For more than 50 years, hundreds of young people from across the country have been convening on a mountainside in North Carolina to debate the merits of national and international issues. 

The Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA) is a five-day conference held during the summer that allows delegates who are committed to the Youth in Government program to experience a new level of debate, camaraderie, and a sense of family and statehood.

As many as 35 delegates are selected to represent Minnesota at this premiere leadership conference. If selected, students are expected to attend 2-3 delegation meetings and a weekend retreat leading up to the group’s departure.


  • Research an issue of interest to you, propose a solution and discuss and debate your proposal with 600 YIG participants from other states
  • Gain new perspectives on important national and international issues
  • Travel to North Carolina and other destinations

Conference Date

June 26 – July 6


Students in Grades 9-12


YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly – Black Mountain, NC


$1,799 per student*, including:

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

*Financial assistance available to those who qualify

Getting Started

If you are interested in applying to attend the Conference on National Affairs, please send an email to