By: Marianne Sayamath, Connecticut

The first year delegation orientation, run by Presiding Officers Ed Sharood and Hannah Hightower, proceeded as usual- reviewing the mountain manual, parliamentary procedure, decorum, and addressing problems many first year delegates face. There is “always something new you can gain from this conference,” Sharood spoke to the new delegates who sat before him. For first year delegate Han Truong of Massachusetts, this advice Sharood spoke of was one of the reasons she came to this conference. Truong, also a first year Youth and Government member, ran for a position in her governor’s cabinet and won. She decided to come to CONA even with apprehensiveness about debating her proposal in front of the best and brightest minds of each country’s state, because as she stated, “Even if I fail, I learned something new.”

“We are here to experience and to grow ourselves collaboration is the key to get anywhere in this conference,” Sharood continued. This remark epitomizes the reason Marquise Clark of Connecticut, another first year delegate decided to come to CONA. He wanted to get out of his “zone” and try new things. He knew from all the wonderful things he had heard about CONA at his state conference that he would experience great things and explore new waters by creating lasting connections with delegates from other states.

“The only question that is stupid is the one that is not asked,” Hightower advised as she urged new delegates to ask questions on anything they are uncertain about. To new delegates and returning ones, ask questions, make new friends, but more importantly have fun!