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About Us...

Spiritual ~ Naturally Nude
Family Recreation ~ Singles Friendly

Imagine enjoying fresh air and sunshine over your entire body!

The free and relaxed feeling of being nude is a wonderful way to ease fatigue, stress and body tension. The feeling is magic.

Aurora Gardens Retreat is organized to encourage the acceptance of the human body and its natural state of nudity, to further the practice and acceptance of nudity by persons engaging in recreational activities, and to promote the freedom of women, men and children to be nude. As they were created.

Remember when you were a child on that hot summer day, you and friends doffed your uncomfortable sticky clothing and joyously skinny dipped in the creek or pond or pool? That wonderful feeling of water surrounding you without the restraint of a cumbersome bathing suit. Experience that youthful, alive feeling again at Aurora Gardens Retreat.

Our philosophy is that people will come where they are invited, return where they feel welcome, and stay where they feel at home.




May 2010 No new Newsletter. 
For more information call 715-964-8777 or e-mail us at 

August 2008 Extra Newsletter

Edited version from the newsletter sent to Aurora Gardens members)
A complete version with photos can be found at the Aurora Gardens
Lodge Office.

Gardens Newsletter Nancy Reinke editor - Old John Staff
Ramblings from Old John
    This is an extraordinary issue and not an "Extra read all about! issue.  A bit of background.  As Old John, I helped with the newsletter in 2005 - 2007.  By the late summer 2007 I had to cut back as I was out with medical problems (knee replacement, neck surgery & a broken leg - it was a bad year).  Being on the mend, so to speak, I got back on August 16th to visit the "Gardens."  It was as I remembered, but I missed Bob and Nancy.  I was able to return on the 23rd, and this is my "report."

The good news.  As many of you know Nancy had surgery August 4th to remove a growth.  It was benign, for which we all are happy to hear.  She is now on the mend and it was real good to see her out and about on the 23rd.  Bob had been busy taking care of her, but at the moment was out mowing. 

The Work Goes On and On
    As mentioned above Bob was mowing.  The mowing has to be done, or else the weeds take over.  And after mowing there are shrubs and trees  to trim... just waiting  their turn.  It is like mowing 320 neighborhood yards.  Just imagine what it would look like in just one year without mowing. 

News From The Garden
    Sparky reports he reconfigured the arrangement for the growing of cherry tomatoes.  Instead of having the wire racks placed horizontally he placed them vertically - in order to make harvesting easier.
     The tomatoes ripened later this year, but Sparky reports there is an abundant supply.  Members have permission to harvest what is extra.  Bon Appetite

The Au Natural Naturalist
              by Old John

    One of the fun things in doing a nature column is when someone comes to me and says, "I just saw a (bird - tree - flower) it was so big and brown, what was it?"  It really is fun only when one can answer the questions.  While visiting August 23rd Sparky came to me and said, "I saw an unusual plant, it was white, almost pearly."  AHA - I knew instantly what it was, so I asked was it about 6" high?  "Yes."  "And did the top bend over like it was nodding?  I asked.  "Yes," was his enthusiatic reply.  "Well, those are Indian Pipes."  So I says, "Lets go have a look at them and see for sure."

February - March 2008
Nancy's Corner    This has been a very long, cold and snowy winter.  Aurora Gardens is beautiful this time of the year with a blanket of snow.  We saw evidence of small and large creatures running about when no one was looking.  Everyone we have talked to is wishing for spring and warmer temperatures.
    Bob and I did not make it to the winter party held in Rockford Illinois.  We had a wedding.
    Good news!  This year we will be accepting Master Card and Visa.  We are going to give it a try for this year.  It took awhile to find a provider we could trust.
    Bob and I are eager to get started on projects for this year.  We have ordered Balsam Fir trees to replace the Jack Pines that are dying along the driveway.
    One of the first projects is to fix the hot tub.  We know it was missed last year and we missed it too.
    Another project we did not get to last year is moving the big trailer that is near the barn.  We want to move it to site 6 in the campground for a club house.
    We are hoping for a good turn-out for the clean-up weekend, April 19.  It always goes better and it is fun when we have more people joining in.  We do serve a lunch.  The weather will decide if the lunch will be at the pavilion or at the lodge. 
    Because of medical medical problems.  Old John has expressed the need to do less with the newsletter.  We are looking for someone to step in.      
"Hope to see More of You,"  Nancy

Below you will find items from Previous Newsletters too good to let go.
From the Kitchen   

I received this recipe from Bob's Aunt Florence when we were first married.  It has withstood the test of time.  I still make it with some changes.  It is still good.  Here is the original recipe.

Pineapple Meat Loaf
1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 pound of pork sausage
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, 8oz. can don't drain
1/2 cup pimento (cut into small pieces, can use green or red peppers)
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon or less salt
1/4 teaspoon or less pepper
6 slices or less bacon or turkey bacon (cut in half do not cook)

    Except for the bacon strips, combine all ingredients in order listed.  Line loaf pan with fresh bacon strips and pack in the meat mixture.  Place slices on the top.  Leave it in the refrigerator for an hour or two to blend the flavors.
    Bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Drain off juices, can make gravy with the juices.
    Do you have a recipe that has stood the test of time?  We would like you to share it with our readers.  Submit your recipe(s)  to Nancy, e-mail

From the Kitchen
Rhubarb Cake
2 eggs
3 C. rhubarb
1 C. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 1/2 C. sugar
pinch of salt

     Beat eggs.  Add rhubarb, sugar, flour, soda and salt: mix well.  Top with brown sugar and sugar.  Pour into 8 or 9 inch square pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Nancy's version:  When I made this recipe I only had 2 cups of rhubarb so I substituted 1 cup of peeled cut up apple for the missing rhubarb.  It turned out very good.

