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gshafer

Input on youth leadership positions when SPL becomes an Eagle Scout

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Our troop traditionally has this type of progression with youth leadership. If an SPL becomes an Eagle Scout, he is then move to the position of JASM and the ASPL becomes SPL for the remander of the time until the next election. Is there any "standard" BSA policy regarding this or is it up to the decision of the Scoutmaster? or does it really fall back to the PLC? Just looking for some guidance/ideas to head of any potential parental problems.

 

Thanks

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Why would a scout's rank effect his Position of Responsibility? He was elected by the Troop to fulfill a term of office, just because he earns Eagle is no reason to "penalize" the troop by taking their elected leader out of the position. He can be a JASM when his term expires. A JASM is appointed by the SPL with the consent of the Scoutmaster so why would an SPL appoint himself out of office?

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I guess I don't understand your opinion of this being a penalty. It has always been viewed by the scouts as a traditional promotion and used as a reward and opportunity to for younger scouts to move scouts into more leadership roles. I'm not sure that it's correct to say that the SPL appoints a JASM, I believe this is the SM's role.

 

"The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster serves in the capacity of an Assistant Scoutmaster except where legal age and maturity are required. He must be at least 16 years old and not yet 18. He's appointed by the Scoutmaster because of his leadership ability."

 

This is a common description I found at most Scouting web sites.

 

Doesn't make sense to me to have a SPL appointing an Assistant Scoutmaster.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

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I sometimes suffer from a hyperbolic vocabulary. When I said "Penalize" I meant since the Troop elected the SPL for the term of office, why would you take the youth voted by the youth to be their leader and replace him with someone selected by the PLC? Seems like a short circuiting of the Democratic process. I am not sure how being a JASM is better than the SPL, the SPL is the youth leader of the troop selected by his peers there is no higher honor. I got the idea that the SPL appoints the JASM with the consent of the Scoutmaster from my Scoutmaster's Handbook, I don't always trust what websites say as I don't want to fall victim to Pierre Salinger syndrome.

 

Is it a tradition in your Troop that when a boy recieives Eagle he automatically becomes a JASM? Eagle isn't a BSA requirement for JASM, what if an ASPL becomes Eagle, do you replace him? Why not let the youth serve out their terms?

 

(Edited Part)

 

As I read the progrssion of my posts, I saw where what I have said may be taken as rather critical and I dont mean it to be. You are seeking an answer to a question and I am talking in circles. Perhaps I should just ask what has been done in the past and why would this situation cause parental problems?(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Yah, OGE is right about what the books say. I've never seen troop do it that way, though. Doesn't make much sense to anybody I don't think. JASM is typically appointed by the SM, with perhaps the advice of the SPL.

 

But aside from that, I'm with the old Eagle. Doesn't make much sense to me to have adults remove da SPL from his elected position just because he earns Eagle. Seems like a responsible young man would want to finish out the term he was elected for, and would object to such a move. Seems like the kids who elected him would expect that of him, as a matter of honor.

 

If that's your troop's tradition, and the kids all understood it to be the case, then I guess it's OK. No "adult surprises" is one of the biggest rules for runnin' a troop, so I wouldn't change midstream if that's what everyone expects; might seem unfair to the SPL and ASPL, like you don't trust them, eh?

 

Yeh should just think about whether it's accomplishin' what you want to accomplish in terms of character growth, and make adjustments down the road if necessary. As an Eagle, I'd much rather be SPL than JASM. That's where the action is. Wouldn't want the message to be that the most capable people get removed from the action.

 

 

 

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I've had a few boys wait until they're almost 18 before earning Eagle (in one case, just a few hours shy of the date...sigh). So, if an SPL earns his Eagle and then turns 18, of course he would have to be an ASM as he would no longer be eligible to be either SPL or JASM. Other than that, I agree completely with OGE and Beavah

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Count me as one who also finds this practice unusual to say the least. There is no reason an Eagle scout can't serve as SPL and a lot of good reasons why one should. There are plenty of positions of responsibility available for scouts who need a position to earn their Eagle Rank.

 

This wouldn't be one of those units that also has a "rule" that a candidate for Eagle must serve as SPL would it?

 

SA

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Turning 18 is the "end" of the scouting trail for being a "Boy" Scout. Getting your Eagle is not. I wish a few of the 14, 15 and 16 year old Eagles knew this. I'd prefer to have as many Eagles as possible stay involved on the boy side of things than become JASM's.

