September 8, 2001

Baptist camp bans health conference for teens

from the Advocate

A state-approved health conference for teenagers that had been planned for October 5-7 at Lake Ann Baptist Camp near Traverse City, Mich., has been forced to move because camp officials oppose planned talks on HIV prevention and sex education, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Last week camp operators returned a conference deposit check for the event, saying the sex-education talks are in conflict with the camp's biblical views.

The annual health conference, set up by several nonprofit groups, has about 80 teenagers preregistered to attend. Now in its ninth year, the event trains teens to serve as peer educators for HIV/AIDS prevention, smoking prevention, and substance-abuse prevention in their communities throughout the state. More than 100 teens attended last year's conference in Flint, Mich. Organizers say they plan to move the conference to a ranch near Muskegon.