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mothbyte

Hello from Eastern Washington

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Good evening,

I'm moth, 20 years old and currently undergoing training to become an ASM for a new troop. I am an Eagle scout and wish to inspire others to follow my path. Here to learn how I may best serve my community.

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Welcome! And thanks in advance for all you do for the youth.

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6 hours ago, mothbyte said:

Good evening,

I'm moth, 20 years old and currently undergoing training to become an ASM for a new troop. I am an Eagle scout and wish to inspire others to follow my path. Here to learn how I may best serve my community.

Welcome, I'm excited to me you. You have no idea how much influence a person your age has with scouts.

From an old guy to the new guy; scouts are inspired by actions, not words. You won't go wrong if you guard your words and be humble with your actions.

Barry

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all.

Do any of you have advice for how a newly minted ASM should relate to the scouts? Especially one who's my age. The youngest boys in my troop are nine years younger than me, and the oldest are three years younger, which comparatively isn't a whole lot. Our rearings have much more in common than when you compare the SM's heyday to theirs.

I want the boys to see me more as a mentor instead of a friend their age. No doubt I will be a friend to them, but I also need to observe YP at all times, so it isn't the same.

Edited by mothbyte

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Every group of boys is different. If I were you, I would focus mentoring time on your older scouts. What you and the ASMs want to do is encourage the SPL, PL's, and TG's, etc ... to be doing things for themselves. Sometimes adults take things for granted. But you have it fresh in your memory how difficult is was to do certain things. (E.g., staying organized, not giving up when you burnt breakfast, etc ...) If you can help the older scouts see how a younger scout might need help in those "mind over matter" kinds of things, you'll go a long way.

The YP stinks. (Or, specifically, all of those adults who didn't regard a youth's protection stink for making the rest of our lives harder.) But use it to your advantage to create a little space and objectivity.

Meanwhile, use your time serving the troop as an opportunity to get to know the other adults. Take advantage of the campfire to bring up challenges your facing and get their ideas. If the boys see that you leaning on other people for advice, they might be more willing to talk to a caring adult before things in their life start to go south.

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2 hours ago, mothbyte said:

o any of you have advice for how a newly minted ASM should relate to the scouts?

Don't take it personally when at some point your SM tells you that you do not count toward two deep leadership.  (One of the most pointless changes made in recent memory)

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7 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

Don't take it personally when at some point your SM tells you that you do not count toward two deep leadership.  (One of the most pointless changes made in recent memory)

Pointless? how so?

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3 minutes ago, mothbyte said:

Pointless? how so?

I went from being a 17 year old JASM to an 18 year old ASM in 1971.  At that time I was old enough to be drafted and go to Vietnam.  I was old enough to vote in my first presidential election the following year.  I was old enough to be invited to attend Woodbadge, when the age dropped from 21 to 18 the following year  I was old enough at 20 to be invited to serve on Woodbadge staff.

At 20 you are old enough to vote, to serve in the military, to do anything any other adult in the country can do (other than be president, but who wants that), but as of last year you do not count as part of 2 deep until you are 21.  We have had 18 - 20 year old ASM's as long as I can remember, and they were no different than any other leader.  To me, and most of the scouters I know, there is no realistic or logical reason for that to have changed.

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What's important to remember is that children and youth are not some separate species that need to be treated with kid gloves (sorry :rolleyes:). They're a little shorter than we are, sure, and they don't have as many life experiences, but otherwise they're just normal people who deserve personal and group respect. Don't feel the need to put on any artificial persona around them just to assert your position as a leader - the structure of the BSA and its leadership policies will do all that for you, so just be yourself and fill your role as best you can!

I am pretty young myself, and I confess, I look even younger - so much so that I often get mistaken for a youth member at Camporees and other activities. Is it awkward sometimes, visiting units as a 30-something commissioner or den leader and trying to command their attention and respect? You bet, but I use it to my advantage when I can - the boys are much more open with me than with other, older leaders, and I am able to connect with their generation much more quickly and strongly than others a few decades older. In many ways I have more in common with them than I do with the married parents around me who are in a totally different place in life. And that can be an important tool for your unit's leadership team - use your youthful countenance to get in good with the kids and assure them that their leaders understand and care for them. However: you are still an adult - you don't treat the Scouts as peers, nor as buddies, but as children and youth over whom you have an important stewardship. I try to remember, always, that I have to keep them safe more than I have to keep them entertained, and sometimes I must remind them that, as an adult, there are things I cannot do with or for them. I don't get involved in their patrol activities or planning, I camp separately from them, I let them practice their leadership roles to the fullest if they are older Scouts, and if they are Cubs I make sure they know that I am in charge but that I also love and protect them. One special note from one young leader to another - be very careful about your boundaries. It's easy to feel a little too close and personal with the Scouts since the age difference isn't very noticeable, so as leaders of a newer generation we need to be triply observant of safe Scouting practices. NEVER let your guard down when it comes to youth protection procedures. 

But enjoy yourself! I find being the young leader at Scouting events is one of the most fun activities in which I can be involved; I can give back to my community and connect with kids and parents in ways few people in our generation understand. I look at other people my age and I'm saddened that so many of them feel disconnected from their communities without a place to actively serve and participate. We have energy, excitement and a bright optimism that will be a huge benefit to those we lead, and hopefully those virtues will stay with us as we get older, as they have with so many of the good people here. This is an exciting opportunity for you to do some real good!

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4 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

- Be very careful about your boundaries. It's easy to feel a little too close and personal with the Scouts since the age difference isn't very noticeable, so as leaders of a newer generation we need to be triply observant of safe Scouting practices. NEVER let your guard down when it comes to youth protection procedures.

Keeping YPT in mind, would it be ok if I introduced myself formally to the scouts as a group and they could "ask me anything", if the time permits? I would of course collaborate with the scoutmaster and see how best to come across.

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5 hours ago, mothbyte said:

Keeping YPT in mind, would it be ok if I introduced myself formally to the scouts as a group and they could "ask me anything", if the time permits? I would of course collaborate with the scoutmaster and see how best to come across.

I wouldn't advise it. 

First of all, you shouldn't introduce yourself. The Scoutmaster should introduce you.

Your first goal should be to earn their trust. So don't say anything you can't follow through on. Don't tell them they can ask you anything if you can't answer everything. You can't answer everything.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, David CO said:

I wouldn't advise it. 

First of all, you shouldn't introduce yourself. The Scoutmaster should introduce you.

Your first goal should be to earn their trust. So don't say anything you can't follow through on. Don't tell them they can ask you anything if you can't answer everything. You can't answer everything.

 

That makes more sense. Thank you.

Edited by mothbyte

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