We wanted to provide a hard copy to all PATHFINDER Course Advisors of a great list Jennifer Lee wrote earlier in 2020. Please take the time to review this step-by-step guide and communicate any questions you have!
The most time-consuming part is the first day/week with the admin, making contact, and getting modified schedules underway. It may take 4 hours, but after that, each week may take 30 min to schedule posts. I enjoy picking out pictures and figuring out what questions I want to ask to spur discussions, though. Besides that, there’s the engagement on the FB group, and that’s the best part. It’s fun to see rosters get excited about training, and I get as much joy and motivation out of it as they do. The best part is when people post about lessons learned or successes they had in training, Horizon challenges, or Star Course events, or when they patch at the end. Horizon does take a lot of hard work, time management, and dedication to complete, as you all know well.
When a new class starts, once we have the list of Rosters:
- Amy or Lyell create the FB group, set up the password-protected class website with the programming details, and confirm the CA dashboard.
- Once those are ready, Lyell and/or CA sends out a welcome email with those links and with details about the Horizon program.
In the Horizon Facebook group:
- In the FB group, the lead CA for that class will introduce themselves in a post and encourage the other CAs and rosters to introduce themselves, too. We have one primary CA per class, with other CAs as supporting CAs, since we have new Horizon classes kicking off each month, each requiring special attention. The supporting CAs are very helpful for keeping conversations and interactions going in the FB group, especially since we have relatively small class sizes.
- The lead CA reaches out to each roster (either by poll, if it’s a huge class) or by email or messenger (if it’s a small class), to figure out what event each roster is targeting. Ideally, it’s in people’s intros, but not everyone introduces themselves or uses FB.
- Understanding target events is important because we may need to provide the roster with suggestions on how to modify the Horizon program schedule, based on when their target event is. Some rosters don’t have target events, so they can just follow the standard plan. People with events that happen during the class almost always need some modification, since events rarely fall exactly on the right weekend.
- Start scheduling posts. The sequence for posting is outlined fully in the PATHFINDER Horizon Content Calendar spreadsheet. Be sure to cover important content, like how to log, the origins of the 50 miler, etc.
- Horizon is special because of its specific, periodized programming. Try to create daily posts for the workout or ruck each day. You technically don’t have to, but it’s easier for me to schedule a post for each day, than to try to remember when I do or don’t need a post. Even for rest days, you can still post a reminder about the benefit of rest days or a fun picture. It's a great idea to schedule a week’s worth of FB posts on Sunday’s, so that you don’t have to wake up early each day and remember to post. You could potentially schedule a full three months of posts, but it may be easier to go week by week.
- It’s nice when you can do the program alongside everyone else. You can add real-time posts talking about your own experiences and relate to your rosters more. It’s not always feasible, though, depending on your own training goals
- If the class is big, it can be helpful to keep a personal spreadsheet with notes about each roster’s target event, a tracker for whether you’ve been able to make contact and have them join the FB group, other notes, etc. It’s nice when you can remember each roster and make better connections with them to help them on their journey.
- I check the rosters’ logs periodically (once a month, maybe) through the CA dashboard, to make sure they’re tracking their 8 mobility, 8 core, and 8 full body workouts, and 4 challenges appropriately, and to remind the class to keep up with their logs, if needed. We don’t want them to not finish simply due to a failure to log. If people are falling behind on the schedule, I also periodically remind the class that it’s not too late to make a plan to try to catch up, and that we’re here to help if they need any ideas on how to do that.
- Getting engagement in the FB can be a challenge sometimes. I try to ask questions to generate discussions through the daily posts. A photo contest has been successful in the past. It’s nice when we can build a community within the group.
- When a roster completes the program requirements, I create a congratulatory post with a picture of the patch with the roster’s number manually added on it. You can also post it on the general PATHFINDER Class 0XX page, which helps to remind people that the Horizon program is out there, and which helps to share the good news about that roster’s accomplishment.
- If you have ideas for other blog posts, feel free to share your ideas or draft some content! What do you wish you knew more about prior to your own event? What other topics do you wish Horizon covered?
If you do not hear from a roster:
After 1-2 weeks, if you still haven’t gotten responses from certain rosters or they haven’t join FB, try other ways to reach out to them.