The 33rd Annual Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention began as scheduled on Monday, August 13 at Hope Church. Here conventioneers registered and were given lodging assignments in the afternoon. After supper at “home”, latecomers were registered and then all went to Johnson Park for a sports mixer. Here old friendships were renewed and new friends were made. After an evening of vigorous activity and Christian fellowship we returned to Hope for a roaring bonfire.
Tuesday morning after a business meeting, Elder Jon Huisken of Hope Church gave an introductory talk on the subject, tolerance. Discussion groups followed. The first in a series of hotdog lunches was then speedily devoured. We then boarded buses for Battle Creek’s Kellogg’s Plant. (Here our Iowans discovered what is being done to their harvested corn.) Upon our return we rushed to our “homes” for supper and a change of attire. At 7:00 with smiles on our faces, we returned to Hope Church for the evening.
Wednesday morning, bright and early, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and headed for church. We proceeded to board buses for the White River and our canoe trip. After approximately a two hour ride, we reached our destination. Canoes were handed out; cushions and paddles were put in place. One shove and down the river we went. However troubles soon began. Unexpected logs and expected human water pests invaded the canoes. Few escaped the “cool, refreshing” feeling of a stimulating dip so early in the day. Although the river was reportedly shallow we soon found out otherwise. It wasn’t exactly an easy task turning water-filled canoes upright in water over our heads. One by one our canoes reached the end of our journey. Tired but happy we managed to crawl out of the water and onto shore. After lunch along the river, we left for our next stop, Hoffmaster State Park. Following a swim in Lake Michigan, we gathered together to hear Elder John Kalsbeek speak to us on the topic, Witnessing. Upon his conclusion we once again divided into groups and discussed the topic further. A delicious chicken dinner, fixed by some of our dedicated Hope hosts, topped off our stay at Hoffmaster. Our buses took us to Grand Haven’s Water Thrill Show and Musical Fountain. However our enjoyable day soon came to an end as we headed back toward Hope Church and a night of rest.
Thursday morning opened with a filling pancake breakfast. After a short business meeting we had our last discussion group on the subject, Prayer. The discussions were preceded by an informative talk given by Elder David Meulenberg. The afternoon was spent at Lamar Park where the traditional East-West Ball Games were played. The Western guys were victorious over the East, while the Eastern girls evened the score by beating their Western rivals. The evening was once again spent at Hope Church. This time we heard Rev. M. Kamps speak on “The Armor of God.” An unusual special number was given by four Hope girls called a Chalk Talk. Janet Hanko showed her artistic ability as she drew a beautiful chalk drawing of a chapel in the woods.
Friday morning, those that could bear to drag themselves out of bed headed for
North Shore Beach. However things didn’t go quite as expected. A rain shower soon changed scheduled plans. Our lunch returned to Hope Church, so we too headed back in the Grand Rapids direction. After our meal we spent the early afternoon playing basketball and volleyball in Hope School’s gym. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for the banquet at Grandville Christian. Before we knew it, evening had come. What a wonderful evening we shared together as covenant young people! Rev. C. Hanko gave the final speech on “The Victory of Faith.” A flute duet by Judy Swart and Linda Vander Vennen provided the final special number for the convention. Our president, Ken Koole, made some final announcements, presented the new Federation Board members, and thanked all those that helped make the 1973 convention a success. The banquet ended with the song “God Be With You ’Till We Meet Again.”
Thus another convention had come to an end. Although we had to part with friends and relatives we retained many happy memories of that week. We can be so thankful that our Lord even provided such an opportunity as this to meet as young people. Thus tire Lord willing, we’ll once again meet each other in covenant fellowship next year in the farmlands of Iowa and Minnesota.