New Home Forums Course Ideas & Outlines On my way…..

13 replies, 6 voices Last updated by  Chris Gilmour 6 years, 7 months ago
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  • #11593

    Chris Gilmour
    Adventurer
    @ChrisG

    I’ve decided on the general topic of my first course but there are a lot of details to figure out and ways to approach it. The past 12 years I have guided and taught in the wilderness and taught survival and nature connection in urban and wild spaces as well. I’m passionate about personal and community resiliency and helping people learn to connect with the land and develop skills to take care of themselves and family as well as contribute to the world in a healthy way. I also have a (an am continuing to grow) experience in emergency and disaster management.

    I know a lot of people are worried about the future of the world, the economy, climate change, etc. I am going to design a course that helps people become more resilient and adaptable in a changing world. Help them feel more confident (and thus be more at peace with uncertainty) in being able to take care of themselves and family in changing times and do it strategically, in a way that meets their current skill level, time abilities/restrictions and budget. And on top of that it will be informative, hands on and fun, and adventure journey towards resiliency in a changing world is the theme. It will bridge my experience with personal survival and preparedness skills, homesteading, nature connection and awareness and modern day emergency and disaster management philosophy, strategy, tools and resources. They will come away with knowledge, new physical skills and a strategic plan for adaptability and resiliency that they have already began to implement while taking the course.

    One of big questions though is how I am going to brand this experience. I know this is coming up for us around one of the next bends in the mountain. This is an important question to me. I want the course to feel accessible and appealing to the mainstream. This is not a “prepper” course for ppl worried about Zombies taking over the world or a course rooted in fear. Through my Emergency mngt studies I know A LOT of people are worried about the future (for good reasons) but very few choose or feel they can do anything about it. How do I get those ppl to realize they can do a LOT and it is not as hard as they think to be more resilient and that feeling prepared and adptable is incredibly empowering and a positive experience. . In fact, you could do it as a family or community and make the whole experience fun and empowering. But how do I brand the course so it catches people’s attention in the first place is one of my big questions?

    I know that was a mouth full. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing peoples thoughts and learning more about your passions and courses.

    Cheers,
    Chris Gilmour

    #11839

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Hey Chris,

    I love the vision for your eCourse. The question you raise is a great one. Curious how far you are into the exercises with the friendly wizard?

    The branding will depend on WHO you are serving, WHAT the ultimate transformation is that they’ll receive and WHAT your eCourse PERSONALITY is.

    If your eCourse personality is playful, then you could call it “How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” and play off that collective fear with humour AND still effectively teach all the things you want.

    If you haven’t gone through all the other exercises of Architekt Forest, do that first. I think it will help you understand more around the brand identity.

    The other question I ask is what would the MAIN PILLARS OF BEING ADAPTABLE & RESILIENT be for your eCourse? That’ll help you better understand the lessons that may be involved and the best way to position yourself and the eCourse.

    Looking forward to carrying this conversation forward and to more clarity.

    #11976

    Jessica Antonelli
    Adventurer
    @jescantonelli

    Hey Chris, I love your course! I would so totally be the kind of person to take it too. I am a permaculture person, and I’m super interested in homesteading and disaster management. I come from the Texas gulf coast, where we basically expect hurricanes every few years at this point.

    I think permaculture types might be a good possibility for your “who” because permaculture is not about a negative doom and gloom philosophy of looking into the future, but planning ahead so that your great-great grandchildren will be happy and well and not all the cool animals have gone extinct.

    Any who, looking forward to seeing how your course evolves!

    #12597

    Chris Gilmour
    Adventurer
    @ChrisG

    @jescantonelli & @bradleytmorris, Hey Brad and Jessica, thanks so much for your responses and thoughts.

    Jessica, I particularly like your suggestions towards the homesteader/permaculture scene as one “market” although I would really like it to be even broader and more mainstream as well.That could be a starting point though. I’m curious if you have any thoughts on how to brand the course or even the name? What kind of branding/theme/adventure/language would get your attention as a permaculture/homestead enthusiast that has experienced costal weather systems?

