A program of the Blandin Foundation

Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP) Image

Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP)

BCLP is designed to develop and sustain healthy community by building on community strengths. Healthy community is a place to live where all people can meet their economic, social, physical, cultural and spiritual needs, work together for the common good, and participate in creating their future.

Since 1985, BCLP has provided leadership training to more than 6,500 leaders in over 400 Minnesota rural communities.


What makes community leadership different?

Community leadership is different from organizational leadership. It is more complex, requiring different skill sets. Within this context of leadership, how things get done in community is as important as what gets done. Energy builds as people see new possibilities in themselves, in one another and in their community. The Blandin Community Leadership Program is centered on three core competencies:

Framing:  Engaging others to identify, choose, and define issues affecting community health.

Social Capital: Building a network of relationships for getting things done for a healthy community.

Mobilizing: Engaging enough people and resources to get the job done.


BCLP: Eight Days of Training

Living and working in a retreat environment fosters healthy relationships among participants that enable them to go home and work together more effectively. 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 in Grand Rapids, MN.

Workshop I— (2 days)

Workshop I is a residential workshop that focuses on applying a process that can be used to address any community issue. This process helps participants become more comfortable and confident taking on such issues. This workshop also continues to develop a supportive network in the community.

Workshop II— (1 day)

In workshop II participants get an opportunity to assess their individual use of the three core competencies in community leadership. They also expand their ability to mobilize action by applying the principals of communicating effectively with the community. This day ends with a commencement ceremony to which local BCLP alumni are invited to celebrate participants involvement in BCLP.


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