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Picking a Assistant Scoutmaster (book/Chapter/Verse)

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Simple Situation:


1. I am Committee Chairman but fairly new and want to do it right.


2. a person in the troop made the statment that they were submitting paperwork to be an Assistant Scoutmaster. There was no ask for this person to be in this position nor did this person talk to anyone requesting a blessing in this. I understand that people volinteering is a good thing. However in this situation, them choosing themselves appointing and approving themselves, will be problematic now and later.


3. What is the written policy with BSA as to how an assistant Scoutmaster is chosen.

I have googled this and seen one location state:


A. the scoutmaster picks and the C. Chair appoints.

B. Another location quoted that the Committee picks and the C.Chair appoints

C. and yet another stated the COR does both.


It seems to me there has to be a written rule for this. We may want another Assistant Scoutmaster but not like this... seems to be a bad president to start.

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I once was caught up thinking about procedures and policies on this. Then realized too many people say too many different things. Even BSA documentation is confusing at times. So I found a good rule of thumb. Who's putting their name down saying the candidate leader will make a good leader?


Look at the adult leader application. Who signs it? From the unit, the committee chair and charter org representative sign it. So they are explicitly and literally approving it. There is no scoutmaster signature line.


REMEMBER: No one can make you sign your name indicating you are approving it if you do NOT approve. The rest is just unit politics and procedures. If a unit is smart, key leaders in the unit all are friendly and work together.


What you are dealing with is a potential volunteer who doesn't realize how it works. You are also pretty new and just learning what your "responsibility" is. Your key role is making sure the right volunteers are in the right jobs.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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Choosing an ASM in my opinion should be up to the SM....


Lets face it, they are going to be spending a lot of time together and they should at least like each other and be able to work well together.



Far as someone demanding to be an ASM, I would say no thanks and leave it at that.


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When I first registered as an adult, I was asked if I wanted to be on committee or be an ASM... I told them I didn't have patience for someone who couldn't make a decision in less than 30 seconds, so they just handed me the ASM patch...


In all the units I've worked with since then, the SM had final say over who was an ASM, for the reason mentioned above -- they have to be aligned with how the SM is wired, and they need to be able to step into his shoes on a moments notice.


I wouldn't dismiss him quite so quickly until I found out why this guy decided he wanted to be an ASM.


Had he done the job before? Does he have the outdoor skills knowledge necessary? In my book, you can never have too many ASMs.

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The "official" policy is that the chartered organization chooses the leaders.


See http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/18-981.pdf, "Selecting Quality Leaders"


Essentially, the committee develops a list of prospects, ranks them in order, and then asks them one-by-one whether they would take the position.


In practice, things are typically way less formal than this. I would say that a typical pattern would be for the SM to ask adults to register as ASMs, with the concurrence of the CC.

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Congratulations! You have a motivated volunteer. No one had to ask him, he came in an filled out the paperwork to be an Assistant Scoutmaster. So now what do you do?


Think of the application as just that, a job application. When one applies for a job, he or she will fill out an application, listing among other things his or her qualifications to fill the open oor advertized position. So what happens next?


They are interviewed! That's right, filling out an application doesn't mean they start work, it means that they are willing to work. It is therefore up to the personnel manager (or in Scouting, the Committee and COR, with input from the Scoutmaster) to review the application, interview the candidate, and decide whether or not to hire them.


So don't panic. No one can be a walk in the door and be a Scout leader. There is a process.


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That is cool that you can pick and choose your leaders. In my son's troop the only qualification seems to be: do you have a pulse? yup then your in.


they asked me if I wanted to be an ASM. I have no people skills. I don't really care for other people's kids. I have no outdoor skills. but they wanted me anyway. why? because I was there anyway. ha. too bad. I'm busy being the cubmaster for the pack anyway.


as to the OP ask this dude why he wants to do it. maybe he came from one of these troops where the parents are automatically a MC or an ASM (like my son's)

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Im not so sure people are as quick to do the automatic MC or SA anymore, since having trained leaders is part of the "used to be Quality Unit" criteria (too many name changes in the past few years to keep track of).