Aurora Gardens has an abundance of rhubarb in the garden spring and fall.

           The Au Naturalist by Old John
    It is February 20th as I write this.  The temperature is just 18 degrees and there is 2 feet of snow on the ground.  As I patiently wait inside my home recovering from recent surgery, times spent cross country skiing are now just memories.  It is easy to picture Lake Mariah covered with an even blanket of white snow unblemished except for animal tracks  here and there.
    Looking out the window in La Crosse any thoughts of spring will have to wait, what promises to weeks - and I find I ave a case of cabin fever.
    So I am turning my attention to an idea before I first started this column .  The Geography of Aurora Gardens; It was to be the background for the flora and fauna ramblings of an au natural naturalist.  Be patient as my geographic background guides my way.
    Imagine meeting a group of new people and you mention Aurora Gardens.  The first question you would get is.  "What is that?"  your answer undoubtedly would spark interest and the second question you would get is, "Where is it?"  Of course my answer is long.

                                     Where the heck is Aurora Gardens?
    Geopgraphers see "where" as location - and there are two answers, absolute location and relative location.  
     Absolute location is the precise point marked by the intersections of two lines on the earth grid.  Remember latitude?  The lines called parallels, 90 degrees south and north of the equator.  Add longitude, the lines called meridians, 180 degrees east & west of Greenwich,  You wuold find the Aurora Gardens lodge at 91 5' degrees N. and 44 30' degrees W.    

The next time when the dumpster has to be dumped, it will be moved inside of the gate.  It has come to our attention that people from outside of Aurora Gardens are filling up our dumpster.

Also to keep the cost down please put only campground trash in the dumpster.  No big items, like cushions, big empty boxes or furniture.  Thank you for your cooperation.
  A Word from Reverend Bob
The Most Important Body Part
    When I was a small child, my mother asked me if I knew the most important body part.
    After days of thought, I realized she couldn't ask me the question if I could not hear.  So I answered, "My ears Mom?"
    "No" Mom said, "Many are deaf but communicate well."
    Several years passed, and she asked me again.
    "Mom, I have been watching the years go by and learning from everything I see," I answered, "So it must be our eyes."
    "You are learning quite well," Mom answered, "But eyes are not the correct answer.  Many are blind but see quite clearly."
    Over the years, several more times she asked again, but I always had the wrong answers.
    Then came the year Grandpa died.  Everyone was hurting.  Everyone was crying.  Even my father cried.  I remember that especially because it was the only time I had seen him cry.
    Then it was our turn to say good-bye to Grandpa.  "Have you learned the most important body part?"  Mom asked.  I was shocked that she asked me this at Grandpa's viewing.  I had always thought this was a game between Mom and I.  She saw the confusion on my face as I watched the tears well in her eyes.
    "Today this question is very important," she said, "It shows that you know what is important in life.  Each time you have answered, I have told you where you were wrong, and given you an example."  She continued, "Look about you, my dear, the most important body part is your shoulder."
    "Is it because it holds my head?"  I asked.
    "No" Mom replied, "It is because your shoulder can hold the head of a friend or love-one when they cry.
    I looked at Grandpa, who had always taken so much pride in what I had learned.  His eyes were closed, he was at rest.  A tear slipped from my eye.  Would he know what I had learned?
    Mom put her arm around me, "My dear, everyone needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life."  Mom's shoulder was so comforting.  I sobbed.  She continued, "I hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on in your time of need."
    Then and there I knew the most important body part was not selfish, perhaps not even physical.  It is sympathy to pain of others.  People will forget what you said and did.  But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.

        Rev. R. William Reinke
The Torch
     Is there a magic time when offspring become accountable for their own actions?  Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, "It's their life, and feel no pain?
     When I was in my twenties I bent over a gurney in a hospital.  A tiny trembling boy, his arms around my neck, clung tightly to me.  Screaming in my ear for me to help him in his pain.  I had no power to trade his broken leg for my whole leg.  I couldn't take his pain.  My heart died a little knowing that he had discovered that Dad couldn't make miracles.  The nurse, seeing my anguish said, "Some day he'll understand that you couldn't be there to catch his fall."  Would I ever allow him more than an arms reach away again?  My Mother touched my shoulder, smiled faintly, and said nothing.
     When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how my child talked incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a career making license plates.  As if to read my mind, a teacher said, "Don't worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy them."  My mother touched my shoulder, smiled faintly, and said nothing. 
     When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring, the car to come home, the front door to open, the squeak of the stair, and only then I could drift into fitful sleep.  A friend said, "He's trying to find himself, in a few years, you can stop worrying.  He'll be adult."  My mother touched my shoulder, smiled faintly, and said nothing.
     By the time I was 50, I was sick of being vulnerable.  I was still worrying over my child, but there was a new wrinkle - he had a wife and was on his own.  There was nothing I could do about their troubles.  I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations, and absorbed in thier disappointments.  My mother touched my shoulder, smiled faintly and said nothing.
     My friends said that now that the kids were married, I could stop worrying and lead my own life, I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's warm smile and her occasional, "You look pale."  "Are you all right?"  "Call me the minute you get home."  "Drive carefully!"
     Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry and pain?  Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze a trail of human frailties, and fears, or is it the virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?  The torch of caring for another.  My departed mother's spirit frequently continues to touch my shoulder, smile faintly, and say nothing.
     Recently, one of the children became quite irritated with me, saying, "WHERE ARE YOU?"  I've been calling for three days, and no one answered.  I was worried!"
                        I smiled faintly, and said nothing.

