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ASM duties in simple laymans terms

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  • ASM duties in simple laymans terms

    The troop that my son will be crossing over to in about 3 weeks has asked me to come over and be an ASM. They know me, have worked with me( and vice versa) and apparently like what I have done with the pack/boys.

    They also see that alot of the scouts in the troop like and ( I suppose) respect me.

    So, I know the troop does things diferent than a pack.
    I know the difference between boy led and adult led.

    Matter of fact, my theory is I will stand back and watch the boys do what they are going to do - but step in only if I have to to prevent injury or worse>

    I figue the best way to do that is not so much stepping in with the scouts directly ( unless real harm is immenant), but maybe taking the PL aside and saying : " Hey, maybe.....".

    Yeah, I can read job descriptions all day long, but I wanty a real world laymans description.


    " As an ASM, my main job is............"


  • #2
    A lot depends on troop dynamic/culture....Relax scoutfish this is the second part of your journey.....less physical work, but just as hard as the first.

    observe.....hang with the other ASM's.....Don't know if your sons choice of troops is adult lead or scout lead.....

    There is always something to do in a boy lead troop......during the summer when the boys were doing program, we cleaned out our shed.....all of the 10 year old ketsup, salt and pepper blocks.....we had a lot of gear that had never been inventoried,

    When asked we helped with instruction, trip planning or transportation.

    I think the response is

    Any old thing


    • #3
      >> to be there in case of emergencies

      >> to support the SM

      >> to say, repeatedly: "Did you ask your patrol leader?"

      >> to get plenty of hands-on experience in making the perfect cup of coffee


      • #4
        Here, Here on making the perfect pot of coffee! Or at least cobbler or some unique dinner recipe.

        Go on a few campouts, sit back and just observe the boys, watch the adults, learn the routines and help out where you can.

        For the most part, you'll be just a driver for the boys. After that, logistical support as needed. There is always something to do, but that old saying about "Never do for a boy, what he can do for himself" ring very true in this situation.

        Get out of CM mode when you go to the troop, It's OK!!! The boys will figure out what to do.

        A good friend in the troop always tells me about Boy Scouts and especially campouts, It's like watching sausage being made, not very pretty to watch, but once it's done, it's pretty good.

        It's OK to be an ASM at large, and just help out the SM and other ASM's as needed.

        I always get a good chuckle when I see Dad's come on campouts, especially right after their son's crossover, and they spend more time napping in their chair because we tell them to just sit back and observe.

        Here's something from our troop page about adults attending camp:

        Quite simply, our troop policy requires adults to cook, eat, and tent separately from the Scouts (even dads & sons). We are safely nearby, but not smothering close. Sure, go ahead and visit the patrol sites (not just your son's), talk to your son (and the other Scouts), ask what's going on or how things are going. But give the guys room to grow while you enjoy the view. Please don't hover over the boys, especially while they are cooking, cleaning, making, breaking camp or building a fire. Avoid the temptation to direct them and avoid the temptation to give advice. Don't jump in just to prevent a mistake from happening (unless it's serious). We all learn best from our mistakes. And let the patrol leaders lead.Your job is tough, challenging, and ultimately rewarding, because your son will be a man the day after tomorrow.

        You'll figure out your niche soon enough, besides you'll then be able to eat those good campout meals again. The ASM's in our troop love to eat, and eat well we do!


        • #5
          Sitting in you camp chair, drinking your coffee, eating your cobbler, I like peach thank you, and saying everytime a scout comes up and asks you a question, " Have you asked your PL?" If the PL comes up and asks, your reply is, "Have you asked your SPL?"

          Now if the SPL comes up and asks, then you got a bit of work to do

          Seriously, relax, step back a bit, and enjoy yuorself. Learn the troop's culture, and have fun. Be there when the Scouts REALLY need you, i.e. emergency situations, but otherwise let them do things themselves.

          IMHO, the transition from CM to ASM will be a very hard one b/c you are trained to do things for the Cub Scouts, and with Boy Scouts you need to let them do things on their own, which goes against all the CS training.

          Good Luck.


          • #6
            - Back up the SM. (He is continually under pressure from parents. Stand behind him publicly and disagree privately)

            - Cheerfully help out on the Adult camping chores. (The more experienced ASM's will be busy and you really help by making coffee, cooking, etc. We have even helped set up the SM's tent because he is always too busy)

            - Set a good example for the boys. (Be collegial to the other adults, shake hands, be helpful, wear the uniform, Train up, learn the T-1 skills.

            - Be patient with the boys. (I am working on that)

            - Help facilitate the boys activities by being there (driving, safety, making reservations, etc)

            - Keep the boys safe but let them fail.

            - Have fun!

            - Volunteer and follow through (if you agree to be the Popcorn person don't say you'll do it and flake out)


            • #7
              Assist the SM. Nuff said. (But of course, I'll expound!)

              If you're a morning person, get the coffee started. Night person, clean up the adult site. If he'd like you to look sharp, throw on the uniform, if he'd rather you chill, dress down a little. If he wants you to demonstrate a skill, do it. If he would like you to sit in on an SM conference, do it. However you want your boy to act towards his patrol leader, do the same toward your SM.

              Get to know the SPL. Accord him a large measure of respect.

              Go to committee meetings and roundtables. Keep an ear open to things that might suit your gifts and talents. Let the SM know where you think you can add to the life of the troop.

              Take as much training as you can, because when there's an emergency, the more "heads in the game," the better. As your responsibilities with the boys increase, you won't have as much time for training. Any certifications you may have (Climbing, CPR, Aquatics), keep them up to date!

              Yeah, and all the sit back and relax stuff applies as well -- if every ASM is doing their bit!


              • #8
                To perform the duties assigned to them by the Scoutmaster. So, if you feel you need more of an explanation, ask the Scoutmaster what they have in mind and be sure to let the Scoutmaster know what you are and are not comfortable doing.

                When my oldest crossed over, I volunteered to be an SA but I told the Scoutmaster that I was also a Webelos Den Leader and that that would take priority for the next year and a half. He understood and my assignments in the troop were rather limited during that time.


                • #9
                  >>I figue the best way to do that is not so much stepping in with the scouts directly ( unless real harm is immenant), but maybe taking the PL aside and saying : " Hey, maybe.....".