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Rejecting ASM Applications from College Students

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""Whenever any question arises pertaining to the suitability of "young adults" to serve as Scouters, several "young adults" regularly pipe up listing out their qualifications."


Didn't catch that, question is what is the problem with listing credentials?


In the medical field, you use credentials. I see folks credentials on their badges everyday at work.


In academia, you see folks credentials.


When you apply for a job, they want a list of expereince and credentials.


So what is the problem with a young adult leader doing the same. Heck I've seen a few young adults with more experience and training than older leaders. Heck my 14yo den chief had more outdoor experience than the WDL did, and that is why I lost him last year.


So again what is the problem?

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Some of the responses on this topic reflect one of the reasons I've recently greatly curtailed my involvement with troops in the area.


Parents who so blindly put there precious little darlings first and don't even think about the consequences that their actions may have on other children and adults.


I really don't have a problem with the decision ... different time, different world. We, as parents, are constantly being harped at to "take responsibility" for our kids well being .. I think that is what these parents did. If he's really that motivated, he try one of the other 100 troops in the area.


Personally, I find that attitude disgusting. Why would a kid in college, with all the activities, workload and what not available to him want to be involved in a Troop that he's not been around; want to help us? My guess is that none of these parents have a college aged Eagle scout or the answer would be readily apparent.

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WOW! Is thsi some sort of government program ?


We teach young men to be honest, trustworthy, kind, gentle, compassionate, courteous, morally straight,etc.....


We try to teach them to be upstanding citizens, we teach them to be patriotic and to due their duty to God, country , and family.


WE mentor them to be our future leaders...of what?



Certainly not our own troop or pack!


Why not? Must be the training they got ( you know...that the adults gave them) in scouting must be flawed!


Kinda a catch 22 isn't it?


If you unit does not trust them, then your owm mentoring and training is flawed. But if your training and mentoring is flawed, how do you know wether you are smart enough to train them and thus - years later...be able to make a rational decision on wether to trust them or not.





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Well, I didn't expect the issue of "credentials" to be the point of contention. I was merely objectively pointing out that it occurs.


On that issue, it was not my intention to debate any one individual's suitability to serve as a Scouter. What I am saying is that units and their chartered organizations are responsible for providing a quality scout program. And are responsible to recruiting quality leaders to aide in delivering that program. They are not required to recruit you or to recruit me, regardless of our qualifications.


And, while I would hope that a unit in need would not turn away an offer of help from a young adult Scouter, I can at least understand why a unit may chose to pass on the young adult in favor of someone else.

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I can at least understand why a unit may chose to pass on the young adult in favor of someone else.


I have seen committees pass over a young person in favor of someone else for a specific position. I have never seen or heard of a committee so filled with adult leaders that they have the luxury to pick and choose one person over another to fill the committee positions.. Normally all are welcome to register, unless you have a personal problem with a person.


I guess there may be some. Those like Kudu who like the least amount of adults around they can possibly get away with, and hope for adults who are happy just being a name on a piece of paper. But most committees who reject are not rejecting because they chose one leader over another for their limited positions, with many people waiting and hoping to be elected into the inner circle sometime in the future. They reject because they find fault with the person themselves.

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Eagle92 talks about a catch-22. I think there is some truth to that, but I also think that we're not necessarily talking about Scouting-specific KSAs. I think much of the maturity and good judgement that an "old fogie" may be worried about will be developed just as easily outside of Scouting as inside of Scouting.


Remember, we're not talking about some National policy that would restrict Scouters to be 21 and older. I'm not even suggesting that units should shy away from "GASers" as Eagle92 puts it. What I'm saying is that there's a strong enough correlation between age and immaturity and poor judgement, that I can understand if a unit uses age as a consideration when deciding whether to accept or reject a unit leader application - especially if the GASer in question is personally unknown to them. Remember, a unit's obligation is to it's youth, not to those applying for a leader position. Taking on any leader represents an investment on the part of the unit. The unit hopes to take on leaders where the benefits provided by the leader make the investment worth it. And I think that age is an important factor when weighing benefits vs. investment. Sure, unit's could get to know you, could check additional references, could do any number of things to allow you to show them that you're worth the investment - but they don't NEED to do these things. And they definitely don't need to do them just for your benefit.