                             The Torch Has Been Passed.

Rewrite by Rev. R. William Reinke
Original Author Unknown

Often, we are too busy to realize that life is happening all around us and we are just along for the ride.

"Children find comfort in flaws, ignorance and insecurities similar to their own.  I loved my Mother most for letting me see hers." Erma Bombeck
A Word from Rev. Bob
2007 Memorial Day Tribute

Here are five facts about war:
1.  Those who glorify war have never had to fight in it.
2.  Old men resolve disputes by war.
3.  Young men die in those wars.
4.  Battles changes young men forever.
5.  There may be no atheists on the battlefield, but most dying men
      scream, for Mom.

     Contributing Editor, Old John and other war veterans have asked me to do a reprise on my Memorial Day column from last year.  At first I diclined, beleiving it would be repititious.  And then recently, a visiting veteran, in his late 80's was standing in the office reading last years column.  Shaking, he removed his glasses.  Thinking he was going to fall, I quickly went to him.  As I neared, he looked up at me.  Tears ran down his furrowed and weathered cheeks,  I put my hand on his hunched shoulder.  His breath came in short sniffles.  He reached for a handerchief.  Embarrassed, he wiped his tear filled eyes.
     Looking right through me, he said:  "There are so many reminders, you know.  And there are so many, so many, to remember."
     So here is the rewrite:

                          MEMORIAL DAY

      R. William Reinke, Chaplin, Aurora Gardens
      As I write this, Memorial Day is shortly here.  A day we set aside to honor, by remembering, all those who died by fighting for the thing they and we like most about our America -- the freedom to live as we please.  No offical day is adequate to remember something like that.
     No one would know from honoring Memorial Day about how Nels Olander, my now departed father-in-law, helplessly watched his best friend shot through the head while storming Omaha Beach.  Nor would they know that Private John C. never married his highschool sweatheart he had promised when he got home from that war, beause Private John C. never came home.  Memorial Day cannot help Terry Junior experience personally how loving intelligent, and generous Lieutenant Terry was because Lietenant Terry never returned to his pregnant wife.  Nor that Captian Harry K. left everything below his hips in Korea.
     In this day and political time, Memorial Day has become just another day we are too busy defending our politics to spend any time to consider what those men did for us -- they died by laying their lives on the costly altar of freedom.  They were mostly boys actually.  We use the phrase, "Gave their lives."  They didn't give their lives -- their lives were taken from them.  There is more bravery in war than in peacetime, and it seems wrong that we have saved this virtue of bravery to use for our least noble activity -- war.  The goal of war is to cause death.  Those who sit at the top and wage war will never know the despondent pain of watching best friends slaughtered on the battlefield.  Nor will the powerful ever know the terror of not going home or the despair of having lost one's young child in combat.
     The powerful will never know or understand the personal agony of that first kill of another human being, one of God's precious creatures:  An enemy plane in my gun sites.  A touch of my thumb -- six, fifty caliber Brownings thunder over a screaming engine -- tracers run straight and true -- smoke -- and he is going down.  Only moments earlier we locked in a dogfight to the death because only one of us could be allowed to survive this theater of battle.  This was real.  His combat piloting skills and certainly his experience superior to mine.  My whole body shaking in terrifying fear.  Shaking, because my own mortality was in the balance.  And then he made the first mistake.  A hit.  A moment of relief.  Watching...  Watching for his parachute...  Waiting and praying for his chute -- but it never came.  In that moment, we were more than comrades than combatants.  In that moment, there was no glamour, no glory, only death.  Then, before he impact, desperately praying, "Oh God please let him live! 
     I'm sure he didn't understand why he died any more than I understood the reason for killing.  Had I widowed a young wife -- left children fatherless -- taken the son of proud parents?  That is the self- effacing scar of war.  In that moment  when it was my future or his, I gave up my beliefs and condemned my soul.  Please God, forgive us!
     For every GI, alive or dead, they all had that decision of first kill.  Those who die in the field carry that scar to their grave.  Those who return home bring it with them -- some are able to sublimate, most cannot, and the scar can but die with them.
     No, on Memorial Day I don't think of friends who didn't come back any more than I do on any other day.  Every moment of every day, a thought of remembrance is always just a song, a word, a reminder away.
     I wish Memorial Day could be dedicated to saving the lives of future generations who will die at the hand of those who fail so badly in humane wisdom and leadership that they must again resort to war.  Perhaps we could find some new way, perhaps a new religion, perhaps just a better way to resolve our differences.
     Perhaps, we could take war out of our lives -- Now, that would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.

