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WisconsinMomma

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster Position

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Hi Scouters,

One of the volunteer jobs our committee is posting regularly is Assistant Scoutmaster.  I am thinking of suggesting to our Scoutmaster that he appoint a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  I have a suggestion for a boy in our Troop who I think would be a great fit (he was an excellent SPL, in the small view that I had.)  

Have you as Scoutmasters used the JASM position?  Has it worked well for you?   I need to learn more about this role and what it does, and then I think I will make a suggestion to our Scoutmaster to consider it. 

Thanks for your help. 

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First, JASM is appointed by SPL with the advice and approval of the SM, but he reports to the SM. He needs to be at least 16 but not yet an adult. Most importantly the youth needs to want to do that role and understand how it impacts him as a Scout.

Some boys like, some don’t. Some troops use them some don’t. 

The problem is that while a JASM is still a youth and must be treated as so for YP purposes, most of the jobs they are assigned are more inline with an ASM position. For the youth, this can get boring, be conflicting and be a negative if he prefers to hang out with his friends more. For a SM it can be a negative because the JASM is still a youth and often gets caught between wanting to be one of the boys and doing his job as JASM, which will often take him out of some of the fun. 

Thwre are pluses and minuses, it depends on the youth and the unit.

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Only time I've seen it done are  those who were Life and nearing 18, or Eagles 15+ (15 was back in the day when a 15 year old was able to have the POR). Mixed reactions. Some good some negative.

Biggest problem is fro YP purposes, he is a youth, but for responsibilities he is an adult. he is not part of a Scout patrol, does what the SM tells him, and can sometimes have challenges with the Scouts listening to him, especially friends.

As for recommending folks for PORs as a MC, I'd stay out of it. When I was a MC, I did that with Oldest Son, i.e. gave him ideas about who would make a good XYZ POR.  Our SM and ASMs "make recommendations" for PORs, and it usually backfires. Long story short, some youth have adults fooled. The Scouts know who is best for the various PORs.

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4 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

First, JASM is appointed by SPL with the advice and approval of the SM, but he reports to the SM.

Thanks for clarifying that, it helps a lot. 

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IMHO, this position and den chief are ideal for older scouts who want to  continue their leadership development but have sort of grown out of life in their patrol.

I enjoyed serving in both positions when I was a youth.

MC's don't recommend positions, but they could bring the possibility up with the scout on his board of review.

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We have used a couple, typically have a few around.  We are 100 +/- so there is the bench strength.  Got some active scouts, they may be responsible and good leaders but did not want to be SPL, we put them in the JASM position to sort of be a backstop to the SPL.  Good to have extra set of eyes and assist the SPL and various PL's.  

Sometimes if leaders see something, working through a JASM to the SPL is more subtle.

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