The YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA) is held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly located in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly was established in 1906 as an interdenominational Christian conference and training center by Dr. Willis D. Weatherford. Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is a full-service conference center situated on 1,200 acres of woodland beautified by mountain streams, wildflowers, ridges, valleys and spectacular views.
When Dr. Weatherford founded Blue Ridge, he recruited college age young people to work, based on four guiding principles.
- There is dignity in all labor. Anything ministering to human need is a God given task.
- Every person must be intellectually respectable and learn to think.
- Religion is indispensable to building life values.
- One person must believe in the dignity and worth of individual persons as created in the image of God and worthy of love and respect.
Dr. Weatherford urged students and conference guests to appreciate fully the significance of quiet and meditation. He believed the Assembly, with its mountains and natural settings, gave both the students and guests an opportunity for meditation in their search for future goals. It is during this time of meditation and sharing that the Blue Ridge Spirit develops an inexplicable force, bringing people together from differing backgrounds to share a common experience.