Re: Scoutmastership Fundamentals
Ernest R. Spradling (102736.1372@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Mon, 9 Oct 1995 20:25:54 EDT
I have been following this thread because there seems to be some confusion on
the role of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM). I remember being one,
as a youth, and I also remember not being trained for the job. It was
basically a "coast until 18" job, mainly to keep the boy at leat semi-active
in the Troop, and as a resource for teaching Scoutcraft & leadership skills
to his younger, less experienced, colleagues.
In theory, at least, the JASM is supposed to be treated as an Assistant
Scoutmaster (ASM) in all respects, save for those situations where legal age
and maturity are required. The JASM reports directly to the Scoutmaster
(SM), who appoints the boy to this position because of his leadership and
Training of the JASM is also supposed to be carried out by the SM. However,
in my literature search, there is very little material that is available on
the proper care and feeding of JASMs. The Junior Leader Handbook outlines
the JASM role, and the Scoutmaster Handbook identifies the use of the JASM,
as well as the SM responsibility in training that person.
The Scoutmastership Fundamentals (SMF) syllabus is no help, either. There is
no delineation on who should, and should not, attend the course. Also, other
than a brief introduction to JASMs on the Troop Organization chart, there is
nothing in SMF, either.
FWIW, I think that JASMs should be allowed to attend SMF to better prepare
them for the job. IMHBCO, the JASM should take the same level of training
that the adults need to take, if he is going to be given most of the same
responsibilities as an ASM. We expect the same level of training for the
adults, so why should a distinction be made because of age? To do so
undermines the leadership status of the JASM, as well as the credibility of
what we are trying teach the boys on the taking of responsible roles in their
lives as they are leaving adolescence.
AFA accommodations of the JASM at the Overnight session are concerned, there
are ways to arrange safe (by YPP definitions) camping areas for youth
leaders. This should _not_ be used as an excuse for denying their attendance
We need to be careful how we treat the boys who are JASMs, because they are
at those ages where discouragement of their roles and responsibilities may
lose them to the program in the long run.
Now, let's take the discussion one step further: what do you think of Junior
Leaders assisting in SMF training? I will give my opinion on this question
about a week from now, after I hear from the readers on the List.
Randy Spradling, P.E.
Arrowhead District Simon Kenton Council
And a good ole Owl, too! (SR-5)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City