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Tampa Turtle

Advice for successful incorporation of 18 year old ASM

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You'd be surprised at how little awkwardness there is. Besides, what other position is there for  18-20 year olds to be in a Boy Scout troop except as a Merit Badge Counselor, a district position.

 

Boys in my unit aren't allowed to call adults by their first names.  ASM's are always called Mister.  

 

When I transitioned from student to teacher (during student teaching), this was the most awkward part for me. I wasn't used to having people call me Mister.

 

It was a good thing though.  I was very young looking for my age, and I really needed to do the name change. I could have very easily been mistaken for a student. 

Edited by David CO

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Well that did not go well. We had a worse then usual (or so it appeared) boy-run meeting and he felt it was a complete waste of his time given he was taking time away from school work (which he wouldn't have been doing anyway). Just a poor meeting- SPL plan went up in smoke- as it happens. A lot of boy leadership and adults did not show. Doesn't help when the SPL is your younger brother who won't listen to you anyway. His advice was sound. But ASM Son really did not have anything to do.

 

Afterwards I told him that he needs to find something fun he wants to do in Scouts and we will try to make it happen. He is interested in a couple of the harder trips and a merit badge or two. I wish he would work with the younger boys. I will suggest but not push. 

 

My main work will be making sure he doesn't officially quit. 

 

He had his delayed ECOH a few weeks ago and it was a huge success so maybe the reality of being an adult grunt is a let down.

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Boys in my unit aren't allowed to call adults by their first names.  ASM's are always called Mister.  

Wouldn't fly in the community where I grew up. Formalities had nothing to do with the patch on your sleeve.

 

As soon as I was old enough to toss a keg on the beer truck, I had the right (obligation, really) to call any driver, including my dad's business partner by first name. Veterans: first name.

College professors, if they were in your church: first name.

Associate pastors, first name.

Pastor, if on a youth service trip: first name.

ASMs who never spent a day in the mines: first name.

 

Active duty servicemen, teachers, farmers, retirees, coal miners, mothers, and journeymen: last name, with pride.

 

Now, when we were in uniform, doing some public service: title and last name to adults and youth. So, when I was SPL addressing a PL for roll call, Mr. ___ was in order. But most camping activities and meetings, the above rules generally applied.

 

So, I feel a little odd in my current community. I, by upbringing, would expect to be called by first name. (At the very least, among Arabic speakers to be called Abu-Son#1). But, all of the youth have it pounded into their heads to never do that to a senior. I remember when, in our Bible study, half of the parents (especially transplants from west of the Mississippi) were concerned about their little children addressing us by first name. I thought to myself, "What an odd conversation to be having."

 

It's a big country.

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Well that did not go well. We had a worse then usual (or so it appeared) boy-run meeting and he felt it was a complete waste of his time given he was taking time away from school work (which he wouldn't have been doing anyway). Just a poor meeting- SPL plan went up in smoke- as it happens. A lot of boy leadership and adults did not show. Doesn't help when the SPL is your younger brother who won't listen to you anyway. His advice was sound. But ASM Son really did not have anything to do.

 

Afterwards I told him that he needs to find something fun he wants to do in Scouts and we will try to make it happen. He is interested in a couple of the harder trips and a merit badge or two. I wish he would work with the younger boys. I will suggest but not push. 

 

My main work will be making sure he doesn't officially quit. 

 

He had his delayed ECOH a few weeks ago and it was a huge success so maybe the reality of being an adult grunt is a let down.

Maybe he should start addressing the SPL as Mr. Turtle. ;)

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When I was in the ministry, it was always Pastor S---.  Even though I am an ordained minister, I call my pastor "Pastor" at all times.  That is usually dropped to first name among peers, but to show respect for his parishioners, it's always by title.

 

In my troop EVERYONE is called by Mr. or Ms. Lastname.  The boys, when they are together, use the first name only, but in the meetings when adults are present, it's always by title.  Mr. Jones, the patrol leader is referred to by his POR, Patrol Leader Jones, etc.

 

When I first started as SM in the one troop where my Eagle was, he would call me by my first name.  I always referred to him by Mr. ___

Eventually he started calling me by Mr. S----.  When he turned 18, I let him know he could call me by my first name now that he was an adult.  He said he could never do that, and to this day he refers to me as Mr. S----.

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Growing up, it was always Mr. First Name. Except 1 SM whom we called '"DOC" Last name as he was an MD.

 

Those 18-20 year olds that stayed around, depending upon whom it was , would either go by Mr. First name too (usually the younger guys) or last name only (those they grew up with)

 

Except one guy. He was THE FIRST NAME LAST NAME!  He left the troop before his ECOH, going into the USAF. He was one of my SPLs while I was a PL, and really was a great mentor. Lots of sayings he used, I used later on when I was ASPL, and even today.He came back 4 years after earning Eagle and had his ECOH. Even though he knew only a handful of Scouts, EVERYONE knew him and his sayings. One of the new Scouts asked me if he was THE_________, and when I said yes, everyone started calling him THE ______________ and was in awe of him. A true legend in his own time. ;)

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Growing up, it was always Mr. First Name. Except 1 SM whom we called '"DOC" Last name as he was an MD.