 

We've had some discussions within our troop concerning office tenure and term limits. We've had boys who get elected multiple times to PL or SPL and there are other lads in waiting who start to get upset that they can't serve in those positions. Most of them see it from an advancement perspective more than anything else. In that case, there are other positions they can serve in for advancement purposes. My point of view differs from the SM in that I'd like to see these guys who have served multiple times as a PL or as SPL and/or earned their Eagle to recycle back into the troop as Instructors, Troop Guides or ASPL's. Many of the boys see it as a pride and pecking order issue and think it would be going backwards for a former PL or SPL to take a "lower" position. We tend to make former SPL's who hang around after their tenure into JASM's. Again, I'd like to see them stay at the boy level.

 

Count me in as one who finds the practice of moving an SPL who earns Eagle to JASM odd. He should finish his term of office first.

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Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. To throw another twist on this what if the boy wanted to move to the JASM position? He's held the SPL position thru a transition of two SM's and is now ready to move on? Opinions on handling this? He still wants to be active in the troop just not responsible for weekly meetings anymore.

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Let him finish his term. I've never heard of such. During your next election/appointment cycle, appoint him to be JASM (if he wants it). What if he's not 16 yet? Isn't that a requirement for JASM? What if he prefers to run again for SPL, would you let him?

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He needs to finish his term. After all, he is in leadership and is supposed to be leading by example. What message does it send if someone in a postion of responsibility quits any time they want to. I told my son when he was playing sports that I would never make him play sports, but I would make him finish out any season he had signed up for because he had a team depending on him. Now that he is a Patrol Leader, the same rule applies.

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I readily admit to having mixed feelings on this - I agree that just because an SPL becomes Eagle that it shouldn't mean the automatic loss of an elected position and the the Scout should be allowed to finish his term - and run for another term should he wish. On the other hand, provided the lad is at least 16 (JASM is the only youth leadership post with an age requirement - he must be at least 16),it's not that onerous of a tradition to appoint the lad to the JASM position - provided, of course, the lad agrees. On yet another hand - the Eagle rank is not required to become a JASM and you may have a 16 year old Life Scout who is well-qualified to become a JASM - would he not be given the opportunity if he doesn't have his Eagle?

 

The JASM position has a two-fold purpose (as I understand it). It serves as a transitional leadership position between youth leadership positions and adult leadership positions. The JASM is appointed by the Scoutmaster and reports to the Scoutmaster - he isn't a member of the PLC and does not report to the Senior Patrol Leader. The JASM functions just the same as an Assistant Scoutmaster. The second purpose is to provide a meaningful place for older scouts who want to remain active and useful, but because of greater outside demands on their time (school, school activities, dating, part-time work) have less time for Scouts. It keeps your older pool of Scouts available as a resource for your younger Scouts and your unit instead of letting them drift off.

 

As for the boy who has served as SPL through 2 Scoutmasters, my opinion is if he wishes to become a JASM, then appoint him as a JASM - even if in the middle of the term. You don't say how long each Scoutmaster served but unless your turnover was rapid, the lad has been SPL for far too long and it's time for someone else to take the reins. I would see nothing wrong in holding a "special election" to fill the SPL's spot if he is appointed a JASM. I also think that the rest of the Scouts would not see this as quitting in the middle of something but taking the opportunity to grow into something new.

 

CalicoPenn

 

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JASM - He is appointed by the Scoutmaster, not the SPL, because of his leadership ability.

 

In our troop the term of office is six months. However, many of our youth "officers" get re-elected to second and third terms. As Scoutmaster, I don't prohibit more than three terms in a row but highly discourage it. Many time a former SPL or ASPL simply goes back to his patrol. Our current SPl is an eigth grader. One of our PLs is sixteen, taught the council NYLT course two years ago, served as SPL for the NYLT course last year, has served as troop SPL numerous times, etc. He doesn't feel he has been "demoted."

 

Why should a youth want to become a JASM? Because he doesn't want the leadership responsibility of a patrol leader or senior patrol leader? Because of his availability to his fellow troop members?

 

I'd encourage the current SPL to not vacate his position. There is no standard BSA policy about transitioning to JASM from SPL. There are no rank requirements for JASM either.

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ghafer,

 

How long has this boy served as SPL? Normally terms don't last more than a year. If he sought the office and was elected by his troopmates, he should fulfill the term of his office. To step down would not be fair to those that elected him, presuming he would complete his term.

 

Having, said that, being an SPL is not the same as being an indentured servant. He is a free individual and can resign his position and the ASPL can take over. However, to me this certainly would not seem like the actions of an individual I would consider appointing to a JASM level position as an example of "leadership". If he wants to step down and become a general member of the troop, or serve in some other POR he feels more comfortable in and his new SPL and scoutmaster are OK with that, so be it.

 

The bottom line is if he didn't expect to serve out the term, he should not have run for the office.

 

SA

 

 

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