2023 Model UN Conference


The 2023 Model UN Conference at Hershey Lodge was filled with lots of fun, food, and debating. From presenting a case to pro-con debates, the conference was full of many opportunities for public speaking. The conference took place over the span of three days from Friday, January 6th to Sunday, January 8th. For many delegates, this was their first in-person conference due to COVID in previous years. The only people that have ever experienced a real in-person conference were the seniors, who had done Model UN in their freshman year. But whether or not it was the delegates’ first, second, third, or fourth year of Model UN, they all put in a tremendous amount of effort to ensure that the 2023 conference would be a blast. 

Friday morning started like any other normal school day, except for the fact that you were taking a suitcase to school and were dressed up in business attire. After attendance was taken and bags were checked, we started  our lovely two-and-a-half-hour drive over to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Most people slept and others worked on things for the conference. Once we got to Hershey Lodge, we were able to put our things into our hotel rooms and headed down for a buffet-style brunch. During brunch, they gave the opening ceremony, welcoming all to the 2023 Model UN conference. During the opening ceremony, we got to meet our Secretary-General candidates we’d be voting for later in the conference. For clarification, the Secretary-General pretty much runs everything and oversees all the different committees.

Afterward, all the delegates were sent to their committees. There they spent a few hours discussing whatever their committee topic is. Thereafter, all the delegates headed to dinner and then back to their committees. Lastly, they went to a delegation meeting to talk about their experiences on their first day of the conference. There the delegates were also handed a box of pizza per hotel room. Once the delegation meeting was over they all headed to their hotel rooms before curfew, not to leave again till seven the next morning. 

Saturday was the busiest day of all because it was a full day at the Hershey Lodge. First, delegates headed to breakfast, then to committees, then to lunch, then back to committees, then to dinner, then back to their committees for the final time for that evening, and then free time. Free time is one of the things that Model UN delegates look the most forward to. It’s a time to meet new people who might not be in your committee and engage with others that share similar interests. There were three options: the Model UN dance, a quiet study room, or a room to watch football. In my opinion, there should have been more options. Most people ended up just sitting in the hallway talking to their friends or playing a piano they weren’t supposed to play (but there was no sign, so they didn’t know!). The moon dance was less of a dance and more of a mosh pit; the football room was just a screen playing the football game while people talked about other things, and the quiet study room was, well, a quiet room where you could study – but it wasn’t that quiet because people were singing right outside of the room. Once free time was over, everyone headed to delegation meetings to discuss their day and get more pizza. Then, just like that, the second day of the conference was over – meaning that the following day everyone would have to go home. 

On Sunday, everyone had breakfast as usual and then headed to their final and last committee session. They said goodbye to the friends that they had met during their time in their committee and headed to the closing ceremony. During the closing ceremony, awards were given out to recognize those who had done an outstanding job in their committees. After we grabbed our stuff, we headed onto the buses back to Freehold High School. Conference was over and school was the following day. Three amazing days full of fun, food, and debating were now over. 

Though sometimes conference may have felt stressful or a little boring. When you take the time to reflect and look back on your experiences you realize how much fun you had. You look back at the friends that you made, that you might not speak to again but you enjoyed the time that you spent with them. Or you look back at the late nights that you spend in your hotel room and the early mornings. The Model UN Conference is an experience like no other. Though it has an ending so bittersweet that it makes you come back the following year for more.