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" In my book, you can never have too many ASMs. "


ASM's free up the SM's time so he can focus on the boys. Interview the guy, let him know that he needs to do X Y and Z to earn the ASM patch. You decide what that could be.


I would expect that those things could be the training necessary to not bring down your JTE score; camping with the troop as a parent for 5 events (to learn his demeanor); AND get the Scoutmaster's concurrence, since he will be working with him the closest.


If the CC and SM don't share the same vision and goals for the troop, it can be rocky, or at best, less productive than it should be.

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If I had a new Parent that had no Scout experience, I would prefer they at least go to the required training for that position (or several positions) while they are helping the Troop not only so they know what would be expected, but show desire to be a "trained" leader. Get the training done and then consider recommending to CC ASM slot. Until then "Scout Parent" (or Merit Badge Counselor - no cost to Troop).


If the Parent had Scout experience, the training would still be the direction I'd point them to (unless they had it), consideration for recommendation to CC for an ASM slot after they have went on a couple outings.


I don't need paper ASM's.


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I can tell you how I do it as an SM.

New scouts join and some dads want to be a part of the program. They're allowed to attend camping trips where I observe their interactions (or better non-interaction) with the scouts. Helicopter parents are not considered. I talk with the parents, ask about camping/outdoors skills and past scouting experience.


When I settle on the candidate(s) I make recommendation to the CC and a courtesy call to the COR. This is all private and if everyone agrees then I go to my current ASMs and ask for an opinion on the candidate(s). If everyone is OK with the candidate(s) then I ask them if they would like to take the position. I've never had anyone disagree to a candidate and never had a candidate turn down the position.


Although not a requirement all of my ASMs are Life or Eagle Scouts.

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So am I the only one bother by the "person" demanding to be an ASM?????



Just sets my spidey senses off. Kinda like the person demanding to be treasurer......Nobody wants that job.



So what are they going to demand next....



Eagles method works......I might add the requirement of IOLS training first.....But that is kind of a moot point because it is mandatory to turn in the app, fully trained for position.

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I would say "great"! Then:


(1)Talk to them about how they would see their role.

(2)Explain they need training,YPT, other etc.

(3)Talk about the Uniform.

(4)Explain how our Troop functions, etc.

(5)Assign them to "shadow" another ASM.


I'd then see how they work out before letting them get to any "critical" areas--lots of different folks with different capabilities.


But what do I know I am a ASM.

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Basement, I am not sure I saw the new CC, sthumer, say that this guy "demanded" the ASM job, just that he told everyone he had filled out the paperwork. This is an assumption.


This new CC ought to approach this new scouter and ask him his intentions. I would like to know if the new guy has been in the troop long, where he got the idea of becoming an ASM, did he indeed do this on his own, or did someone suggest to him that he take this course of action. Did he see other new men fill out ASM applications, and assume that that is what new dad's do? Did the SM talk to him, or does the SM have an opinion on the matter? Did a district scouter suggest to him that he do this?


This could be a haughty demand, or it could just be the result of inexperience and lack of understanding of how a troop works. There is too little information, given by a new CC who is looking for information himself. I would review the situation.


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Since you can never have too much free advice...


As CC, you should explain the role to the guy:

- what an ASM does

- what they troop's expectations are (taking on a role, attendance at meetings, uniforming, etc...)


If the guy balks at some of this, invite him to be a committee member instead. You can always say - "an ASM is a more active position with higher levels of involvement, but a MC is a great way to get yourself involved and work into the ASM role at the right time"


But, if the guy looks OK to you, you tell him that him "an ASM is part of the SM's team. Before we get you signed up, we need to have you guys chat and see if there is a good role for you on the team that you'd like to do." Then the SM can have the ultimate say.

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