do a meal and an activity to keep us connected. It can also be festive days, such as Valentine's Day, Halloween or the galette. We will do the open house again. On this day, we stay dressed to greet the public and explain how we live our nudity. Then there is a naturist day where everyone can come, but this time naked, "says the president.
"Life is so much simpler that way," says Gilles. These actions will allow us to recruit new practitioners but, be careful, we will not accept a membership for a membership. We want to keep our spirits free, keep our freedom, our camaraderie. We don't want to break the atmosphere of La Pomme Dorée. »