Noel Turlington ’18
Two weeks ago, several members of Woodberry’s reformed Model United Nations team traveled to Northern Virginia to compete in its inaugural Model United Nations tournament. The tournament was held at Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Virginia, where over 700 kids from across the Northern Virginia region competed. For those not familiar, Model UN is a competition based off of the actual United Nations where students represent countries from all over the world. The students, or “delegates,” are separated into different subcommittees and work for two days trying to solve their individual crises. The final goal is to pass their resolutions, aiding their coalition and the world as they solve their issue. Throughout the conference they are required to use parliamentary procedure in order to articulate their messages across the floor to the other delegates. Knowing about diplomacy and making alliances with others are key to getting their ideas passed.
Woodberry has not had a Model UN team in over a decade; with Chantilly being our first conference, we were all new and unsure about how we should proceed. However, with coach Karen Jordan at the helm, we performed beyond our expectations and learned a lot from the experience. Woodberry had delegates representing many countries, including Australia, France, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and others, who were in committees such as The League of Arab states, Environmental Programme, World Health Organization, Disarmament and International Security, Economic and Financial, and some crisis committees.
As the conference concluded, awards were passed out and 5th former Will Lenhart brought an award for honorable delegation back to the Forest for his work on the 9/11 Security Crisis Committee. When I asked for Will’s thoughts on the event, he said “The Chantilly Model UN conference was a great learning experience for the entire team. Former Governor George Allen even made an appearance and gave the opening speech, in which he touched on the importance of technology and diplomacy in our generation.” In addition to this, 4th former Campbell Petty’s thoughts on the conference were such: “I believed it was a great experience for everybody involved. This was the first conference for many Woodberry students and it was a great learning experience. I look forward to taking what I learned from CHUMUN and applying it at Old Dominion to help bring in an award.”
Overall it was a great experience for Woodberry’s Model UN team and we learned a lot. The team is looking forward to our next conference at Old Dominion University in February and we intend to bring more awards back to the Forest.