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SoVT Get on Board

Schedule and Cost

1 half-day Saturday a month, in person, lunch provided

(10/21, 11/4, 12/2, and 1/6; 10am - 3pm)

3 virtual sessions, Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 7:15pm

(or at your convenience, via recording)

Four in-person classes will give you the chance to explore towns all over Southern Vermont! We’ll tailor the location to the season (a town with fun winter shopping; a scenic autumn drive), enjoy food from local restaurants, and provide some options for local interest/recreation at each class location so you can make a day of it if you wish.


Three remote sessions, which you can attend live, will also be recorded so you can watch on your own schedule. 

All participants will also attend one municipal meeting, based on their schedule and interests. 


There will be light homework (30 to 60 min before each in-person session). For each class, we’ll also provide you with resources for optional further exploration depending on your interest – including multiple formats for the most flexibility: from online articles to podcasts and audio and print books.

Cost: $150

We are committed to making the class available to anyone who wishes to attend. We can help you get sponsorship from a business or your town, or provide you with a scholarship on request (no paperwork required). We can also help cover childcare or transportation costs for participants, thanks to our partners. Please indicate when you apply what assistance you may be interested in.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until September 30

Please read the following policies before signing up:

Class Details

October 2023 - January 2024

dates subject to final confirmation

Unit 1: Civic Capital

  • Virtual Keynote, Wednesday, 10/11, 6pm-7:15pm: “Community Wealth Development: The Cycle of Civic Capital, Social Capital, and Community Wealth,” presented by Daniel Parkins, Community Wealth and Development Consultants

  • First in-person session, Saturday, 10/21, 10am-3pm. Location: Townshend, VT (Town Hall)

    • Introductions within cohort; discussion and reaction to the keynote (with Daniel Parkins)

    • Overview of ways to serve (town boards, service organizations, etc)

    • Lunch

    • “What I do in my community, and how I got here” panel discussion with local leaders drawn from Southern VT towns

  • Homework: 

    • Long-term homework (for Oct/November). Attendees to attend a Town board meeting (Select Board or School Board) in their town in October or November.

    • Comic “Freedom and Unity”

    • Additional reading materials on Town Government and  State of Vermont DEI work will be available for more exploration

Unit 2: Local Government in Vermont

  • In-person session, Saturday, 11/4, 10am-3pm  Location: Manchester  (Manchester Town Hall, 40 Jeff Williams Way, Manchester Center, VT

    • Am: Everything you wanted to know about Vermont’s local government (but were afraid to ask), with Vermont League of Cities and Towns

    • Lunch

    • Equity & Inclusion in Local Government, with Susan Clark and Rey Garafano 

  • Homework:

    • For 11/15 Zoom: Non-profit Board materials from Dave Chase  

    • For 12/2 class: VCRD’s “Community Leadership in Action” guide

      • Find out about community projects happening in your community, or bring ideas for projects you think would work in your community

      • Other listening and reading materials available for more exploration

Unit 3: Working Together as a Community

  • Virtual session, Wednesday, 11/15, 6pm-7:15pm: “Roles and Responsibilities of a Non-profit Board” with Dave Chase

  • In-person session, Saturday, 12/2, 10am-3pm (Old School Community Center, 1 School St., Wilmington)

    • Facilitated conversation about non-profit zoom

    • Community Project Stewardship with Alyssa Johnson, Vermont Council on Rural Development

    • Lunch

    • Creating a forum for conversation within the structure of government, facilitated by experienced town moderators

Unit 4: Taking Action

  • Virtual session, Wednesday, 12/13, 6pm-7:15pm: Local Board Meeting Report-back

  • In-person session and celebration, Saturday, January 6, 10am-2:30, 118 Elliott St. Brattleboro, VT
    • Creating partnerships and planning next steps workshop with Kerry Secrest

    • Small group discussions on Equity and Inclusion in local government

    • Celebration, lunch, and networking with leaders from participants’ towns


  • One-on-one follow-up with BDCC staff 

  • Whether you want to present a new idea to your Selectboard, facilitate a new community project,  run or be nominated for a position in Town Government, or get connected to an existing project in your community, we will provide you with context and help you connect to the right contacts and resources to get started.

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