Northern Exposure Naturists Newsletter
Edited version July 2005

Aurora Gardens Naturist Retreat Hixton, WI

Last February at Sunsport Gardens in Florida, I had the privelege of meeting a gentleman whose first time naturist experience was at Aurora Gardens. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience becoming a lifelong naturist. We made plans to meet the last weekend of June at Aurora. Although he was not able to attend, I had an excellent opportunity to experience first hand everything Aurora has to offer naturists right here in Wisconsin. Everything about the resort was first-rate and professional.

At Aurora Gardens, it is possible to enjoy clothesfree recreation while tent camping, staying in your RV, or renting an afforable room in the lodge overlooking spring-fed Lake Mariah. Or, you may just want to visit for the day and hike the extensive network of beautiful trails. With 500 acres of rolling hills, there is always much to do at the retreat.

Most weekends during the season, there are activities and parties. I enjoyed a Hawaiian Luau and the cooking talents of members Kirby and daughter Rachel. Members and guests are very friendly, no-one feels out of place or an outsider. After dinner, everyone gathered for a large bonfire and talked the night away.

Lake Mariah is crystal clear and a wonderful place to enjoy a leisurely day at the beach. A fishing pier and paddle boats are available.

Aurora Gardens Retreat is organized to encourage the acceptance of the human body and its natural state of nudity, to further the practice and acceptance of nudity by persons engaging in recreational activities, and to promote the freedom of women, men and children to be nude. As they were created.

On Saturday July 23rd NEN is having a club activity at Aurora Gardens.

The members of Aurora Gardens looks forward to welcoming the members of Northern Exposure Naturist.

Northern Exposure Naturists is a non-landed club serving members primarily in central and eastern Wisconsin.

March 15, 2004
Some of you may have read in the January 2004 AANR Bulletin about the problems with camera-cellphones. Apparently, photographs covertly taken at southern clubs are appearing on the internet. We have little alternative but to establish new rules about use of, and carrying of cellphones of all types. All cellphones must be registered at the office the first moment of your next visit. Nancy will place a sticker on it indicating it is not a camera-phone. As long as the sticker stays on the phone you do not have to reregister it at the office. Camera-phones are prohibited everywhere at Aurora Gardens Retreat. If your cellphone is found to be a camera-phone, you may leave it at the office or the desk can tape it over or tape it shut with brown shipping tape. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to use camera-phones for any purpose. Any device capable of taking surreptitious pictures, that is not registered at the office, shall be confiscated and destroyed on site. You will be ejected and your name will be turned over to AANR. Please leave your camera-phones at home and save us all the heartbreak of confrontation.

We continue to have need for as much volunteer help as we can get. Sparky needs help from anyone willing to give him a hand with activities.

And of course Sparky is donating his time and working his buns off to make each activity day a success. Please give him your personal thanks when you see him. A big thank you to all the other members who helped out at Aurora Gardens.

Aurora Gardens Retreat ~ Environmental Naturists Universal Freedom Foundation
Nancy & Bob Reinke

News Article...


Campground dress code as relaxed as its guestsby Tom Giffy
Leader- Telegram Staff

HIXTON -- In ancient Roman Religion Aurora is the goddess of the dawn -- the time of day that is sun-drenched, innocent and full of promise.

Bob and Nancy Reinke of rural Hixton hope their new venture, Aurora Gardens, shares some of these qualities with its fabled namesake. Aurora Gardens officially opened the summer of 2001 at Triple R Resort; the 525-acre campground the couple has owned in rural Jackson County for a decade.

What sets Aurora Gardens apart from the previous campground isn't the peaceful rural setting. It isn't the five-acre lake where visitors frolic in the pristine waters as others sunbathe on the shore. It isn't the shady campsites or the miles of hiking trails. All these features are just as they were before - natural.

Now, however, the clientele is natural as well. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are au naturel.

Since May, Aurora Gardens has operated as a clothing-optional resort, open to visitors from throughout the Midwest who prefer to relax in the buff. The resort has a growing group of several dozen campers who visit on the weekends and who, despite their varying backgrounds and hometowns, all have one thing in common - they enjoy socializing with other nudists.

The Reinkes first began serving nudists occasionally in 1998 when a nudist group offered them a $5,000 advance to rent the campground for a weekend. While the event was hectic for the Reinkes because of the large number of campers, they were impressed by how friendly, helpful and clean their visitors were.

When Bob and Nancy took over management of the campground from their son and daughter-in-law last winter, they decided to make the business clothing-optional all the time, hoping to tap the increasingly lucrative nudist market.

According to the American Association of Nude Recreation, nude recreation was an estimated $400-million-a-year business in 1998. This figure has more than doubled in the past decade, said Carolyn Hawkins, public relations coordinator for AANR. The association has more than 244 affiliated clubs and resorts, and its individual membership has grown about 70 percent to more than 50,000 in 10 years, Hawkins said.

Aurora Gardens is now affiliated with AANR. Hawkins said it is only the second AANR-member nudist club in the state. The other is Valley View Recreation Club near Cambridge.

"People don't just come out here to take their clothes off," Nancy explained when asked about the campground's clientele. "They come out here to meet other people."

