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 seven-day program – a five-day intensive residential retreat and two 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
Seven 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.
Both workshops will be held near the cohort’s community. They give
participants an opportunity to reconnect with the entire group and further
Workshop I: Mobilizing for Effective Community Action
Participants will learn and use tools to mobilize others for effective action. Including working across differences in their community.
Workshop II: The Reflective Leader
Participants will continue to learn and use tools for mobilization. They will also identify changes coming to the community and learn critical skills around change to help navigate them. This workshop closes with a graduation ceremony to which all local alumni are invited.