    As mentioned above I really want to stay away from the whole Doomsday/Zombie thing. In my opinion our cultural fascination with this is actually a deterrence and barrier to resiliency. When I mention emergency management these days, a huge percentage of the people I talk to instantly say, oh so your one of the doomesday prepper kinda of people or oh you mean like Walking Dead stuff? Which is not at all what I mean, those are fictional concepts. Maybe I could creative play off them, I’m open to that, but I also feel a lot of mainstream folks may not take this seriously if approached from that angle. I want the actual course/path to be fun and creative and even feel playful but people intent should not be entertainment, the intent is more about being a community protector able to take care of your family and community in the face of challenges, what ever they may be.

    Like you said Jessica, if you lived on the Texas Gulf Coast where stronger hurricanes are becoming more common you would natural want to be more prepared and resilient, in fact, being prepared, adaptable and resilient, I believe is the natural human way. Big changes, disaster and emergencies have happened continuously since the beginning of human history. I believe individuals and families used to be way more adaptable and resilient then they are today. People have become very reliant on government and systems in place but our own government actual asks people to be prepared to take care of ALL their needs for 72+ and surveys show that most of the population is not ready to do that. Then when and emergency does strike (as we have seen in New Orleans and so many other examples) emergency responders are completely overwhelmed buy helpless people who are young and able bodied but not prepared. The young and able bodied should be able to take care of themselves and even help with the response, so responders can focus on attending to those with special needs, the elderly, those that were caught in the eye of the storm. During the great recession most people still had hard skills to help them weather that storm. Imagine the same situation today?

    The problem that I want to address is that we in North America & Europe (depending on where you live) have gone through a relatively calm period as far as big disasters and change go and a huge portion of the population believe that it is the governments job to take care of them in the event of big changes/events. The government openly says people need to know how to take care of themselves. Go back 2 -3 generations and people had hard living skills, stored food and were more resilient as a whole. This has been lost in a very short period of time and now people think your worried about zombies and watching too much TV when you suggest we should be more prepared then we are.

    This course is not about the end of the world, it is about an accepted fact that times are changing, the climate is shifting, we are going to see more storms and more severe storms, food prices are going up and poverty is along side it. So lets get creative, adaptable and resilient as a society in the face of these changes. When the power goes out for a week in the middle of the winter young people should not be scrambling to take care of their basic needs, this should be easy for them and thus they have the capacity to take care of the eldery, sick and children. This takes pressure off the government and first responders so they can actual address the greater issues like getting power back or what ever the scenario requires.

    This is about being a community hero, not a victim, and the process should be fun and super empowering, doing something with a greater purpose then just self indulgence and entertainment (not that those are bad just that this is about something different), being a community protector.

    Thanks again for listening to a long post but hopefully this helps you get some more clarity as to the angle I want to approach this from. I’ve identified a societal need but also feel there is a creative challenge as to how to help people recognize this need and get this valuable training out to them. Just writing this was super helpful for me in growing the vision. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, especially around the kind of language that may make this accessible to the world.

    Cheers,
    Chris Gilmour

    #12647

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    My first question for you is in response to your question: What kind of branding/theme/adventure/language would get your attention as a permaculture/homestead enthusiast that has experienced costal weather systems?

    How would you answer that question for yourself? What would get your attention and make you enthusiastic enough to pursue this course?

    As for the whole emergency management thing. If people are not eager to dive in, perhaps what you call it needs to be more in alignment with the vibe you’re wanting to share (fun, exciting, etc…) Perhaps it’s Resiliency Readiness or something that focuses on the transformation. I’m sure if you play with names, you’ll find a name that hooks people, rather than turns them off.

    LOVE THIS – So lets get creative, adaptable and resilient as a society in the face of these changes.