On a recent Saturday afternoon campers proved her right, chatting casually while lying in the sun, enjoying the waters of Lake Mariah or hiking in the lush woods and up a steep rock outcropping that offered a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. The campground also boasts a softball field, volleyball nets and an area that visiting golfers can use as a driving range.

Chris and Neil, a married Wisconsin couple who asked that their last name not be used, lounged with a few others in the sun by the lake. Chris explained why she and her husband visit nudist camps.

"You are who you are," she said. "There's no pretense. You say,'This is the way I am and if you don't like it, don't look.'"

Removing clothing removes social barriers between people, allowing them freedom to relate to each other, campers said.

"The classes kind of disappear," Neil added.

Connie, a Tomah woman who visits Aurora Gardens with her husband, Randy, said they camp in the nude for the same reasons most people camp with their clothing: to enjoy a quiet respite from the pressures of daily life.

The nudist lifestyle, numerous campers pointed out half-jokingly, also saves on laundry.

"Whether I'm going to socialize with the people or change the oil in a tractor, I'm wearing the right clothes," Bob said.

For Roger, another camper, nudism offers the simple enjoyments of being someplace where he doesn't have to wear clothes.

"Just being here to relax is a lot for me," said Roger, who sat by the lake with nothing but sunglasses, sandals and a flyswatter.

"We're just ordinary people really," said Denny Lawrence, a campground regular from Minnesota who has been a nudist most of his life. Lawrence said he feels much better when he's nude in the outdoors, as if he was solar-powered.

"All of a sudden I feel I'm charging like a battery," he said.

In Bob's estimation nudists tend to be more laid-back, friendly, helpful and confident than the population at large.

"Their self-appreciation of body image feeds into their confidence," he said.

When the first nudist group came, Bob didn't worry about the campers but rather about visiting troublemakers, teen-age gawkers and the potential for negative community reaction. Fortunately none of these problems materialized. In fact local businesses and leaders have been supportive, he said.

The Reinkes said they were up front about their plans with local government leaders, who were in turn "elated" to learn how a growing resort could boost other businesses and how the possible addition of condominiums and other facilities would increase the town's tax base.

The Garden Valley Town Board was impressed by the Reinkes' plans and their openness about a nudist campground, said town Chairman Vince Ruzic.

"As long as they don't try to push their lifestyle on anyone else, I don't know why anyone would be against it," he said.

Even though their experiences with local leaders, business owners and neighbors have been positive, the Reinkes know many in the public have misconceptions about nudism. Bob fears the first thing many non-nudists -- or "textiles" -- think when they hear about nudism is sex.

The assumption that nudism is about sex "couldn't be further from the truth," Randy said.

In fact the campground's rules prohibit suggestive familiarity, language or behavior; intimate contact; or sexually provocative behavior.

Nudists are also wary of gawkers and people who visit nudist camps for the "wrong reasons." According to the campground's rules, clothing is optional because new converts to nudism should be allowed to be comfortable.

"However", the rules read, "if you continue to remain clothed while at Aurora Gardens, we're going to wonder about your motivation to be here."

Some people are afraid to try nudism because they believe they'll encounter people much more attractive than them, which the Reinkes said is also a misconception.

"We don't have Miss America out here, or Mr. Atlas," Nancy said.

The Reinkes have ambitious plans for improving the campground in the future. They envision, among other things, a nine-hole golf course, condominiums, an indoor pool and a multipurpose recreational room that would help make Aurora Gardens a year-round attraction.

And the potential market for the resort is large, the Reinkes said. Madison, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities and Green Bay are all within a three-hour drive. The Reinkes hope being a nudist campground will make Aurora Gardens a destination for visitors rather than simply a place people spend the night while traveling on nearby Interstate 94.

Despite the stress and activity of operating the campground, the Reinkes are happy they're attracting visitors who love it as much as they do -- as well as living a lifestyle they find natural and comfortable.

In his previous career, Bob said, he awoke each day worrying about what clothes he had to wear to the office.

"Now when I get up in the morning, I wear only the wonderful suit my creator made for me," he said.

The Bulletin- Nude Recreation - Spotlight -
Feb 2003

By Pete Williams

The view is spectacular!
The view is spectacular!

According to ancient Roman Religion, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn, the quiet time of day when the sun and nature spring out of the darkness and life seems full of promise.

According to ancient Roman Religion, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn, the quiet time of day when the sun and nature spring out of the darkness and life seems full of promise.

Bob and Nancy Reinke get that feeling each morning as they watch nature come to life at their 525-acre property in Hixton, Wisconsin. Not long after purchasing the property in 1994, they re-christened it Aurora Gardens at Triple R Resort to signify the dawn of a new era at the property, a former horse-riding camp for boys in the middle of dairy country.

Though the Reinkes had been nudists for some time, they did not buy the property with the plans to turn it into an AANR club. Their son and daughter-in-law wanted to run the campground, and the Reinkes figured it wouldn't be a bad investment.

Two years later, a casino opened in nearby Black River Falls, and the campground's business began to decline. The resort still attracted trout seeking fisherman in the spring and deer hunters in the winter, but the campsites began to go empty on weekends.

In 1998, a nudist group offered $5,000 in advance to rent the campground for a weekend. Though initially concerned about rowdiness, the Reinkes found the nudists to be among the most friendly and clean campers ever to visit the property. By 2001, the club was in the midst of a transition into full-time nudist status. Aurora Gardens now ranks as one of the largest AANR resorts, at least by property size, and is just the second landed AANR club in Wisconsin.

