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Quixote

Are ASM's to give Scoutmasters' Conferences?

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My CC told me yesterday that the ASM's (of which i am one) can give SM conferences per the COR.

 

My reading of the SM handbook doesn't support this and our SM told me flat out that he's the only one who can give SMC's.

 

Which is it? I don't have a problem helping the SM on them, but i think he's the one who's supposed to do them as well.

 

Thanks.

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From memory here, I don't have my book at the office...

 

The SM is charged with performing that task, and no other, unless specifically charged by the SM due to extenuating circumstances (like illness and immediacy of need). That's why they call it the SM conference.

 

Although I will say that in my time, I did have need to ask an ASM to fill in for me when circumstances prevented my attendance. But in each of those cases, the ASM asked had formerly been SM of the troop, and our philosophies were pretty much identical, so I felt quite at ease asking him.

 

Again, just from memory...

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In Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, page 25: " On large troops, Scoumasters occassionally assign this responsibility to assistant Scoutmaters or members of the troop committee; but this is unfortunate, since because most Scoutmasters feel that this is truly the opportunity to get to know the Scout and help him chart the course in life."

 

 

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I agree, the SM conference is the SM's responsibility unless he can't do it for some reason. That being said, I don't necessarily agree with the BSA language that says "...this is truly the opportunity to get to know the Scout...". In my experience, you get to know the Scouts by participating in activities, campouts, hikes, outings, PLCs, and troop meetings -- it's at the SM conference that you show the Scout you HAVE gotten to know him over the last however-many months.

 

This thread does point out a bit of a dilemma, though. I consider part of my responsibility to prepare ASMs to be SMs, including the admin/council and committee relations/training pieces. Is it optimal if his first SM conference is after he's an SM? Let him cut his teeth on some new Scout or Tenderfoot conferences, and go from there...and that's just one example. I realize this isn't prohibited, but it doesn't seem to be encouraged, either.

 

KS

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I know I'll get a lot of disagreement on this but ...

 

On page one of The Scoutmaster Handbook, it shows Scoutmaster Badges and lo and behold it includes one that has the words Scoutmaster above the BSA emblem and one that says Assistant Scoutmaster above the BSA Emblem. The whole SM Handbook uses the term Scoutmaster generically for both ASM and SM. Sort of like the term Colonel in the military, it includes Lt. Colonels.

 

Personally, I believe that ASMs are under utilized in many troops. Why not have the ASM who is in charge of a new patrol give the SM confernce for Scout, Tenderfoot, & Second Class to those boys? Doesn't he need to get to know the boys as well? The biggest problem I see most SMs make is not to delegate properly. They don't delegate and then complain if the ASMs don't do enough to help out. The converse is if he has an ASM who is a "go getter" he feels he is encroaching on his authority or territory.

 

Be secure in your position and give ASMs enough duties to feel worth while.

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The SM conference is to be given by the SM ergo the name. I am sure there are extenuating circumstance where an ASM can handle this. My SM & BS handbooks are in the basement being "aired out" after summer camp so I am unable to look it up at the present time.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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If the SM wants to request that kind of assistance from one of his appointed SA's, that should be fine as long as the SA agrees. The converse doesn't work as well. I would not consider it appropriate for an SA to insist on performing SM conferences if the SM has not asked him to do so. The CC and COR should definitely not be pushing for this either.

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As per the standards of Baltimore Area Council, ASM's are Scoutmasters, they are Assistants. We encourage advanced leader training and Woodbadge to most our ASM's after two years of service. Our troop has 75 boys and 18 ASM's. If we had to wait for just the SM to hold a SMC for every boy, we would not have very many advancements. If the official rules of BSA were to exclude ASM's they would not be encourage into training. The same training the SM recieves.

 

ASM1

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I agree with Fscouter, the SA (ASM) should not initiate a SM conference but should be able to give one given the SM's permission.

 

I also agree with ASM1, Asst. Scoutmasters are Scoutmasters. My only question to ASM1 is why wait for two years for training? And yes, the fact that BSA does not differentiate the training for SM and SA tells it all.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

On waiting two years before urging Woodbadge training? All new leaders are urged to attend new leaders essentails and all outdoor training including youth protection. But Woodbadge, even though a leader may take the course and pay for it himself anytime our council offers it, our troop likes to work with a new leader for at least two years before they urge the taking of Woodbadge and the troop pays for it. In fact, our troop pays all cost of all training for leaders, including transportation, with the exception of Woodbadge unless they invite a leader to attend. With a troop the size as ours, I think it is an issue of trying to keep the budget in line by not paying for leader who may not remain in the troop.

 

On the SMC issue. Our troop is unique. Most of our adult leaders are active duty military. Our SM will assign a temp SM from the ranks of ASM's for outdoor activities like campouts. Because of that, almost all of our ASM's are fully capable of taking over the troop should a crisis arise, which is frequently these days. So our ASM's perform SMC'c when ever they arise. Even if the SM is present. It does not matter who gives the SMC. Our scouts know they can come to any of us.

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