John E. Bush (IRXXJEB@OSUCC.BITNET)
Sat, 3 Apr 1993 12:32:00 CST
On 4/2/93, Mike Rapach (MCR114@PSUVM.BITNET) wrote:
> I just want to throw in a comment here about lack of programs for
> older scouts. I agree totally they don't exist in most troops.
> The usual solution to someone who gets their Eagle early is the JASM
> position. I received my Eagle at 15 and at 16 was a JASM. It is the
> black hole for youth in Scouting. They are away from the patrols,
> can't really participate anymore, and are just in limbo and bored.
> Lessuse of this position may help to keep the boys interested.
I agree that most Troops (including the one I serve with now) need
improvement in the program for older boys. However, I was a JASM as a
youth from about ages 16-18. I was also involved in an Explorer post
that was coed, but in which all the guys had been Scouts in my Troop.
Only one or two other boys in the post stayed involved in Boy Scouts as
well. I really enjoyed the combination of JASM and Explorers.
In the Troop, I worked with the new Scouts, getting them ready for
Tenderfoot, along with an ASM. That was back when all the required
knots had to be passed for Tenderfoot, and at that point, as a Life
Scout about to finish Eagle, I really learned the knots myself by
teaching them to others! When I turned 18, the only real change in my
role was to get an ASM card and patch for my sleeve.
Anyway, the point is that, *for me*, being JASM wasn't a black hole, but
a rewarding experience. Most of that is because I was given a "real"
job and treated about the same as the ASMs.
At the same time, the Post provided challenging activities. We were a
coed high adventure post before that was "officially" recognized. In
fact, we got some pressure from the DE to switch to a career Post, but
none of us really wanted to do that. This was in the late 1960s, when
the Explorers were first going coed and beginning special interest
Exploring. My Post went on some great backpacking trips and won our
council's Explorer Olympics one year. I still have the silver medal for
Also on 4/2/93, Mike Walton, AKA Settummanque, the blackeagle
> I don't have much time to fully go into this (I am between clients
> today and the next one I pick up I have to do it quite soon!), but I
> *do* offer a slightly different opinion of the JASM position then you
> This is based upon WHAT THE JUNIOR ASSISTANT SCOUTMASTER DOES FOR THE
> Troop and not on personal preferences.
> A little (I mean LITTLE) history. When the BSA first came up with the
> JASM position, it was their intention that those selected would be
> TRAINED, COACHED and ALLOWED to lead as future Assistant Scoutmasters
> and later on, as full Scoutmasters. This was our FIRST "training
> ground for Scoutmasters". Later on, . . . (Much omitted)
I was not aware of the history of the changes in the JASM position. It
seems that most of it occurred during the years I was out of Scouting
(about 1974-1989--I had to quit Scouting or drop out of college--My hat
is off to anyone who can handle both!). I suspect that regardless of
the "official" intent for the position, the actual experience will vary
from Troop to Troop. That's not because of any intent to violate
national policy, but because of the natural differences in style and
situation from Troop to Troop.
I would bet that whenever the JASMs are given "real" jobs and treated as
"real" leaders that they are likely to enjoy the position. Maybe the
other way to look at it is that when JASM himself acts as a real leader
and fulfills the responsibilities he is given (or takes the initiative
to undertake jobs that need doing), he will probably be given both more
responsibility and more respect. On the other hand, in my current
Troop, I have seen one case of a boy whose mother wanted him to be JASM,
not Troop Guide or any other position, just so it would look good on his
resume for college scholarship applications!
| John E. Bush E-Mail ID: IRXXJEB@OSUCC.BITNET |
| Senior Budget Analyst, Office of Planning, Budget, & Institutional |
| Research, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma |
| Eagle Scout; Committee Chairman, Troop 828, Stillwater, Oklahoma |
| Activities Chairman, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council |
| Brotherhood Member, Inola Lodge #148, Order of the Arrow |
| Husband of Cubmaster Margaret Bush |
| (Step)Father of Second Class Boy Scout Eric Greenwood |
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City