It was a beyond-freezing night in
It is tradition for each state that participates in YIG to, at the end of every year, elect around 20 teenagers to go to the nationals of this program, the Conference On National Affairs. These teens are always elected by a jury their peers, to see who is most deserving of the honor that particular year. This year, I was overjoyed to find myself one of the few chosen to go. I had known many people who had gone to CONA, which takes place in
So several months later, 17 Wisconsin youth along with two adult advisors, trucked out of the JC Penney parking lot on the east side of Madison, aboard a Lamers bus, and embarked on the 15 hour bus ride to Black Mountain.
Once we got there, we drove up a twisting and turning road in order to get to the place where the conference was occurring. As soon as we got to the top of the mountain, we had a beautiful view of the surrounding area, and were amazed at the antebellum buildings in which we would be spending the majority of our time (such as Robert E. Lee Hall).
Aside from our physical surroundings, the sheer kindness, and humanity of the other teens at the conference, some from as close to home (for us) as
It is experiences like CONA that cause me to have faith that, while many of my generation may belong to a “slacker generation”, it is young people like those found at CONA that will truly be the world’s future.
The last night of CONA, once the debate is finished, ends with a large bonfire, while the entire conference stands in a circle, holding hands, listening to
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