Though Wisconsin weather is not conducive to year-round nudism and is not a state that travelers tend to hit on cross country voyages, Aurora Gardens has had no trouble attracting members and guests.

"We have our days with temperatures in the 60s and 70s in the fall, Bob Reinke says. "Our main attraction is the property itself." For nudists looking for a true get-back-to-nature experience, it's tough to top Aurora Gardens, which features 25 miles of wooded hiking trails, a fiveacres lake for swimming, and shady campsite. Streams runthrough out the property, and it's not unusual to see deer and wild turkeys.

The grounds offer a peaceful nature retreat.
The grounds offer a peaceful
nature retreat.

"I think what makes this place so popular is that it provides that true family camping experience that you think offrom years ago," Reinke said. "It seems people these days aremore inclined to go to amusement parks where they're all being entertained. Here you get that quality time."

Before Aurora Gardens became a full time nudist operation, campers tended to spread out over the property and keep to themselves. When the Reinkes realized nudists tend to be more social camping closer together, they eliminated camping from one picturesque section of the property.

These days, members pitch in whenever something needs to be done, and the property has never been cleaner. One member came back from a hike appalled at having discovered an empty soda can. When Bob was trying to complete the installation of 34 new campsites in the midst of two weeks of rainy weather, members volunteered to help.

Carnival Day brought new faces to Aurora Gardens.
Carnival Day brought new faces to
Aurora Gardens.

"It's really become a large family," Nancy Reinke said. "Everyone wants to be part of making Aurora Gardens even nicer."

The Reinkes say that's a result of everyone on the Aurora Gardens staff making guests and members feel special. Says Bob, "Our philosophy is that people will come where they are invited, return where they feel welcome, and they will stay where they feel at home.

When the Reinkes were lobbying local government officials for the right to operate as a full-time nudist operation, they faced little opposition because of the quiet, peaceful reputation of nudists. A sheriff stood during one meeting and recalled a rowdy incident from years ago when two campers pulled guns on each other.

"I don't think we'll have a problem with concealed weapons with this group," the sheriff joked.

Since the resort has gone nudist, the sheriff has been able to take a deputy off duty during weekends, unlike in the past when one was needed on call to quell disturbances.

Aurora Gardens might be the only nudist resort in North America that includes hunting rights as part of its membership. Like many owners of hunting lands, the Reinkes only make their woods available to paying guests, who police the area and keep other hunters from wandering onto the property.

Hunting is not allowed from May 15 through September 15, which is prime nudist season in Wisconsin. After that, there might be days warm enough for nudists to enjoy, but there's little interaction between the deer hunters and nudists.

More than 60 percent of our members are first-time nudists...."We're not hunters, and we've found you don't get many hunters among the nudist population," Nancy Reinke said. "But we've had some hunters come back with their families to enjoy the resort nude."

Hunters aren't the most unlikely members to join Aurora Gardens. One couple from North Dakota purchased a trailer and a three-year membership, and they now come through almost weekly while traveling across country as truckers. The Reinkes figure the club will top the 100-membership mark early this year, in large part because of a modest publicity campaign.

In 2001, Bob Reinke sent out a press release to announce the club's transition to full-time nudist status. Two local papers did lengthy pieces on the resort, commenting on the irony of a nudist operation in a cold climate and the fact that Wisconsin headquarters of The Naturist Society, has become an unlikely nudist hotbed.

The story was picked up by newspapers across the country, and soon the club was getting calls from everywhere. It was mentioned in a naturist club cover story inWoodall's Camp Managementmagazine and listed as the only nudist club in a directory of Wisconsin campgrounds.

Even Cosmopolitan magazine, geared to young urban women, mentioned Aurora Gardens, leading the Reinkes to receive calls from people interested in visiting-even though they lived closer to other AANR destinations.

"We've heard from a lot of people, especially younger couples, who had been wanting to give nudism a try but didn't know where to do so," Bob Reinke said. " More than 60 percent of our members are first-time nudists, which is great because we're not taking members away from existing clubs, and it makes you realize how many more people out there willing to give this a try."

Having fun at the Hawaiian luau. Aurora Gardens has aggressively marketed to families, hosting Saturday "kids days" where children under 18 can bring their families for free. There's already a full calendar of events in place for 2003, including a chamber breakfast, a Hawaiian luau, and a turtle egg hunt in which kids search for plastic eggs containing prizes along the beach.

The Reinke's believe there's plenty of room to grow. Cities such as Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Minneapolis/St. Paul are within three-hour drive. Instead of being just a campground that attracts visitors for the night off of nearby Interstate 94, it now can offer a nudist experience that's still relatively uncommon in Wisconsin.

The Reinkes followed the advice of Avalon's Patrick and Phyllis Gaffney in pursuing full time nudist status. Government officials were impressed with the Reinkes ambitious plans to build a motel, condominiums, a nine hole golf course, indoor pool, and multipurpose recreational room that will make Aurora Gardens a year-round attraction.

The couple, which is in the process of selling a software business, hopes 2003 will be the first year they don't lose money on the property. Like most startups, Aurora Gardens has required a lot of upfront money.

