Living and working in a retreat environment fosters healthy relationships among participants that enable them to go home and work together more effectively. Foundation staff selects communities to participate in the eight-day program – a five-day intensive residential retreat and three follow-up workshops – based on your community’s expressed desire and readiness.
We help form a local Recruitment Committee and select 24 emerging and established leaders (who must be 21 years of age or older) who collectively reflect this profile:
- Actively involved in community life
- Credible and open-minded
- Open to risk-taking
- Passionate about their community’s future
- Willing to work collaboratively to promote healthy community
Eight Days of Training
Our inclusive approach is developed by a team of people with backgrounds in sociology, psychology, communication, adult and leadership education, government, and community and business development. The curriculum, and its training, is always evolving to reflect current rural developments.
The action-oriented curriculum covers a full range of topics, including these and others:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Conflict Management
- Community Power Analysis
- Community Mobilization
- Building Social Capital across Personality Preferences
- Working Effectively in Small Groups
Residential Retreat — (5 days)
The residential retreat is not a workshop or seminar. It is a “break in the action” – a time to step back and look forward – to learn, reflect and talk candidly in a comfortable, confidential environment about what is happening, or not happening, in community life. The retreat offers an opportunity to establish individual development goals and to work on a Going Forward team. All BCLP retreats are held at Sugar Lake Lodge south of Grand Rapids, MN.
Workshop I — (1 day)
Workshop I focuses on understanding the potential impact of differences on participants and others. In addition, participants will also learn tools and skills for working across differences. This workshop also continues to develop and broaden social capital among participants.
Workshop II — (1 day)
In workshop II, participants identify changes coming to the community, develop critical thinking skills around change in the community and use the core competencies of leadership to navigate change. They also will continue to build social capital within the cohort.
Workshop III — (1 day)
In workshop III, participants will get the opportunity to learn more about project evaluation and how to cultivate resilience as a community leader. At the end of the day participants will attend a commencement ceremony to which local BCLP alumni are invited to celebrate participants involvement in BCLP.