Undercover Story: An Intrepid Reporter Bares All at a Vermont Nudist Camp | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Undercover Story: An Intrepid Reporter Bares All at a Vermont Nudist Camp 

Published June 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. | Updated June 29, 2016 at 10:12 a.m.

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Originally published August 7, 2002.

I took a seat in the living room and quickly noted that all the chairs were draped with towels. It’s an etiquette thing. At Maple Glen Campground, virtually every surface on which you could potentially put your butt is protected by clean terrycloth. Willy and Sue went over the other rules — no pointing, no photographs — while a couple of casseroles cooked up in the oven.

You’ve heard about Naked Lunch. Well, I was just about to experience Naked Breakfast. It seemed only polite to dress, er, undress the part. Resolved, I headed for the bathroom to strip. The only way to experience the unique democracy of nudism, I reasoned, was to join the body politic.

It was not as easy as I imagined. Despite years of skinny-dipping and lounging naked around the house, I had to coax myself into taking it all off. The rain and the Mozart didn’t help, but a little sign in the bathroom urged me on: Instead of “Home Sweet Home,” it ordered, “Go braless. It pulls the wrinkles from your face.”

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Paula Routly

Paula Routly

Bio:
Paula Routly came to Vermont to attend Middlebury College. After graduation, she stayed and worked as a dance critic, arts writer, news reporter and editor before she started Seven Days newspaper with Pamela Polston in 1995. Routly covered arts news, then food, and, starting in 2008, focused her editorial energies on building the news side of the operation, for which she is a regular weekly editor. She conceptualized and managed the “Give and Take” special report on Vermont’s nonprofit sector, the “Our Towns” special issue and the yearlong “Hooked” series exploring Vermont’s opioid crisis. When she’s not editing stories, Routly runs the business side of Seven Days — overseeing finances, management and product development. She spearheaded the creation of the newspaper’s numerous ancillary publications and events such as Restaurant Week and the Vermont Tech Jam. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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