Convention Thoughts

When asked to write about whether or not I thought it was a good idea for the 1986 Convention to have separate activities for the older young people, I wasn’t so sure I was the person to ask. Yes, I agreed to go to the Convention, but, to be honest with you, I didn’t have a very positive attitude towards the whole thing. I really wasn’t that enthused about going because it had been about five or six years since I had last attended a convention. But, since I agreed to write about it, I will try to portray some of my impressions of this first ever convention to separate the older young people from the younger ones.

First of all, one positive aspect of this convention was that the different activities made it possible for one to meet more people his own age. Even though these activities were few in number, they definitely encouraged us to feel more united as a group. In past conventions, it was so easy just to say an occasional “Hi” and then continue on in our own separate ways. These special activities of this convention definitely helped us become more group conscious and encouraged friendliness among each other.

Another positive aspect was that the discussion groups were also separated into the two age groups. By doing this, participation was enhanced among us, as older young people, because we felt more free to talk and express our own feelings and thoughts. It was easy to relate to each other and to talk about ways in which we, as older young adults, could improve our participation in our own church activities, whether they be spiritual or just fun related ones. Furthermore, a more enthusiastic discussion could take place in the younger group. Since they could not depend on the older ones to do all the talking, they, personally, could become more involved in their discussions and grow more and more in the understanding of their faith.

Lastly, a possible negative aspect of the separate age groups could be that the younger group might feel deprived of the more mature opinions of the older people in the discussion groups. And, to this, my reply is that there were many capable leaders at each of the discussion groups to help give them proper guidance. Also, there were plenty of times and circumstances, outside of the planned special activities for each group, where we could be together as a whole convention group. And so, in looking back at the 1986 convention, I was favorably impressed with all the efforts put forth to encourage more of the older young people to attend our conventions.