Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chippewa29

Young Adult Leaders

Recommended Posts

How do different troops handle young (18-22 year old) ASM's? We have a Scout turning 18 in March and he has done a good job working with the younger Scouts the past two years. He has expressed a little interest (he mentioned it once) in becoming an ASM when he turns 18. What are the expectations that other troops have for their younger adult leaders to keep them from just having an honorary position?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 2 Eagles who are now ASM's. They participate when they can since they are both in college (one is my son). I let them watch from the sideline & learn. They have few responsibilities since they are new at this. I feel these guys need to "be part" of the adult leadership but not really do much in the beginning. It's not unlike getting a new adult & letting them take it all in before giving them any power. Naturally, these Eagles must attend Scoutmaster Fundamentals.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my son turned 18, he became an ASM and went to summer camp with the troop that summer. Since then, his interest has waned because he is away at college and feels he doesn't have a connection with the newer scouts. I continue to hope that he will want to get involved again sometime.

 

I believe the 18 year olds who are not interested in participating in a Venture Crew can serve as effective ASMs if they worked well with the younger boys previously. They can be a big help as role models and mentors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a few ASM's in that age group. Generally they help when they come back from college. They usually come back to see our Scoutmaster (an institution in our troop) and to help on the high adventure stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the problems that a lot of 18 yr old new ASM's have is crossing the line from a youth to an adult and having Both the boys and other adults accept and recognize that he is now a scouter not a scout any longer. Most are still in School and see the guys everyday.

 

This makes it hard for a young man to make that transition. We try and give our new ASM's some kind of adult oriented task and make sure we do our utmost to treat them as an equal. One of the ways we have helped our guys here is with a small but effective transition ceremony. We gather the troop and talk about all the great things that this boy has done in scouting. He is dress in his Scout shirt with his Boy Scout Badges attached. While we are doing this he stands with the boys and the leader stand in a separate group. After we have done that we say good bye to scout "Mike" and he leaves the room. After about 30 seconds he comes back with a differt shirt, this one with the patches and insignia of a ASM. We the introduce our new Scouter, " Mr. Smith" Insuring the boys know that he has now made that important transition to and adult. It has helped our young men to make that break from scout to scouter

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nldscout, what a great idea!

I have about 4 boys that are turning 18 and wish to remain active as ASMs but I wasn't sure how to handle the transition in such a way as to make the younger boys understand that there is now a difference in how these young men should be treated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nldscout, I LOVE this idea. I think we might expand on it to do a transition for ANY new leader to our troop. Many new leaders, myself included (although I'm "seasoned" now), aren't quite sure what their role is and often the boys don't really know who they are. What a wonderful way to transition any new person into a troop leadership role.

 

This is why I keep coming back and reading all the posts!

 

Melodee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some interesting letters in the current issue of Scouting magazine that are on point on this subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nldscout,

 

Nice idea. The transition from "boy" to "adult" is difficult for an 18 year old. He "feels" like he should be treated as an adult, and so we do. But he also is still a kid in many ways, and has a lot to learn still. He will only learn if given the opportunity. In our troop we make it our business to treat all the boys as young adults, with increasing respect and allowance for setting their own goals and agendas as they grow. This way, we hope that upon reaching his 18th birthday, if the Scout stays with us, he already feels like he's being treated as a leader. The transition from boy leader to adult leader thus becomes a little less trying for all.

 

But, the young man, not being all that far removed from the other "young men" in the troop, will still feel more kinship with them than he does with the "adult" leaders, so we make allowances for that. Responsibilities are given according to ability and stature. Tenting and meals on camping trips is encouraged to be with the adult leaders. The young ASM is treated with all due respect and friendship as do the adults treat each other. Those young men who stay with us usually have no problem "seeing" the difference in their new position, and we don't "make" it an either/or decision for them to make...adult vs. scout...they come into their own when they're ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the other posts and thinking more on the subject (reflecting back on seeing transitions over the years), I believe that the transition needs to be more gradual. For example, a Scout usually doesn't become mature just because he turns 18 (although some, realizing that they are approaching that age, will start acting more adultlike). I've seen 15 year olds who are more mature than 22 year olds (I'm sure we all have). If the troop has a good system where the Scouts are given responsibility at a fairly young age (basically, a boy run troop), then by the time they are 18, they should be very capable of handling some adult responsibilities.

 

However, that is an ideal situation. When a SM decides who to let stay on as an adult leader, they must be careful. Early on, my troop had a 16 year old Life Scout transfer to our troop (we were all 11 or 12) basically to get his Eagle. A year or so later when he got his Eagle and was about to turn 18, he asked to be an ASM. Our SM turned him down, as he was less mature than some of the 13 year olds in the troop. The SM didn't feel he was mature enough to act like an adult and help out the troop.

 

Several years later, as I was getting older, we had some gaps in our adult leadership (especially after I turned 16), so I, as the senior Scout in the troop, had to take on a lot of responsibility that the adults normally would have taken. When I turned 18, the SM put an adult application (filled out already) and said to just sign it. That summer, right before I left for college, our SM had a lot of family problems at home and couldn't be at half the meetings that summer. I ended up running the troop for a couple of months before I left for school. Fortunately, a new group of parents stepped up to run the troop soon after.

 

I would work with the troop during the summers. I had some problems with other adults not treating me like an adult, but fortunately we had enough of a generation gap (and I had basically been an adult since I was 16) that it wasn't a problem with the Scouts. After college, I went back to working with the troop on a more regular basis, while becoming a "full-time" adult leader a few years later. That time away allowed me to be seen more as an adult.

 

My troop currently has an alumni that worked as an ASM from age 18-21. He did a good job but was one of those guys who was such a cut up, that it was hard to listen to him (even though he was very competent). Also, his best buddies from the troop were the guys 1-3 years younger, so it seemed like he was just another youth leader. The past three years, work and school commitments have really limited his time with the troop. We've also had a large changeover in Scouts, so they don't know him as a youth or young adult. When he becomes more active again in the late spring (when his school classes are done), he'll be able to have a clean slate and be seen more as an adult that an older youth.

 

I think some time away is good for just about any leader so they can learn and grow, no matter how strong of a leadership development program they come from. Their outside exposure will bring in fresh ideas and attitudes to the program and keep it from getting stale. It will also give that young man a chance to grow and break out from their youth mold. I wouldn't want to get rid of any young man sincerely interested in helping the troop, but for his own good, he may need to get out on his own for a while.

 

I love the idea of the transition ceremony. One thing my troop has done in the past when we have a Scout become an adult leader (I believe we've done this three times over the years), we take a black marker and scratch out the "Junior" on his JASM patch. Then, the first campout he goes on as an adult, he must cook all the meals for the adults. If he "passes" (cooks well enough), then we present him with the real ASM patch. If he "fails" (no one has), then he has to cook for the adults on the next campout as well, until he satisfies the other adults' stomachs. What ends up happening is that the adults eat incredibly well. Our previous SM also did that to me when I became SM last March. He scratched out the "Assistant" and I had to cook for the adults.

 

Very long post, but the thoughts just came coming out. Any feedback you give would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We Started the transition ceremony a few years back because we had a great eagle scout that turned 18 and stayed as an adult. Because he was still in High School with some of the others both him and the Scouts had a hard time recognizing the break. So to help everyone we decided that we needed to figure out a way to signify that change in status. Its a simple ceremony. You can make any simple thing impressive and make a last show for the boys with a little effort and a few props.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×