    And where you talk about “if the power goes out for a week” – I could see posing really fun challenges for people. Like, live a full 24-hours without power and without going out and ‘buying food.’ What do you do?

    I could see you guiding people to pack their “Grab Bag” or Resiliency Kit being a fun exercise too.

    I also like the idea of making it bigger than them. “You wanna be the prepared person that people can depend on if something goes wrong, not the one who is desperately trying to get their needs met from other people.”

    As for the language, the true key is to find your unique voice. Sure it’s great to look around at who else is out there doing this well and having success, but you need to find your voice and vibe and put that spin on the course. Meaning, this course has to come from YOU 100%.

    Looking forward to continuing the deep dive with you.

    #12659

    Lorraine Watson
    Adventurer
    @lorrainewatson

    @chrisg – in terms of an broader audience, what popped to mind were conscious entrepreneurs and hippies. Tad Hargrave’s (Marketing For Hippies) community specifically came to mind so he might be someone to observe or connect with. His target market is ““green business”, local business, sustainable business, social entrepreneurs, holistic practitioners, life-affirming and otherwise conscious entrepreneurs.” Just a thought.

    #12661

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Ya, Tad would be a great person to connect with as this course gets built. Another guy that pops into my mind is Daniel Vitalis. Yarrow Willard from Harmonic Arts is another good one.

    #12756

    Jessica Antonelli
    Adventurer
    @jescantonelli

    I’m curious if you have any thoughts on how to brand the course or even the name? What kind of branding/theme/adventure/language would get your attention as a permaculture/homestead enthusiast that has experienced costal weather systems?

    I’ll have to check out this Tad guy, sounds great! As far as what might catch my eye for a title, or the kind of language you might use…hmm, terms like survival skills, anything about homesteading, I love the phrase you used : ” helps people become more resilient and adaptable in a changing world.” …

    I think one thing to consider is how much of this lifestyle (because it seems like the big big picture you’re describing leads almost into a whole different way of being in society) can you fit into one course? Maybe you will choose certain skills or mindsets you will teach in mini-courses? I think if you can narrow the course itself into certain aspects of your big picture that will help name it.
    And you have so much great stuff to share about why these skills are necessary, and the mindset people will need to have before they take your course, I could see that as being great free info to have offered on your course that would make people eager to jump in and take a class with you to learn specific things, like preserving food for instance.

    Hope these ponderings helped…I know a lot of people will be excited about your course! be seeing you around 🙂

    #13132

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    I love what @jescantonelli said about the mini-courses.

    Perhaps instead of doing one BIG course on all these skills, you do create a bunch of really affordable mini courses on different skill-sets.

    Just an idea…

    Love where you’re going with it and Jes, thanks for asking Chris such great questions too!

    #13797

    Deb Robson
    Adventurer
    @robson

    I’m with Jessica and Bradley on mini courses. I think you have outlined a whole *academy*, not just a course.

    Also I think that things could be organized around topics (food, power, etc.) AND/OR types of situations that one might need to respond to, which could appeal to people in different geographic areas (flood; hurricane; tornado; drought; extended cold; wildfire). There’s overlap, of course, but there are emergencies where you weather in place, and those where you have to evacuate. Preparations are different. Folks with pets and/or livestock have particular issues as well.

    LOTS here, and much needed.

    I do think a somewhat light and power-building touch will be helpful. Fear is, I think, a bad motivator, although a natural one to arise the minute these topics are raised.

    Which brings to mind the potential for some community aspects of such an “academy.” Bradley touched on this when he said ““You wanna be the prepared person that people can depend on. . . .” There’s another level to that, which is having people in a common area get together and perhaps take a course together, in which each living unit has responsibility for some basic items of its own, but also assumes lead position for a particular aspect of need that is common to the group or a subset.

    You have lots of fantastic stuff to work with. Much about empowering folks.

