Freedom 180, along with Teens Above The Influence and Power of Wisdom held our annual Leadership Camp at Laguna Beach Christian Retreat. The theme of the camp was Check The Message- How Media Manipulates Our Youth. The camp was attended by 50 teens from Bay, Washington, Calhoun, Holmes, and Liberty counties.
The Snowflake Ball was an occasion designed to foster relationships between teen girls and the father figure in their lives.<br />
Over thirty-six girls dressed in formal attire gathered at the Callaway Arts and Conference Center to spend quality time with their fathers or father figures. During a purity ring ceremony, each girl recited vows to her father stating that she pledges to respect herself and be an example for other women. Each father recited vows to his daughter stating that he would maintain a high standard in all areas of his life and that he pledges to protect and respect her as every man in her life should. A father - daughter guest speaker team shared experiences from their past and offered suggestions for strengthening relationships. There was plenty of food, dancing, and fun.<br />
Freedom 180 held a House of Horrors and Happiness (HOHAH) on January 23 at the Panama City Marine Institute (PCMI). The event was attended by approximately 220 youth and adults. Over 60 volunteers from Bay and Washington counties donated their time and talents to make sure the event was successful. Twenty-One sponsors from Bay and Washington counties donated food, props, and volunteers.
The purpose of the HOHAH was to depict real life situations and the results of the choices teens (and adults) make. The physical, mental, emotional and social abuse that teenagers can suffer as consequences of their decisions was addressed. Youth Freedom Team members and volunteers used dramatic life scenes, props and other visual aides to present the message. The first room had lighting from blacklights and showcased glow-in-the-dark statistics on teen tobacco use, teen pregnancy, abstinence until marriage, rape, sexually transmitted diseases and teen alcohol and drug abuse. A Date Rape room told the story of a teen girl that made poor decisions because she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In another room a teen in labor at a hospital had no one to coach her except for the nurse on duty. The HIV room was an office setting where a college student diagnosed with HIV learned her standard drug regimen would cost approximately $30,000. per year. A teen party scene portrayed violence, meth use and alcohol abuse. The Tobacco room showed the dangers of chew tobacco. Other rooms included gang activity and teen suicide. The last room in the tour showcased the benefits of making healthy decisions and how they can increase the chances for success. Outside, an underage drinking exhibit complete with wrecked automobile, an ambulance with EMT's, accident victims, and local police warned of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Abstinence was stressed as the 100% effective way to avoid teenage stresses such as STD’s and Teen Pregnancy.