We recently had the opportunity to interview Kathy Watzel, President of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Kathy has been a member of AANR since 1991, a Trustee since 2012, and formerly Chair of the Planning Committee. Kathy also served as President of the Mountain Air Ranch Board of Directors, and has a Masters Degree in English as a Second Language.
What are your responsibilities at AANR?
Kathy: As President of AANR it is my job to assure the organization is relevant and fiscally solvent. The President presides at the annual membership meeting and at all meetings of the Board of Trustees. It is my job to listen to the members, finding out what is important to them, while guiding AANR to assist in the development of more venues to enjoy nudism, and protecting members rights to practice nudism.
Why is AANR still important?
It is highly important to have an organization supporting the right to be nude where appropriate. AANR receives calls weekly requesting help from members and nonmembers. Without AANR the ability to be nude would become very restricted.
Tell us the what’s exciting at AANR right now?
Kathy: AANR has been fortunate to have Trustees and a Board of Directors who are guiding the organization into the future. With that in mind, a new membership database is being implemented. The system will allow members to join online as well as the ability to track their own information. The new system will allow better communications from the parent organization as well as the region, to the members. All this while keeping personal information hidden.
Another exciting new service for clubs and groups is the ability to have AANR office create pamphlets for events. The office can create a pamphlet specific to an event sending the finished work to the club/group, for printing.
How is AANR different today than in years past?
Kathy: AANR has always promoted the right to be nude and supported its members, even though there is a segment of the population who believes nudity is unacceptable. AANR has made great strides in normalizing the practice of nudity. In the past, membership to AANR was a secret that might be shared with few. Through AANR’s efforts, more and more nudist are sharing their clothes-free life style with others.
Local, state, and federal officials, in greater numbers, know what our organization is and the family values AANR represent. AANR is working along side government officials, helping to writing regulations and laws that will not create unintended consequences for nudists or nudist clubs.
How can people get involved?
Kathy: The simplest way to get involved is to be a member of AANR. When you are a member, you support AANR and all it does to protect our rights as nudists. A large membership base gives AANR the ability to demonstrate to officials that nudism is a normal practice. Nudists vote and they are consumers.
Next, the most valuable asset you have is talking to others about being a nudist. By sharing you are a nudist with family and friends you normalize who a nudist is. You might be surprised and find someone else you know is also a nudist!
Two other ways people can be involved are by donating to Government Affairs Fund and/or the AANR Scholarship Fund. The Government Affairs Fund is used to support individuals, issues, clubs, and beaches when their rights to be nude have been challenged. While the Scholarship Fund is awarded to nudist individuals who are working towards advancing their education.