Led by Planners, Graphic Designers, Architects, Engineers, Historians, Preservationists, and other professionals, our workshops expose community decision makers to asset-based planning techniques. These techniques focus on identifying ‘what is right’ within a community and building on these unique community assets.

Our Approach

Workshops are 2-1/2 days of thinking creatively, trying new things, listening to good ideas, being heard, laughing, and meeting interesting people from all of Alabama.

Participants will learn how to work with a wide range of personalities and overcome barriers that prevent communities from seeing real economic development. You’ll learn how to use writing, drawing, and conversation to effectively shepherd big ideas through the complicated and strenuous process of project development.

Your Town Alabama inspires and educates Alabamians to use asset-based design for setting and achieving community goals.

There are alternatives
to sprawl. These
alternatives are
more attractive, more
efficient and more

There are alternatives
to sprawl. These
alternatives are more
attractive, more
efficient and more

Learn how to preserve and grow our ‘sense of community,’ explicitly that which makes our physical surroundings worth caring about.

Learn how to preserve and grow our ‘sense of community,’ explicitly that which makes our physical surroundings worth caring about.

Start With the ‘Good Things’

Ask Questions, Share Ideas

Learn From Each Other

Start With the
‘Good Things’

Ask Questions
Share Ideas

Learn From
Each Other


Join us for our affordable and engaging 2-1/2 day workshop at Camp McDowell next to the Bankhead National Forest in Winston County, Alabama. The natural setting provides a calm backdrop that allows participants to focus on the learning from our roster of professionals and other community minded participants.

Lodging & Board

Participants are offered single and double occupancy rooms with private bathrooms. All meals are included in your workshop fee and provided in one of Camp McDowell’s beautiful dining halls, where most of the food is grown at their on-site farm. Visit campmcdowell.org to learn more.

Camp McDowell

April 27 – 29,

105 Delong Rd., Nauvoo, AL


April 27 – 29,

105 Delong Rd.
Nauvoo, AL


The workshop begins with a little bit of traditional classroom style presentations by professionals in a variety of fields including architecture, landscape architecture, real estate development, community organizing, and historic preservation. It quickly transitions to an interactive series of exercises that are framed as issues facing a hypothetical small community in Alabama. Participants are guided through those exercises by facilitators that assist them in developing a set of informal drawings and boards that collect the responses to those exercises so that participants can share them with everyone on the final day of the workshop. Don’t worry…there’s also some social time thrown in there so you can get to know each other and act as resources for each other well after we’re done.

What is the Cost?

The cost for the workshop is normally around $300 per participant for double occupancy (roommates will be assigned) or $360 per participant for single occupancy. The registration fee includes ALL workshop materials, lodging and meals: (lunch on Wednesday through breakfast on Friday), and a non-refundable deposit of $150. Final cost is represented on the registration form.

Do I have to share a room?

Single rooms are limited and filled on a first-come/first-serve basis so apply early if that is your preference. (We say its limited to encourage registration but there is some truth in the statement. Why risk it? Go ahead and register now.)

What should I wear?

Comfortable clothes. We’re an informal group and you’ll probably end up talking with your hands at some point.

What should I bring?

Besides your curiosity? Watch the weather and bring an umbrella or rain jacket if rain is predicted. It’s camp so there’s some walking between buildings. Remember your personal medications and consider bringing insect repellent and an alarm clock. We don’t start too early but you’re going to want to take advantage of something…new friends, networking, a quiet morning on the porch, or a run/walk on the trails.

What about accessibility?

Past participants have represented a wide variety of abilities and were able to participate fully in the workshop. Camp McDowell has been designed and constructed to accommodate all ADA requirements. If you require accommodations, please email info@yourtownalabama.org before registering so we can work with you to get your questions answered.

What is the cancellation policy?

All refund requests will be subject to a $150 fee; the remainder of the fee will be refunded if cancelled 30 days prior to the workshop. No refunds will be issued within 30 days of the workshop. Registrations may be transferred to another person at no cost if a completed application is received 30 days prior to the workshop. Please email us at info@yourtownalabama.org with any questions, cancellations, and transfer requests.

When does registration close?

Registration closes 14 days prior to the first day of the workshop.

I would like to come for part of the event. Which portion should I come to?

The workshop is a participatory learning event so attendance is required for the entire 2-1/2 days. If you are not able to join us for the full time, please refer to our webinar series for shorter learning opportunities.

Will my phone work?

Yes…kind of. There are certain places around the camp where you can pick up a decent signal. The camp maintains a hard line for emergencies and a wi-fi signal is available at the camp HQ. However, the separation from the daily grind is part of the magic of the experience.

Do you have continuing education opportunities?

We have a monthly webinar series that covers a variety of topics relevant to small communities. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on their schedule. In addition, our partners offer more targeted services depending on your community’s needs. Please visit DesignAlabama, Main Street Alabama, and Alabama Communities of Excellence for more information.

How do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Please email info@yourtownalabma.org prior to registration so we can understand your needs. Much of the food at the event is grown at Camp McDowell’s on-site farm and they provide a wide variety of options. However, we’ll need to coordinate with them ahead of time.