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When a scout turns 18...

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Beavah - Yeah, the rules are a little convoluted (can do it as a venturer but not a scout) and all. However, I beg to differ with your thought that it's no big deal for an 18 YO (FORMER BOY SCOUT) to tent with his 17 year old buddy. You've left yourself wide open for problems if it turned out something was going on there. The scout needs to understand that he's reached another stage in life, and that there are adjustments we must make.

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My little darling turned 18 this past July.

From when he was about 16 he was very much a cafeteria Scout.

The Troop he was in had tweaked the program so much that at times I wasn't sure if they really were part of the BSA!!

After serving twice as a staffer on JLTC,he seen that the Troop was little more than a Eagle mill. Like Her Who Must Be Obeyed he is mule headed and very strong willed.( Unlike his easy going lovable Dad!!) The Troop not doing things the way that he thought was right turned him off Troop Scouting. Scouts not earning ranks and just having them handed to them, turned him against advancement and for a long time against becoming an Eagle Scout.

He was/is very active in the OA. He enjoys working at summer camp.

But he got out of the habit of attending Scout meetings and when he did attend there was very little for him to do, other than stand around and talk to who ever else was standing around doing nothing.

He is a member of the Ship, but is busy working, and is involved in a lot of after school activities, so he tends to miss a lot of what is going on.

A couple of months back he came to me and said that he was thinking of signing on as an ASM in a Troop in the community next to ours.

The Troop is where his Lodge Adviser was SM and where one of his OA friends is an ASM.

All through his Boy Scouting career, I have done my best to let him do what he thinks is for the best. He choose which Troop he wanted to join. He did what he thought was right.

When he asked me about becoming an ASM,I asked him why?

He gave me a long list of what was wrong with the Troop he had been in! But no reason why he should join a new Troop.

So I asked him what would he bring to a Troop?

When he thought about it, he admitted that he wasn't skilled enough to bring very much to any Troop and would in fact end up standing around at the back of the hall talking to any one who wasn't doing anything.

In the end we decided that the best thing would be for him to just be a Sea Scout and spend some time improving his skills.

I have never really been able to work out why if the OA is a Boy Scout program it doesn't follow the Boy Scout age groups?

This time next year he will be away at college and the time he would have to devote to being a ASM wouldn't be that much. I'm not sure if I was the SM that I'd really want him hanging around. But that would be up to the nominating committee, the CC and the COR.


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Thanks for all the great advice! This forum is an amazing resource - I've been recommending it to the other leaders I work with for some time now.


I'll talk to the scout the next time we see him. It will be an easier conversation to have now that I know what the options are to offer him. There are nearby venturing crews, and I think that's a better fit for him than leadership right now, but it will really be up to the boy. (Excuse me...the man, I suppose.) I just feel a need to make it clear to him that now that he is legally an adult, the troop needs to consider him one, as well. Our CO has Youth Protection rules above and beyond BSA's, and we could be in further hot water with them if we are violating them.


By the way, those of you who said he could be an ASM, is that technically a JASM, or a regular ASM? We previously had a young leader in the troop who was a JASM, supposedly because he was under 21. Is there another difference? Thanks!

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I've been following this thread for a while and find myself in agreement with Eagle in KY. Scouting is a program for boys up to the age of 18. At 18 the boy becomes an adult in the eyes of the Boy Scout program. At our council camp, youth staff that turn 18 during their tenure at camp are literally marched out of the youth quarters, and are assigned to the adult staff area. Actually they make a neat ceremony out of it. But it makes it clear to the 18 year old he is no longer a Boy Scout, but an adult leader in scouting.


To answer your question Laure, JASM is a youth position. The only position an 18 year old can hold in a Boy Scout Troop is that of ASM. And with all ASM's, their responsibility is to support the program for the youth members of the unit under the direction of the SM. The SM needs to consider the maturity and capabilities of the ASMs working with him when considering assignments. An 18 yo ASM shouldn't be expected to perform at the same adult leadership capacity as a 50yo ASM with 30 years of adult leadership experience. But that 18yo might be in better physical shape to be able to shadow a group of energetic young scouts up a mountainside.



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As to the tenting issue, I can only add this.


At the National OA Conference, people are housed in one of 4 groups (and bathroom/showers marked as such):


* Under 18 boys

* Boys 18-21

* Adult males (ie, over 21)

* Adult females



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