Community Bootcamp

This session is now closed for new applications, check back for the next round!


March 23, 31, April 6, 13 | 6-8:30/9pm MT/5-7:30/8pm PT

For ad hoc teams from small communities in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is the fast track to checking a project off your community’s priority list. Great for placemaking, youth development, beautification, events, and other projects that won’t get done unless community members take the lead. Bring a project to work on or identify one as a team during the bootcamp. 

The virtual Community Bootcamp, hosted by WeCAN, a three-state collaboration to help rural communities identify, understand, and achieve their goals.

In four action-packed evening sessions, teams of 4-6 participants from communities across our three states will:

  • Learn about what innovation really means in rural communities and hear about community-led changes from the people in our three states who helped make them happen.
  • Prepare to think about—and work with—your community’s networks to uncover hidden resources.
  • Learn how to tell compelling stories about your project.
  • Develop a funding toolbox that helps you find the money and other resources to make your project a reality.
  • Apply all this learning to a community strategy or project that the community team works on together. You’ll leave the bootcamp with a plan for completing your project and inspiration, motivation, team support and ongoing coaching to help that happen.

Communities that complete the Community Bootcamp are eligible for $500 in matching funds to support their selected project. They are also eligible to apply for a full Community Review and are invited to join WeCAN’s Peer Learning Network.

The WeCAN Community Bootcamp is open to teams of 4 – 6 people from each applicant community. Start thinking about community partners to join you, including some outside of the “usual suspects” who take the lead on everything. The Bootcamp can help new people be comfortable taking leadership, strengthen coalitions of community organizations and foster working partnerships between formal (elected or appointed) and informal leaders. Your community situation is unique, and your team will be, too!

We are especially focused on communities smaller than about 10,000 population. Anyone with an interest in making their community a better place is welcome to apply. It’s free! 

Western Community Assessment Network (WeCAN) partners are: University of Idaho, University of Wyoming, Wyoming Business Council, Idaho Rural Partnership, Montana State University and Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA)

Applications will close at 11:59pm February 28, 2022.  Please contact Marci Miller at if you want to receive an application (especially if you didn’t get this notice from her!). 


  • Wednesday March 23 – Fostering Rural Innovation. Charlie French with University of New Hampshire Extension will discuss how to promote innovation and investment in rural communities through placemaking activities, and rural community leaders will share short stories of successful projects in their communities. 6 – 9 pm Mtn. Time (5:00-8:00 Pacific).
  • Thursday March 31 – Building a Networks and Telling Stories. Kathleen Minogue, founder of Crowdfund Better and Crowdfund Idaho, will share with you how to create stories that make local organizations and individuals want to invest in your project and how you can identify and build a powerful network of support in your community or region. 6 - 8:30 pm Mtn (5 – 7:30 Pacific).
  • Wednesday April 6 – Financing Community Projects. Darin Saul and Soren Newman with University of Idaho’s Grant & Project Development Office will teach you how to develop a funding toolbox that helps you find the money and other resources to make your project a reality. 6 – 8:30 pm Mtn (5 – 7:30 Pacific)
  • Wednesday April 13 – Ready, Set, Launch Your Project. Learn about a range of action planning approaches and pick the one that is best for you and your community project. 6 – 9 pm Mtn (5 – 8 Pacific).