MIB - I'm not trying to make this personal, and I'm not debating your suitability to serve as a Scouter. But you've perhaps unintentionally provided some excellent examples of what I'm talking about:


I also grew up to be very blunt and brutally honest.


That's a quality I admire. It certainly helps in forming an impression of what I can expect from a person. I also admire the ability for brutally honest people to respond well to the brutal honesty of others.


And, to be brutally honest myself, if I were evaluating your application to serve as a Scouter in a unit I was involved with, and I knew you to be brutally honest, but then also heard you make a comment about beating the crap out of someone.... well, that would make me question your suitability to serve in my unit.


Now, maybe you say that actually you probably wouldn't do that, but you're still causing me to question your judgement. And there's probably some correlation and some causation with your age.





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Theres a difference between getting physical for the sake of getting physical and doing it in extreme situations. The situation that was being discussed would constitute as an extreme situation and I know nobody would argue with that.


I am not the only person on this forum alone that said that they would have gotten the kid out. And I know I am certainly not the only person in the world (on the contrary pretty much everybody does this) who will exaggerate ever so slightly so that it is made perfectly clear where they stand on a subject and they wont have to explain themselves as much.


Now with you going after that one statement it happened to have not worked out that way. But even still it clearly displays my point of I will get the kid out no matter what I have to do to do it. And Im sure Im not the only person on this forum alone that feels that is not wrong in any way shape or form.


It is unfair to everybody to use extreme situations to base somebodys qualifications or suitability.


Another extreme situation you were attacked and you killed your attacker in self defense. Would that person no longer be suitable for serving in the scouting program because they killed somebody or would it be recognized as the fact that it was an extreme situation and was no fault of the persons.


Another one would be if you were attacked and you ran leaving somebody behind who didnt make it.


There are billions upon billions of extreme circumstances out there and it isnt fair to anybody to test and judge peoples characters off of how they react to such situations since they are not something you will probably ever run into again in your life.


It is not a good accurate reading of the person and may in fact be the opposite blown way out of proportion....quite calm never hurt a fly kids can be the most dangerous people out there when put in these situations so they do not accurately portray anything.



Im glad you think brutally honest is a good quality as a lot of adults dont but I have learned to greatly temper it for that fact alone.





On the other issue..maybe your view of investments and liabilities is too small a range. In order to be good in business you need to realize that there is more than one type of investment.


I may disagree with the maturity and judgment thing on some levels because I know a lot of mature young adults but even if that isnt the case youre investment in them makes them stronger people and stronger in the program itself and they can provide your troop a different service than just judgment and maturity a lot of the time they are from the program elsewhere and therefore have a lot of scouting skills fresh in their mind. Besides that the boys can relate to them and will be more comfortable talking with them or using them as leaders once they get to know them then they would be with an old fart. They also make good role-models for the boys because whens the last time you heard a kid say I want to be like that old fart over there. They are more likely to aspire to be a well behaved young adult which is what the young adult leaders give them.


If you do investments in the stock market (or ever have) the best and most secure portfolios are the diversified ones. So like you would do with your investment portfolio you should be looking to diversify your leaders. Young adults from other areas can give great ideas on how their troops or event in their area were run. They can bring that stuff back to their troops. They give fresh ideas as well as a fresh outlook on things and somebody the boys can relate to.



Old fart was not meant as anything derogatory but as a mere means of separating the young adults from the other adults. Clearly, concisely and easily.

(This message has been edited by MoosetheItalianBlacksmith)

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I admit I haven't had time to read through the whole thread, but need to add my 3 cents (inflation) as a leader who did like the young college student mentioned at the start of this thread--I volunteered to help the unit in my college town. They were quite happy to have me volunteer and were understanding that I may not always be there as college course work came first. Apparently, I wasn't the first college student over the years to help Plymouth (NH) Troop 56, and I'm probably not the last.


I assume I was a good role model for the scouts as they observed me cart along my homework on some of their events where if I wasn't around, they wouldn't have been able to attend said event due to not having a second parent/leader available other than me.


