Friends of the Ledges, Call to Action August 17, 2002
As you probably know, the issue of the Wilmington indecency ordinance is
coming to public vote on the 27th of August. We have a great opportunity to
create positive influence on this vote by filling in a gap that still exists
in the minds of Voters. We need to let the people of Wilmington know who the
people who use the Ledges really are.
This will serve a powerful purpose by discrediting those who are continuing
to spread lies, propaganda, and misunderstanding in a campaign that may
outlaw the Ledges, allow control of the public shoreline to those with
selfish interests, and restrict fundamentals of freedom by allowing a highly
vocal minority to rule. By honestly "telling them who we are" can easily
discredit the many untruths written in vile letters in recent editions of
the DV news. By doing nothing, we will be viewed, by default, as people
ashamed of ourselves supporting claims by our opponents.
It is time to write letters to the Deerfield Valley News and to the local
daily, The Brattleboro Reformer. Although this can be an effective campaign,
it is one that must be approached in a most cautious way. The timing is
perfect. This suggestion is by consensus of many local supporters, users
who are very close to the issue, and experts from the national
organizations. Note that this important action is in support of many other
- Keep it simple and to the topic.
- Be Positive
- Tell the people a bit about yourself, what draws to Wilmington (other
than the obvious Ledges), and the nature of your trips (are you a summer
home owner, overnight B&B guest, camper, etc.
- Be honest and factual. Any form of deception can backfire.
- Do use your real name and address. Your Mom does not read these
newspapers and who really cares if she does?
- Reflect only your own positive experiences at the Ledges and in
- If you have a Vermont address, are a woman, couple, retiree, or a family,
let them know. Many local people are most surprised when learning that such
people are the ones who use the Ledges.
- Use terminology that the people are familiar with. Ie; "nudist" to an
outsider is a negative and misunderstood word. Vermonters "skinny dip". In
many cases there is no need to reference either.
- Keep the letters short and sweet. Newspapers have space restrictions and
a long letter may bump tow of someone else's short letters. Short letters
are more often read.
- A very positive letter from a Vermont retired couple has created positive
impression with people polled in town. The same people are some who have
suggested more of the same.
Letters can be submitted to the DV News electronically and deadline is 5:00
pm Tuesday, the 20th, with a 500 word limit.
Letters can also be hand carried to their office on Rt 100 north of town.
- Be argumentative. No one wins arguments.
- Be negative. Negativity from Ledges users will inspire votes the wrong
- Speculate or represent any type of factual information unless you are
positive. Refutable claims can do major damage.
- Neither politicize, nor promote the virtues of nudity. The people have
had far too much of that.
- Beg for support, nor tell people what to do.
- Make attacks on anyone.
- Make mention of allegations or misconduct at the Ledges, even in defense.
Doing so can add fuel to the negative crusade.
- Be defensive. There is no shame in lawfully skinny dipping.
- Attempt to flatter "the fine people of Vermont", especially if you do not
know these people. Don't waste space by praising FOTL.
The Brattleboro reformer is the daily read in town. Letters can be submitted
All letters should be submitted to both newspapers.
In addition, there is not a better way to create understanding of Ledges
users than with a face. Spend some time in Wilmington wearing a recognizable
Friends of the Ledges shirt. Turn on the charm a bit at the line at the
grocery store, etc. and you will make a favorable impression. History of
people who have done this has been very positive. We have shirts and if you
e-mail me or find me at the Ledges today, tomorrow, or Wednesday (21st), we
will find a way to get you one. They are also sold via the Naturist Society
on line store. If you want a shirt but don't intend to wear it in town
please hold off on taking one until after the 27th because they are in
limited supply. They are an important tool. Fashion is secondary.
A bit of time invested today may serve to protect the future of tomorrow.
Communication Coordinator, Friends Of The Ledges
Member, The Naturist Society
Southern Vermont Area Representative, Naturist Action Committee
Frequent Ledges User
Part time resident and tourist in Wilmington
Copyright © 2002 Friends of the Ledges. Subsidiary copyrights may be held by
others. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
re-published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any edited form. All
text, names, credits and postal or e-mail addresses must remain complete and
intact if forwarded or posted to any public forum, or electronic bulletin
board or electronic mailing list service, or published, re-published,
broadcast, or redistributed by any other means. No "fair use" rights are