 

Those 18-20 year olds that stayed around, depending upon whom it was , would either go by Mr. First name too (usually the younger guys) or last name only (those they grew up with)

 

Except one guy. He was THE FIRST NAME LAST NAME!  He left the troop before his ECOH, going into the USAF. He was one of my SPLs while I was a PL, and really was a great mentor. Lots of sayings he used, I used later on when I was ASPL, and even today.He came back 4 years after earning Eagle and had his ECOH. Even though he knew only a handful of Scouts, EVERYONE knew him and his sayings. One of the new Scouts asked me if he was THE_________, and when I said yes, everyone started calling him THE ______________ and was in awe of him. A true legend in his own time. ;)

 

I'd love to hear some of those sayings.

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Boys in my unit aren't allowed to call adults by their first names.  ASM's are always called Mister.  

 

When I transitioned from student to teacher (during student teaching), this was the most awkward part for me. I wasn't used to having people call me Mister.

 

It was a good thing though.  I was very young looking for my age, and I really needed to do the name change. I could have very easily been mistaken for a student. 

 

I can relate to being confused with a student. Happened to me during student teaching too, especially since I accidentally dressed according to the school's dress code. At least I didn't get a detention for not having a name tag. Didn't wear khaki pants and white dress shirt again.

 

As for being called MISTER being the most awkward for you, I wish. Try having your cousin (who doesn't know you are related to her) and her friends in the class you are teaching and trying flirt with you :blink: Thankfully my girlfriend at the time, who was an alumna, decided on the spur of the moment to visit some of her old teachers and just happened to see me during lunch on my second day of teaching.  That stopped the flirting. ;)

 

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Like the timing, Last night was the last meeting as a youth for our current SPL.  He turns 18 Friday.  We too do the Mr ______ thing for all the aduts, and have had several boys transition in the last year from youth to adult.  Some have adjusted better than others, but all are developing their own style and niche.  fun to watch them sitting on their hands itching to "go fix it" but knowing that is no longer their job.

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I can relate to being confused with a student. Happened to me during student teaching too, especially since I accidentally dressed according to the school's dress code. At least I didn't get a detention for not having a name tag. Didn't wear khaki pants and white dress shirt again.

 

As for being called MISTER being the most awkward for you, I wish. Try having your cousin (who doesn't know you are related to her) and her friends in the class you are teaching and trying flirt with you :blink: Thankfully my girlfriend at the time, who was an alumna, decided on the spur of the moment to visit some of her old teachers and just happened to see me during lunch on my second day of teaching.  That stopped the flirting. ;)

 

My student teaching experience was an absolute disaster. It was one problem after another.  I was miserable.  If it hadn't been for my college professor's reassurances that my experience wasn't typical, and teaching is really a lot better than that, I might have left the profession then and there. 

 

As a result of this, I am really nice to student teachers, first year teachers, and new scout leaders.  I know how hard it can be to make the transition.

 

I think it is sometimes better to delay a young person's first experience as a scout leader.  I would like their first experience to be a great one.

Edited by David CO

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I also was an 18 yo ASM. (I am beginning to see a pattern here.) I had graduated high school and gone off to college, though. I can still remember being a bit lost in the transition because everyone at the troop still remembered me as a scout and, while the adults made the effort, it just overshadowed a lot of things. This was especially true with the older scouts, who still tended to view me as a peer.

 

So I got active at the District level for a while. I still did not enjoy scouting as much because there were few peers there. But I was much more effective at the District level than at the troop level.

 

But some of this was my personality. At 18 I was not as sure and confident and I approached adult leadership roles that way. So I think it depends on the person a great deal.

 

We also have an 18 yo ASM in my current troop. He is a recent HS graduate. But he still has issues in how he relates to the scouts-he tends to relate to them more as a peer than as an adult. We handle that by asking him to take on suitable roles that do not require a lot of interaction with the scouts. But he clearly is not ready for certain adult leadership roles because of how he and the scouts interact. It will come in time, though.

 

So, specific tips...first, he needs to make a conscious effort not to interact with the scouts as a peer. This will be difficult with the older scouts, so you idea of working with the younger scouts is a good one. Second, he needs to understand that some people will also need to get used to the new arrangement. That includes himself. Everybody needs to be patient and understanding. Third, try to get him into roles that do not require as much interaction with the scouts.

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I was an 18 year old ASM. That was 5 years ago.

 

Have a plan for what he's going to do on a weekly basis. Make the time he volunteers worth his time.

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As mentioned some seem not ready, maybe some of those 18yo ASM's are really looking or more scouting, and a venture program would be a better fit.

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As mentioned some seem not ready, maybe some of those 18yo ASM's are really looking or more scouting, and a venture program would be a better fit.

I'm finding that's a VERY hard transition if they weren't already active in the crew.

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