Conference on National Affairs

CONA was started in 1968 as a follow-up to the outstanding state Youth in Government programs conducted by the YMCA throughout the USA. Minnesota was honored to send its first delegation to the conference in 1982.

Conference Specifics

What Do I Do?

The Youth Conference on National Affairs is a five-day conference held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Over 600 students from across the country prepare proposals on important national and international issues and debate them during the conference.

25 delegates are selected to represent Minnesota programs at this premiere leadership conference by an impartial committee of program alumni. If selected, you will be expected to attend 2-3 delegation meetings and a weekend retreat leading up to the group’s departure.

The Minnesota Delegation, with adult chaperones, will travel by motor coach to Black Mountain, North Carolina. After the conference adjourns, the group will tour another destination. In 2015 the group visited Washington, DC for a variety of fun and educational experiences, while exploring the country and expanding their cultural horizons. 


  • Focus on national issues and author a proposal
  • Meet YIG participants from around the country
  • Travel to North Carolina and other destinations

Conference Date

July 1 – July 12, 2016


25 students in grades 10 – 12



15 students are selected after the first deadline (February 2, 2015)
10 students are selected after the second deadline (April 10, 2015)


YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly – Black Mountain, NC


$1,500 per student*, including:

  • Transportation
  • Conference fees
  • Conference room and board
  • Hotels
  • Side trip tours

*Limited financial assistance available to those who qualify


Chartered Motor Coach