CONA (Conference on National Affairs)

The YMCA Youth 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 US. The success of the conference is directly attributed to the leadership of many YMCA professionals but primarily to the dedication of the youth involved.

Every summer, teens from around the nation gather in Black Mountain, North Carolina for this weeklong conference that focuses on matters of national attention and importance. Upwards of thirty states participate, each sending up to 24 delegates who have written carefully-researched proposals.

CONA offers unique opportunities for young people to do research on subjects of national and international concern, organize this information into a documented proposal, engage in intensive discussion, and debate these proposals with delegates from other states. Teens who have participated in the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs are unanimous in their belief that this experience makes a vital contribution in helping young citizens to learn more about the democratic form of government.

2020 CONA Information

Conference Dates: 

June 27-July 2, 2020

Travel Dates: 

Depart Wisconsin on Thursday, June 25; Return to Wisconsin on Friday, July 3 (Pick-up and drop-off locations TBD)


Includes conference registration, lodging, onsite meals, chartered bus transportation, delegation dinner in Black Mountain, NC, delegation t-shirts and pins

Program Area Options: 

THIS IS A CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR!  For 2020, state delegations will be able to bring a maximum of 25 delegates for the legislative program, plus media delegates. The media program has a separate application and acceptance is not guaranteed - if you do not get accepted into the media program, you will not be able to join us as part of our delegation if we have filled all 25 spots. More information will be coming from the CONA administrators on this, so stay tuned!


Click here to fill out a CONA application

CONA Bid Acceptance Form: 

Click here to accept your bid to CONA
**This form is to be filled out by all Wisconsin delegates who are accepting their bid to CONA. If you received your CONA bid while at Model Gov, this form must be submitted by March 30. If you do not plan to use your CONA bid, please contact Jen to let her know.

Registration Form: 

Click here to download the registration form
**This is only to be filled out by delegates who have received a bid to CONA

Financial Assistance Request Form: 

Click here to download the CONA financial assistance request form


CONA website
CONA packing list
Mountain Manual

CONA 2020 Wisconsin Delegation Dates/Deadlines:

March 15, 2020 | First round of CONA bids awarded at Model Government
March 30, 2020 | Students with bids must declare intentions or lose bids
March 30, 2020 | CONA applications due from those who did not receive bids at Model Gov
April 4, 2020 | Remaining CONA bids & alternates announced
April 11, 2020 | CONA delegate conference call; registration form & online registration due. $100 deposit due

April 26, 2020 | CONA retreat #1 in Manitowoc (draft proposal due)
May 1, 2020 | Initial payment due ($400, or $800 for full payment)
May 6, 2020 | Proposals due to be submitted through Regy
May 17, 2020 | CONA retreat #2 in Eau Claire
June 15, 2020 | Program fees paid in full


Payment information is TBD - check back soon!

© 2020 by Wisconsin YMCA Youth in Government

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