I was invited back to the ceremonies of three of those scouts when they made Eagle. I flew cross-country to attend one of them as I had promised said scout that if he stuck to the troop and made Eagle, I'd be at his ceremony regardless of where I was in the country when it took place. He'd go on to win one of NESA's scholarships (a $5K one if I recall) and major in physics. His mother informed me privately, that he had almost quit the unit until I talked to him.


Fast forward to graduate school in Lubbock, TX. I had no clue where the local scout units were, so I went to the council office. They gave me the contact info for my nearest unit--I was too little, too late. The unit was already falling apart. Basically, another college student and myself were the only two active leaders left. We held the remaining 6 scouts together in that unit long enough to find another one to merge with. Just in the nick of time too, 'cause the other student transferred to another school. I was more than welcomed at the new unit as a leader through my time in graduate school.


I think this unit that is hesitant to except a college Eagle Scout is shooting themselves in the foot.

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MIB, I'm with you. There are certain hassles with young adult leaders, but the payoff is usually bigger than the grief.


I think the apprehension isn't entirely age. Part of it is "stranger danger." Successful troops are tight communities and have built up a pretty stable core of leaders from a narrow set of channels. They look askance at that "foreign influence" and stick to their usual sources for adult leadership so long as they aren't betrayed by them.


I suspect if I turned my resume' into Eng and his wife -- absent my 14 year old first class scout-son -- it too might get rejected. I'd find my way to a unit that needs me.


Although they may be rejecting an asset and making their boys no more safe, I doubt it would hurt their program much.


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Equating a 28 year old grad student hoping to turn his experience into a full time job with his college athletic department or into a career in a field where Head Football Coaches commonly earn mid-to high six figure salaries and some earn seven figure salaries and where even assistant football coaches can earn salaries higher than the College President with an 18 year old undergraduate wanting to give back to Scouting is just ludicrous.


It's like blaming all Eagle Scouts for the actions of Russell Henderson.

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What I'm saying is that there's a strong enough correlation between age and immaturity and poor judgement, that I can understand if a unit uses age as a consideration when deciding whether to accept or reject a unit leader application - especially if the GASer in question is personally unknown to them.


Ok this is my opinion, and my opinion alone.


I think the reason why there is currently "correlation between age and immaturity and poor judgement" is that many kids today do not have any sense of responsibility, they want things handed to them.


I saw this while student teaching at the HS level, and I saw this when I taught at the college level. Heck I one college student tell me point blank that I "can't fail me 'cause my job is paying for me to go to school." I had a mix of adult learners in my class. From the 20 somethings trying to get a degree to get better jobs, to the 50 somethings who had tons of expereince in their field, but now were required to get the degree or lose their job. And the younger ones, the ones who had no responsibility, were the ones who demanded their grades, and complained when I wouldn't give them the A they wanted.


I've met scouts who have had some responsibilities, both in scouting and outside.


In regards to a unit selecting its own leaders, yes they have the right. BUT irregardless of who is applying they should be checking references. And if they don't want to check the references of someone due to age, I say it says more about the unit, than it does about the potential leader.

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Well ... references can be a selective list. The advantage of someone from the community, is you can easily use the local grapevine to tap more folks than are on the reference list.


But, as Beav pointed out, a really good predator knows how to hide in plain sight. He/she is unlikely to be the bumbling 19 year old who's new to town and looking for some way to make himself useful to the community where he just landed.

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if I were evaluating your application to serve as a Scouter in a unit I was involved with, and I knew you to be brutally honest, but then also heard you make a comment about beating the crap out of someone.... well, that would make me question your suitability to serve in my unit.


Yah, to be fair to moosetheitalianblacksmith, I think it was this old furry critter who was da first to say that if I had seen coach Jerry with the boy he would not have left the building under his own power. In handcuffs or on a stretcher, yeh protect the kid first. Personally, I'd have trouble with any scouter who didn't have that kind of immediate reaction.


But maybe that's just me, eh? I'm an old fellow, but I still believe in black and white.


