Re: Eagle Palms BOR/JASM
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:20:54 -0500
Cindy has received some great information from all of us; she returns for
a second helping:
> It is really interesting that right now on the list one of the topics is
>Eagle Palms. My son has received enough merit badges for his gold palm
>and according to "our bylaws" after the first palm is received "Eagle
>Scouts do not have to be reviewed for any palms". I can tell that at the
>next TCM another major "daggerd" will be thrown at me again. I don't >feel
that we can "bend" BSA rules in half like that.
Just show them the BSA's Advancement Procedures booklet, Cindy.
>Another question I have is that my son is 15 and according to BSA you
>must be 16 to be a JASM. When the committee said last month that "we" >can
make him a JASM if we want I flat out said "he is not 16 yet" and I >won't
allow him to wear the patch.
Good for you, Cindy!! Good for you!!
>Is there another title that can be given?
Yes. Your son can be appointed as an Instructor, as a Assistant Senior
Patrol Leader to work with Troop Guides and Den Chiefs, or he can be given a
title by the Scoutmaster and agrees to work on a Scoutmaster-assigned
project (this is how the Webmaster position is "legitmized"; it is a
Scoutmaster-assigned project even though there's no *official* Webmaster
patch for the Scout to wear).
He cannot be appointed as a "Leadership Corps" member, since the BSA
has officially done away with the Leadership Corps. He can become a Venture
Crew member, and together with two other older boys, serve within a Venture
Crew and become it's Crew Chief. This is a leadership position that allows
him to serve on the Patrol Leaders' Council as well.
The BSA has been looking at the impact of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
position, Cindy...my personal feeling is that with the start of next year,
that position will be phased out. The position was one of the oldest Troop
leadership positions, and there's a lot of older Scouters serving both on
the BSA's Insignia and Uniform Committee and the BS Program Committee that
are saying "it's still a valid position" and "we can have him to do other
things". But when we implemented the Youth Protection program, we
essentially killed that valued youth position.
The main role of the JASM was to "serve as an assistant to the Scoutmaster
and assist him (or her) with tasks as assigned by the Scoutmaster to him".
This was a very valuable position by old-timer Scoutmasters like me. I can
take my older boys --16 or 17 years old, have them to go with me and my
adult assistants to training courses, to roundtables, to other "adult-like"
Scouting events so that they can get a "feel" for what adult service to
Scouting really is. They can serve as assistant leaders for campouts and
hikes -- particularily patrol camps and hikes -- when its not feasible or
desirable for me to attend and "be in the way". To me and a lot of
Scouters, the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is my physical link to the youth
of the Troop, and the position had as much "teeth" as the Senior Patrol
Leader. My older boys would aspire from SPL to JASM without thinking about
Exploring (okay...they gave it a little thought because Explorers have
*girls* and do *neat things* like work at the hospital or at community halls).
Under the BSA's Youth Protection program, youth members CANNOT serve as
supervisors or chaparones for ANY Troop or Patrol event. So, the idea that
the Junior Assistant was just that...a younger Assistant Scoutmaster was
"retooled" to give the JASM supervision over Den Chiefs and Instructors.
Big whoop. Most of the JASMs wore a patch that said that they are
"assistant Scoutmasters" yet when it came to adult talk about the unit, they
were excluded from discussion. So what started out as a valued unit
position for ANY Troop, now is a watered-down Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
position with an outdated patch to wear.
While I can still take them to adult training events and courses, the
attitude of many other Scouters, particularily those Scouters that don't
remember the *true traditional role* of the JASM, is "what are they doing
here?? Don'cha know this is an ADULT training course??" Never mind that in
many Councils, JASMs are permitted to attend and complete the BSA basic
training course. Never mind that what they see and experience can be
easily imported and strengthen Troop programming, especially when the
Scoutmaster is new and the JASM has been there since age 11.
"Take them home", is what I hear a lot. So, wearing the JASM patch for a
lot of older boys is a "big whoop...I don't really *do anything*"
(interpreted as "I don't do anything that contributes to the success of the
The BSA's National Program Group has been working on a couple of answers
over the past four years to this problem:
One idea that has been circulating is to convert the JASM position to one
called "Senior Scout", giving those 16 and 17 year old suitable recognition
while at the same time allowing them to do things like supervision of
Venture Crews, Den Chiefs, Troop staffs, etc. It would NOT be a leadership
position, but a recognition position. This would involve retiring after
many years the JASM title and patch and bringing back the older "Senior
Scout" strip which was used successfully by Scoutmasters in the 50s and 60s.
There's still some talk about having them to wear the Explorer (kelly green)
shirts but I think that's going to die.
(and personally, I don't want to see that...we've been through the uniform
thing before, and it looks good but isn't very functional.)
Another idea is to keep the JASM position and expanding it to include 18,
19, and 20 year-old Assistant Scoutmasters and creating a "tier" of adult
leadership....I've explained that one as it came up in the spring here.
Basically, it involves creating a new adult position called "Senior
Assistant Scoutmaster" and carving out specific responsibilities and
guidelines (and training) for youth Junior Assistants, adult Senior
Assistants, and the Scoutmaster. This would also give some degree of
training and programming to those older boys.
Finally, there's still a LOT of Scouters that want to keep things the way
they are, Cindy....they want that JASM position and what they want is the
BSA to relax the YPP policies on supervision over Patrol day activities and
The BSA's Program group meets in a week to talk about all of those things
and more. As I stated here at the start of the program year, this promises
to be an exciting year for the BSA's programs....just about everything comes
up for revision and evaluation this year and into the next. We've seen some
of the changes in the way we are going to recognize our Scouts that have
made it to First Class. I feel that there's going to be more good things to
come out of the National Committee's many meetings and conferences over the
next three to four weeks!
Stick to your guns, Cindy...... Junior Assistant Scoutmasters now, as then,
are at least 16 years of age....don't let your Troop's inability to be
creative force them to "throw the rulebook out the window" and do "whatever
they want". The BSA doesn't work like that. Our schools don't work like
Our churches don't work like that.
And your unit shouldn't either.
>son is not concerned with the title it is the committee idea so that maybe he
>can "set an example" since he is the first "active Eagle" that the troop has
>had so they suggested that they give him a "title". I am trying to
> I am hope that the list will again "advise" me what to do since I
>intend to print all letters and present them to the Committee so they will
>"WHERE" I get my information.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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