One of many central characteristics of FKK from its first year in existence was its member-driven regional meetings, known as “Assemblies.” FKK’ first Assembly was held on October 24-26, 1980 at Elysium in Topanga Canyon, California. FKK accepted club owner Ed Lange’s gracious invitation to use his club grounds to host this convention of free beach, hot spring, and naturist club leaders, as well as any FKK member who cared to join the discussions. Lange, who played a prominent part in increasing the degree of competitive volleyball among naturists, was a famous photographer and publisher of naturist photos and had developed Elysium into a facility highly regarded for its alternative approaches to body acceptance and clothing-free living. The October 1980 Naturist Assembly ushered in a fresher and more dynamic type of naturist activism. Foregoing any strict arrangement of parliamentary procedure, the dozens of attendees, compromising a virtual “Who’s Who” list of cutting edge bare activists, threw themselves into the job of setting the tone for FKK and nudism for years to come. Representatives from free beaches and landed clubs around the nation expressed their hopes and apprehensions regarding the progress and defense of naturism. Jim Hadley and Hap Hathaway (leaders from the Western Sunbathing Association and the ASA) conferred with FKK to lay out strategies for working together for common purposes. Members offered evaluation of special legislative difficulties found at the state and county levels. Irene Shannon addressed the isolationist philosophy of landed clubs and the irrational anxiety many nudist club leaders had of being inundated by unknown miscreants from free beaches. Baxandall, Bob Page, Jim Williams, and others made suggestions on how best to respond to anti-nudity legislative pressure. Perhaps most telling was the attendees’ want to identify themselves as distinct from the club nudists of the past. Naturists, as Ron McDonald for one would highlight at the meeting, don’t limit their societal nudity to their dwellings or the perceived protection of club walls. Authentic naturists adopt body independence throughout their lives and do so openly and without shame. There may be constraints placed upon them by society, but whenever possible) and not only at a club on a weekend) they enjoy the body liberty nature intended. Attendees of that first Gathering may remember discussions about the modern culture of naturist clubs. For instance, one theme was bare beauty pageants, which were popular at many naturist clubs at that time. Such occasions were believed by many naturists to objectify women as sexual objects for the pleasure of males, fixating too heavily on the sexual connotations of nudity. This grated against the FKK members’ awareness of gender equality. It’d be better, the group thought, to develop methods to express and take delight in human beauty without demeaning and objectifying women.

Another initiation announced at the first Assembly was the formulation of Naturist Special Interest Groups, or SIGs. Baxandall got the idea of SIGs from the Mensa group. The idea was to provide a common meeting point on issues and activities of interest to FKK members. would support active engagement in social interaction and communication. The result would be a more dynamic and socially cohesive group of people who had a love for societal nudity and body approval as common denominators. SIGs didn’t have to associate directly to nudity. Early SIGs addressed topics as varied as fitness, photography, parenting, sex equality, gay consciousness, and spirituality. Presently FKK SIGs contain interested in aviation, poetry, opera, massage, scuba, and Christianity. Some are quite active and participate at Assemblies; others only have a newsletter to let nudist family with similar interests understand what their peers are doing. Today Network Coordinator Debbie Jungwirth assists FKK members in the simple process of developing and preserving a SIG.