As an EMT-W (albeit a part-timer who just maintains it for outdoor stuff), I also don't think KC9 is being fair in his comparison. I think he's confusing age with experience. Fact is, most EMS folks start out pretty young, and only the ones who really have a talent for the work stay around to become older EMTs. If yeh got a lot of 40-something EMT trainees, you'd find lots of similar issues. Perhaps better drivers, but often slower learners who mis-apply their other experience to emergency medicine. Leastways, that's what I've seen.


I've seen scoutin' in other countries, where da norm for Scoutmasters is to be of Rover age or at least under 35, and where it's considered downright creepy for an older adult to be servin' in those positions. I confess that I like da feel of it a lot better. As my fellow commissioner reported earlier, it's more often da older scouters and parents who are negative issues or problem "head cases" in programs. And if yeh believe da profilers, da typical predator is like Coach Jerry, eh? They don't really get around to abusing youth until they are older and better established.


I think mostly that we owe it to da kids and to our own sense of ethics to evaluate each individual, not to discriminate solely on age or any other arbitrary criteria. There are great and poor young folks, and great and poor old folks, and anything in between.


Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Hi Beavah - I know we had a lengthy related conversation on the age of Scouters a few months ago.


Please don't misunderstand me - I'm in no way linking young adult Scouters with sexual predators. All of my comments were directed at the behavior of "GASers" (I love that term) in general. Sexual offenses aren't the only concern when selecting adult leadership.


As far as beating the crap out of someone goes... Sure, it's an extreme situation. And hopefully one that you never need to personally face. But, even extreme situations have boundaries pertaining to how to address them appropriately. And, as a role model for our youth, and also as an adult responsible for the safety of our youth, I think it's fair to expect that your response to an extreme situation will be within the acceptable boundaries. And, even given the specific extreme situation in question, the priority is to quickly and effectively remove the youth from danger - not to take out your own anger and fear in order to make yourself feel better.


Also, if you demonstrate that you are responsible and effective (not to mention trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc) in the face of an extreme situation, I would feel comfortable making the assumption to you behave equally responsibly in the face of normal situations.


As far as older adults being more "problematic" than younger adults - what evidence are you basing this on? Not saying that it's inaccurate, but I am questioning how the conclusion was reached. My guess is that if you're examining a unit with 20 "old fogies", and 1 "GASer", you're more likely to see problems in the larger group. I wonder if you've ever examined units with a roughly equal number of old fogies and GASers, and seen where the majority of the problems originate from?

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Hello Again Beavah - I noticed you added a bit about EMTs before I finished posting.


Well, it's not a perfect analogy, comparing EMS to Scouting. I brought it up because someone else brought it up first, and it's a comparison that seems to be made often around here. But you have to keep in mind how far you can reasonably make the comparison go.


I will say, in many cases, that age and experience are linked. Frankly, there's only so much experience that you can have at age 18. That's one area where the EMS analogy is not perfect - an 18 year old might start working as an EMT with zero experience, whereas an 18 year old might start serving as a Scouter with several years experience as a youth leader in the program. I'm not denying that at all.


I'm also not sure what you're basing the theory about older EMTs on? Sure, an older EMT starting out may be slower to learn, or more resistive to change. But I would say that, in general, the older new EMTs that I've worked with have usually had a more mature personality, treated people with more respect, etc. But notice that in making this argument, you are acknowledging that it is possible to make generalization about a person's personality and capabilities based on age.


In EMS, there's a difference between specific job skills, like establishing IV access or splinting broken bones; and maturity. Likewise, in Scouting, there's a difference between Scout skills like camping and hiking; and maturity.


I agree, I don't think that unit's should discriminate on the basis of age alone. But I think that the connection between age and maturity and experience is a bit tighter than maybe you'd like to admit. When a unit is selecting a unit leader, they need to evaluate whether the benefits of having the potential leader outweigh the investment that the unit will be making in that leader. Every single one of us brings both positive and negative qualities and personalities to the table. This has nothing to do with investment banking or diversifying stock portfolios or any such complications - it's a simple, though important, calculation the unit needs to make when evaluating whether a potential leader will strengthen or weaken that particular unit. And that has just as much to do with the unit internally as it does with the potential leader. And I happen to believe that a unit is not in the wrong to consider the age of an applicant when deciding whether he or she will be a good fit for that unit.



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