Because of the enjoyable time I had last year at my first young peoples’ convention, I was excited about the activities that were planned for this year. I hoped to renew last year’s acquaintances as well as make new friends.
Monday noon registration was held at Hope Church. Between registration and lunch and again between lunch and the gathering for our group picture there was a lot of waiting around, walking from church to Covenant High School and back to church, wasting time until the next activity.
The hayride at night boasted a great turnout. The fact that we had a “rip-roarin” time was evident at the end by hayless wagons, hay clinging to clothes, hair, and sticking to sweaty backs.
Pleasure Island, a water theme park in Muskegon, Michigan, about 40 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, was the site of our Tuesday afternoon activities. We were free to experience the “Runaway River’’, “Black Hole’’, and other tamer water slides, bumper boats, or paddle boats. Most of us left at 4:30 p.m. with glowing faces as a result of the sun.
After all the water activities, those charcoaled hamburgers tasted so-o-o good! They were grilled on the Lake Michigan beach at Grand Haven, Michigan. After supper we had a lot of time on our hands and it seemed like an eon before darkness came and the musical fountain show began. (For the benefit of out-of-staters, this is the world’s largest computerized fountain, set to music, motion, and colored lights).
Wednesday afternoon activities at Grand Valley State University in Allendale consisted of a track meet with a 100 yard dash, a one-mile run, softball throw and long jump. Because points were to be earned by pre-arranged teams, participation in the events was excellent. Free time included many activities as we had the use of almost all GVSU’s facilities — basketball, volleyball, racquetball, swimming, etc. Later the older conventioneers went bowling; roller skating for the younger people left them tired because most conventioneers had been on their feet all day.
Canoeing on the Muskegon River on Thursday, at least for me, was the most fun of all the activities planned. Almost every boat capsized once and some more often. It seemed like my partner and I were always bailing water out of the canoe or paddling as hard as we could to get away from other canoeists who were planning to tip us over.
Later Thursday night, we spent a couple of hours at the YMCA in Grand Rapids. This was a rather disappointing experience since the place was too crowded. It was midnight before the buses left the YMCA; and the ride back to Covenant High School and then home made it after 1:00 a.m. for most, too late for a lot of us after such an active day.
Friday morning was our farewell breakfast; and I would especially like to compliment the mothers who prepared the breakfast. It was really delicious and most plates were emptied.
Reporting on the speeches given throughout the week could take up two pages, but I will make it shorter. Prof. Decker, Pastor Gritters, and Pastor Van Overloop delivered speeches that were direct, drawing from their own experiences, and certainly keeping the attention of all the young people, a feat which is usually difficult to achieve. They were excellent and we thank you! We were left with many points to ponder and the directive to be content with whatever God holds in store for us.
The morning discussion groups were also very worthwhile. The leaders did an excellent job of involving each person in the discussion of that day’s particular topic.
We thank the Steering Committee for all its work in planning the activities that everyone enjoyed and for the sacrifice — the men who took vacation time, the women who paid babysitters so they could volunteer their time in our behalf.
But all glory goes to God for His divine providence whereby we again could meet as Christian young people, to learn and to fellowship with people of like faith and establish lasting friendships.