"We've been very fortunate to receive so much advice from other nudist resorts," Bob Reinke said. "You don't see that kind of cooperation in other businesses."

Like most businessmen, Reinke spent years wearing a coat and tie to the office. He used to wear old clothes to work around Aurora Gardens but has since discarded them.

"It's a lot easier to just shower off than deal with a lot of filthy clothes," he said. "Now when I get up in the morning, I wear only the wonderful suit my creator gave me."

Call it Camp Grin and Bare ItThe Janesville Gazette
State nudist resort caters to people seeking that feeling of freedom

Deep in seed-cap and bib-overall country, about five miles off the interstate 94, campers are checking in for the weekend at the Triple R Resort, aka Aurora Gardens.

Nancy Reinke greets them wearing only a smile, while her husband, Bob shoots the breeze with two retirees and repeats his favorite nudist joke: "If God had meant for us to be nudists, we would have been born without clothing."

Welcome to the shores of Lake Mariah, where men wear hats, women wear sandals, and the kids wear sunblock. And where clothing is optional--all the time.

Wisconsin, the land of cold winters and at least a modicum of modesty, seems an odd place for nudist resorts. But Aurora Gardens is the nation's largest nudist camp, in geographic area, and the fastest-growing, according to its association. The resort has a six room bed-and-breakfast lodgeand 300 campsites, in addition to the 5 acre lake. It is one of the 245 affiliated clubs and resorts of the American Association for Nude Recreation and its nearly 50,000 members. Wisconsin also is home to Oshkosh-based Naturist Society, which has about 25,000 members nationally. Go figure.

Aurora campers, though, say the reasons for the pastime's popularity are obvious.
"It is just so relaxing, You feel free and peaceful," said Penny Jaloszynski, 37, of Fond du Lac, who, along with her husband Rick, 42, was enjoying an afternoon on the lake.

"You meet the nicest people. They accept you. There are no false pretenses,"said Jaloszynski, who has been a nudist for 14 years.

Her first time as a nudist was at Mazomanie Beach along the Wisconsin River, and she felt very self conscious.

For most, said Nancy Reinke, that anxiety last about 20 minutes and it is replaced by the exhilarating feeling offreedom. As for Wisconsin being a Mecca of sorts for nudists, John De Lamater, UW- Madison professor of sociology, said Badgerland is open-minded if you don't flaunt it:

"There has been a tradition here of tolerance. And there is tolerance as they don't draw attention to themselves. If it becomes high profile, people begin choosing up sides."

Ask nudist why they go nude and you'll get answers ranging from the silly to the serious and sublime, but not sexual. That's not what it's about.

Skinny- dippers are welcome; swingers are not.

"If they come for the wrong reasons, they tend to give themselves away pretty quickly," said Bob Reinke.

So far, two couples and two married men have been asked to leave for thinking the campground was something it's not.

"Being nude isn't a big sexual event. There are a number of people in the textile world that think this is a sex thing, which is usually a great way to get yourself thrown out," said George Morrison, 71, a St. Paul, Minn. native now living in Illinois. "Sex is private. Keep it that way."

If it's not about sex, it's also not about having a supermodel's or bodybuilder's physique.

"One of the misconceptions is that people think they need to lose 40 pounds," said Bob Reinke, 64. "We have all sizes."

What the camps draw is all ages, ranging from couples with babies to grandparents. Many come from theTwin Cities, Madison and Milwaukee, as well as Iowa and smaller cities across the region.

"This is my second visit here, but I'm trying to go to every resort," said Judy MacIntyre, 63, a retired business professor from Minnesota now living in Arizona. So far, she has been to nude resorts in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"I like it. The people are friendly," she said. "As a single woman, I feel far safer (at a nude resort) than anywhere else I could go."

The 525-acre resort is a former horse-riding camp for boys in the middle of dairy cow and corn country. After buying the Triple R, the Reinkes renamed it Aurora Gardens, for the Roman goddess of dawn. They soon discovered a solid and growing market for a nudist camp.

The couple got the idea in 1998 after a nudist group rented the campground for the weekend and found the campers to be nice, friendly people who left the place cleaner than they found it.

Now, in its second year of operation, membership is 100 families and is expected to grow to 300-plus in the coming year. Members include clergy, a doctor, nurses, a state trooper, college professors and construction workers.

Denny Lawrence, 62, of Cottage Grove, a retired chemist for a soda maker, was one of the first members.

"I like everything here, including the roominess of the place, he said.

Being a nudist is a bit more of a challenge here than, say, in Arizona, California or Florida. As the days begin to grow shorter and the nights cooler, Bob Reinke is not looking forward to what lies ahead.

"Soon, clothing will have a function again," he said.


Aurora Gardens provides a religious retreat where everyone can spiritually commune with nature as they were created without covering God's image in hemp and sack-cloth. All of Aurora Gardens is given us by God of Nature and is there for our worship of Nature. The God of Nature has commanded us:to take dominion over Aurora Gardens. We practice our toil and enjoyment in the nude, just as we were created by God of Nature and sent into the garden:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them. And God sent them into the garden. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitfull, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herbfor meat; and it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And they were both naked, the man and his wife and not ashamed, and behold, God saw it was good.


