By Shannon Payne, Virginia

On Wednesday afternoon, exhausted CONA delegates were given a rare chance to just kick back, relax and forget about debate for a few hours. During this time, activities included a trip to the Biltmore Estate, a belly flop contest, a dance party hosted by Tennessee and even a well-deserved nap.
About 100 delegates loaded up on three buses at 12:30 p.m. and set off for the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in the country. No pictures were allowed inside of the building, but delegates still had a great time.
“It’s definitely one of the more underrated activities,” said Mariah Corso from Pennsylvania, “Usually everyone wants to go on the hikes, but Biltmore’s much better than anyone makes it sound. And the milkshakes were really good!”
At 2 p.m., the smell of competition filled the air as delegates crowded the pool to watch a group of teen-agers subject themselves to extreme pain, in hopes of winning a Eureka Treat and the title of CONA 2011 Belly Flop Champion. Competitors lined up to represent their delegations (Wisconsin boasted four of the nine floppers, plus two for exhibition) and sexes. Sole female competitor Caity Battey, MUN, fought hard against the guys and made it to the semifinal with the second-highest score. In the end, however, victory went to Jacob Kelly, Wis., who out-flopped fellow finalist Joseph Katt, Va.
“I competed in support of Wisconsin’s teachers and public workers,” said Kelly when asked about his motivation. Meanwhile, and following the contest, many delegates merely enjoyed splashing around the pool with their friends. In the nearby gym, the East Coast and West Coast competed in a basketball game, the winner of which remains unclear, and varies depending on who one asks. Additionally, CONA’s dedicated Frisbee-ers took the opportunity to play even more Ultimate Frisbee.
Throughout the afternoon, passersby may have heard the music blasting from the porch of Abbott Hall. Here, the Tennessee delegation provided food and fun to their fellow delegates, who took full advantage of the occasion.
“It was fun,” commented Lauren McCrea, MUN, one of many delegates to stop by the party, “Everything was great; I had a really good time.”
Many delegates were disappointed to hear that the much-anticipated hikes were canceled due to potential inclement weather. As a replacement, delegates had the option of watching The Incredibles and 28 Days. In the end, however, the sun shone brightly on Black Mountain. When asked about the change in weather, Thomas Brown of Indiana expressed his discontent.
“This was my last year on the Mountain and my last chance to go on the hike, and now I won’t get to.”
“I took a four-hour nap,” said Kaitlyn Walden from Virginia of her afternoon activity choice. “That was the most satisfying nap of my entire life.”