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 7,000 leaders in over 600 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: The creation of shared meaning about issues affecting community health that influences action choices.

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

Mobilizing: Engaging enough people, resources, and power 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 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 get 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 commuity 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.


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