    #13830

    Deb Robson
    Adventurer
    @robson

    Another thought: a low-cost, simple, basic approach for single parents with limited budgets and responsibility for kids.

    Could have optional kids’ collaborative modules: start ’em thinking early.

    #13835

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Love the ideas you shared too Deb @robson.
    Curious what’s resonating and where you’re at with your idea @ChrisG?

     

    #15432

    Stephanie
    Adventurer
    @sssheely

    Don’t know if this will help at all, but I’m intrigued by your branding puzzle for some reason.

    @Deb Robson’s point had me thinking. I’m wondering if you are primarily wanting to target men and/or more masculine energy women, people who see themselves as “providers” and “leaders” in a community? Or perhaps the type of people that would sign up for “Survivor” or “Naked and Afraid,” if they weren’t busy with their lives? Or are you also wanting this to be appealing to moms, kids and feminine-energy women? Cause I think the kind of ideal client you have in mind for this would really effect the branding.

    For instance, as a busy mom and someone you would probably consider somewhat mainstream, I would be attracted to only particular aspects of this course, such as growing a simple garden, the permaculture stuff that Jessica mentioned, packing a family resilience toolkit, and stuff we could do as a family together that could also be a bonding experience. Learning archery, wilderness skills and the more competitive aspects of survivalism are not something I’d ever google. Though I know plenty of people who would, so maybe I’m not your target market.

    To me, resilience can take so many different directions. There’s resilience in our homes and land. There’s resilience in our knowledge, in our physical bodies, in our spirituality and attitudes. Whichever one you focus on would probably also effect the branding, if that makes sense. I’m intrigued to see where this goes 🙂

    #16505

    Chris Gilmour
    Adventurer
    @ChrisG

    Wow Everyone! @bradleytmorris @jescantonelli @lorrainewatson @robson & @sssheely

    I’ve been away from the computer the past couple of weeks guiding some winter expeditions and it is so amazing to come back to a whole conversation thread with so many great ideas all related to my topic. I’ll make sometime the next cpl of days to check all your posts and contribute to your projects as well!

    This feedback has been super helpful and the vision is getting clearer all the time. here are a few thoughts for now in regard to some of your questions/posts:

    – I definitely see the bigger picture/project being more like the “academy”. I think I would like to start with the “base course” which will still be pretty comprehensive but not cover everything. This base course would be the foundation then ppl can choose if they want to put up the walls and roof. The base course I would like to appeal to quite a wide audience and demographic. Then I’d have advanced modules you could sign up for that go more in depth with different topics and ppl could pick their study stream if they want to go further.

    @robson Yes, I want to stay away from the fear based approach. ideally no zombies or if there are it is done in a super fun and playful way. I love your community suggestion, I’ll have to give this more thought, community building and empowerment is very inline with my values as a person and I’d love to integrate this more into the experience. Also love the idea of “collaborative kids modules”  as ad-on, Brilliant!

    Thanks for your thoughts here as well, very helpful. The branding and market is getting clearer but is still one of my biggest questions. I don’t want the target to be just men/or the masculine energy. This is not meant to be a course on survivalsim (there is tons of that out there and I want this to be something new and pretty different) or for ppl who want to be on Naked and Afraid. I don’t watch those shows and am not interested in that seen. The course also may be a little too in depth for the busy mainstream single mom. So I think I am going somewhere in between those 2 streams.

    So I think my market is more along the lines of: The male or female who is empowered and wanst to know how to do things for themselves, ppl who choose (or want to choose and need a little kick) to be leaders not victims and choose action over complacency. Thus it is for outgoing ppl who care about ppl and the planet and recognize the world is changing and want to be part of a solution, especially an adaptive solution for their own family an community.  It will likely appeal more to men then woman but I do want it to feel accessible to woman and especially to families. I love the kids module add on idea.  I also recognize it may need to grow into that all encompassing experience overtime and the first one may need to focus even more on a specific market.

    Any more thoughts?

    Thanks SO much folks, This is great!

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