How do people become leaders in their communities? Usually, it starts with understanding what makes that community "tick." And the "Leadership Bitterroot" has been doing that for years. The Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce copied a model that has been successful in other areas and developed a 9-month program, where, for one full day each month, the class of potential leaders and community supporters can see all different aspects of life in the Bitterroot Valley. They'll learn history, will see how everything works - including government, healthcare, agriculture, business, education media and justice system. And they'll discover visions about the future of the valley. Jodi Wright of the Chamber said in a news release that participants come from a wide range of people "who have an interest in public affairs, politics, or issues that would like to become involved in shaping the future of our Bitterroot community." Candidates are then selected and are responsible for a tuition fee, which includes meal, transportation and a retreat.

The first sessions will be in September, so if you're interested, contact the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce, 115 East Main in Hamilton. Or call (406) 363-2400. It's a great way to gain valuable knowledge about your home.