Norte’s Advocacy Bootcamp

Norte’s advocacy training includes walking audits, classes, and ongoing campaign assistance.


Norte’s mission is a happy, healthy, strong community–everywhere! Norte’s Advocacy Bootcamp assists communities and organizations kick-start local efforts or dive deeper into more established campaigns. The framework is delivered through a Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place lens to support efforts creating the environment and conditions needed to encourage more people, young and old, getting outside to enjoy their community through walking, biking, and generally being active and social. And to empower them to be citizen advocates to continue to improve local infrastructure and policy to support the activities of a vibrant community. 

The Advocacy Bootcamp program takes after Norte’s annual Advocate Academy offered each spring. For the Advocacy Bootcamp, we package the usual six-week course into a one or two-day package. Our team works with a local facilitator and the participants to create a condensed, locally-focused, impactful training.

As with our other advocacy training, Advocacy Bootcamp is an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of how decisions shaping a community happen and how best to impact them positively. At the end of the boot camp, graduates are ready to tackle that needed sidewalk extension, safer crosswalk, protected bike lane, or neighborhood park in need of some love. Academy participants also create lasting connections to important allies for future campaigns.  


Each Advocacy Bootcamp will naturally be a little different based on the community’s needs and the participant list that comes together. Still, similar curriculum highlights run through all Norte training. 

  • Problem Identification – Identifying and documenting issues constructively.
  • Connecting Decisions – Connecting the impact of policy, budgets, and planning on our communities.
  • Compelling Narratives – Honing one’s own story and the story of a group for persuasive messaging.
  • Real-World Application – Participants choose an opportunity in the community, form a project team, then develop a plan for positive change.

The Advocacy Bootcamp can be modified for multiple group sizes and designed as a one or multi-day program. Norte assists in marketing material for the training that all participant organizations may use to attract attendees. We are also able to provide sponsorship and grant assistance to help ensure the event’s success. 


Norte started the Advocate Academy in 2018 and has seen 39 participants in three springtime sessions. The curriculum empowers participants to find and apply their voice. These are the leaders building more active, better connected, and enjoyable neighborhoods and communities across Northern Michigan. In 2019, we added the Explore Academy to our training offerings. The Explore Academy engages and activates youth ages 13-18 in an opportunity to change the world, beginning with their neighborhood and community. The Explore Academy is also available for a boot camp experience. 

READY FOR THE BOOTCAMP? Advocacy Bootcamps are customized for an organization or community and are available throughout the year. If interested in hosting an Advocacy Bootcamp, please email Norte’s Advocacy Director, Gary Howe, and start the discussion at


Happy. Healthy. Strong