The 32nd Annual PRYP Convention is now a thing of the past, but for those of us who were privileged to attend it, it remains a happy memory.
The 1972 Convention was held in Estes Park, Colorado from July 24-28 and was sponsored by the Loveland PRYP Society. The theme chosen for the convention was “Come, Lord Jesus,” a very interesting and relevant theme for young people of this day and age, which was based on Revelation 22:20.
Monday morning, July 24, an airplane load of anxious excited young people arrived at the gigantic Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colorado — greeted by a huge sign reading “Welcome, Protestant Reformed Young People.”
The bus ride from Denver to Loveland’s beautiful Lakeside Park gave us but a glimpse of the splendor of the towering mountains that awaited us in Estes Park. Lunch was served when we arrived and joined those who had traveled out to Loveland by car, camper, and other ways from both West and East. After the congenial mothers of Loveland Church filled us up, we were able to register and find lodging for the night with members of the congregation.
Monday evening we gathered at the Loveland High School cafeteria for a delicious home cooked meal, courtesy of those busy Loveland mothers once again. Then we were encouraged to spend the rest of the evening exercising off the meal with such planned activities as volleyball, swimming, and basketball, and the opportunity to take on the state’s lightweight wrestling champ, also courtesy of Loveland Society.
Tuesday morning, July 25, everyone rose bright and early to enjoy delicious pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee made by the mothers at the traditional pancake breakfast. Shortly after breakfast, piles of luggage were once more loaded into pickups and busses and we were finally away to the mountains.
The short trip from Loveland to the camp was one that will long be remembered. For most of the young people the trip thru the beautiful Colorado mountains was one that was long overdue . . . and was too soon ended.
Upon our arrival at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies, a registration meeting was held at the Louis B. Dick Hall, lodging assignments were received, directions were given and rules were put down concerning meal tickets, curfew, etc. Lunch was then served in the Ponderosa Hall, followed by the first business meeting.
After the delegate board finished their agenda, a bit of free time was given in which we were able to get settled in the large bunkrooms provided. Then, after devotions were led by Rev. Engelsma, supper was served.
Tuesday evening everyone gathered in the L. Dick Hall, once again, to hear a very enlightening speech concerning “Jesus’ Quick Coming” made by Rev. Kuiper. We were then favored by a reading, sang the theme song and the opportunity to mingle over coffee and donuts with the members of the congregation who had “journeyed up” to the mass meeting, and with our fellow conventioneers.
Wednesday morning we woke up to another beautiful sunny day in the mountains. Some went their own separate ways to enjoy the many sports and activities made
available, while the “braver” ones ventured out to hike up a mountain and view the entire camp from it. This courageous group was led by a rather notarized climber, Rev. Engelsma.
After the hours of free time were spent, we gathered in groups about the camp to discuss our views concerning such timely topics as life after death, the new heavens and earth, and our glorified bodies. It was a discussion that was enjoyable and inspiring for all.
Following our discussions was lunch and then another meeting. This time Rev. Moore spoke. He gave a very edifying message concerning the Church’s outlook on the future.
For the next few hours we had at our disposal many and varied activities such as badminton, basketball, bowling, archery, tennis, shuffleboard, swimming, and horseback riding, even though the scheduled arrival of rain kept most enthralled in the indoor type activities. Much to our happiness the rain did let up just long enough for us to enjoy a delicious chuck wagon supper followed by a good old fashioned campfire sing along, led by our youth coordinator, Pete Miedema.
Thursday morning, July 27, we were served breakfast and then attended another business meeting, ballots were passed, officers for the Federation Board were elected and the last business was taken care of.
And then there were the annual East- West Games and what a great time was had. The girls alas, had only one game to play, softball. This time the West took over and emerged with a win. But it was the guys who took over the limelight with softball, basketball and football. Softball was taken by the East with little trouble, but basketball was another story. After playing two games, the guys decided that with Rev. Engelsma on the opposite team, there was little else to do but give up. Therefore Rev. Engelsma obligingly joined each side and brought each a win.
Thursday afternoon discussion groups met again. This time Bibles were opened and we enjoyed Christian fellowship while discussing portions of the Word of God dealing with Christ’s return.
Thursday evening was the highlight of the convention. In spite of a flooded shower room and the rain outdoors, everyone managed to get ready on time for the banquet held in the Walnut Room. Girls in formals and guys in suits gathered for a delicious meal of roast beef, salad, apple pie, and plenty of other good things to eat.
Then after dinner Rev. Decker gave the final speech of the Convention, “The Saints’ Life of Waiting for the Lord.” a speech which was applicable to each one of us and our lives and left us with much to think about.
After the theme song “Our Lord Jesus” was sung, retiring Fed. Board President Gary Bauwkamp introduced the newly elected President, Ken Koole, who in turn announced the site of the 1973 Convention, D.V., in Hope Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“God Be With You ’Til We Meet Again” was sung as it is traditionally to close the Convention and after prayer to God, the Convention was fittingly ended.
And surely we who were so privileged to attend the 32nd Annual Convention could say: “It was good for us to have been there.”