Beginning in 2006, Aurora Gardens members and the Environmental Naturists Universal Freedom Foundation will award college scholarship(s) to the high school senior(s) or recent high school graduate(s) writing the most publishable and convincing essay about how Naturism has improved the world they live in. Essays will be judged on truthfulness, readability, enthusiasm, strength of character, and recruitment appeal. (disciples to help recruit others to our fold) The financial value of scholarships will be determined by Aurora Gardens fund raising. Aurora Gardens contribution will be matched by Triple R Enterprises through the Environmental Naturists Universal Freedom Foundation.

Comments from Naturists...

Eau Claire - Leader Telegram Friday August 31, 2001

A nice place to relax

I am writing about the article about the clothing optional campground in the Sunday, August 12, Leader-Telegram.

I very much enjoyed the article as I was reading it from the clubhouse of Aurora Gardens. My family visited your city during our stay at Aurora Gardens, shopped and spent about $500 in tourist dollars. Our children swam, played catch with other children, hiked and talked with many of the other adults at the campground. We found a place to relax and spend family time together 3 1/2 hours from our home in a natural setting.

To those who have never visited the gardens, you are missing a place that is peaceful, quiet and natural, along with a staff of owners who make you feel at home.

But remember how terrible a place this must be due to the fact we were nude. The only problem we had was getting our kids to put their bulky hot clothes back on when we had to leave. Scott Story Janesville

Big Mike Karaoke
So you think you want to party Naked huh? naked
In creating this page having just returned from a weekend stay at the Aurora Gardens Retreat in
Northfield Wisconsin. While I was there I saw a sign posted that read, "If you have a problem, please tell
us. If you have a good time, please tell EVERYONE!" Since I didn't have good time, but rather a Great time, I've decided to share the experience with you. I also figure that by putting up this page, I can avoid having to 20 questions with everyone I meet for the next few weeks since I'm sure most people are curious
(as I) about what goes on at a nudist resort. All names in this narrative have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved, with the exception of Bob and Nancy who own the resort, and of course my wife Deanna.

Even Dogs enjoy Aurora Gardens
Just a short note to say thank you for letting my mom (Kathy) and dad (John) have a great time at Aurora Gardens. They met some great people and are hoping to see them again real soon. I had a super time too, met great people and got a lot of good ear scratches from real nice folks. I'm trying to get them to take me back in about a month, maybe I'll let them stay too. I just bark at the weatherman and ordered some slightly cooler weather so I can chase a frog or two in the lake. Well to all my new friends and the ones I haven't met yet, see you soon and keep your sunnyside up. Nikki

07/08/05..Just wanted to say thanks as we had a very nice and relaxing time at your retreat facility. We were really made us feel welcome and at ease as first timers. Very nice people!

We hope to return again, Tom & Connie

07/26/04Bob, Nancy and the rest of the members of Aurora Gardens
Jeff and I would like to thank you for a most enjoyable first visit to your resort. We stayed in the primitive campsites and found them to be delightful. The people were friendly and helpful. The landscape and trails were easy to follow and well kept up. We took a most enjoyable ride around your beautiful lake on the paddle boats. What a fantastic way to exercise and relax at the same time.Although spring fed, you're lake was warmer than the pools at other resorts (the friendly fish were an added plus).

Please extend a very special thank you to the black and white longhair cat that appointed itself our guide up to the top of a bluff. It watched our every step on the way up, talking all the way as if pointing out things of interest. It waited on top with us while we took in the view (actually it was quite vocal while up there - I believe explaining what we were viewing). Then carefully guided us down back to the trail, across the spring and back to the campgrounds. At that point it promptly disappeared, apparentlyhaving finished it's job. This was the first campgrounds we've ever been to that provided tours - free.

Again, thank you for a most beautiful camping experience. We WILL be back.

Jeff and Carol

"A two day visit at Aurora Gardens is like having a two week vacation."Mike

"This ismy second visit here (Aurora Gardens), as a single woman, I feel far safer (at a nude resort) than anywhere else I could go. I like it. The people are friendly." Judy MacIntyre.

"We're just ordinary people really. I've been a nudist most of my life. I feel much better when I'm nude in the outdoors, as if I am solar powered. All of a sudden I feel I'm charging like a battery." Denny Lawrence.

"I am going to retire at Aurora Gardens." Sparky

"Of all the money I spend, I get more bang for my buck at Aurora Gardens." Jack

Thank you so much for a wonderful, relaxing place to relax and soak in the the beauty all around your amazing property. Sparky was a gracious host and I will definitely make Aurora Gardens my home when traveling this part of the country. Thanks again!! Rick

07/15/02We had a wonderful and unforgetable time last Sunday. We'll be back as soon and as often as we can. Hope to see you soon. A.J. and Chris

08/22/02Thank you for a wonderful time. We felt very welcome during our short stay with you. We look forward to being able to stay again in the future. Again, Thank you!!!!!Patrick and Mary

04/23/03Mywife and I want to start off by saying how much we love Aurora Gardens. Our son keeps asking whenare wegoing back to the "fishy beach." That is what he calls it because of all the little fish,he would feed them oatmeal. We are looking forward to heading on down this summer. Luke

May 3, 2003 Neighbors, Chamber and Visitor Brunch
A Great Time and Fabulous Food! May 5, 2003Bob, Nancy, Sparky