settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sun, 23 Nov 1997 09:11:42 -0600
Mark Shore asked:
>Hi, I'm the Scoutmaster of a relatively young troop. The oldest Scout is
>14. The SPL has been in this position for 18 months, and he is not
>running for re-election. I'm afraid that he'll lose interest if he isnot in a
>leadership positon. I'm considering JASM.
Sorry....Junior Assistant Scoutmasters (JASMs) are 16-17 year-old Scouts
nominated/appointed by the Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader and approved
by the Troop's Committee. They traditionally serve as additional younger
supervisory hands; in recent times, the BSA has removed this
supervisory role to a large degree from this position. Today, the BSA says
that JASMs should supervise Cub Scout and WEBELOS Den Chiefs and instructors.
However, my opinion is "when given a orange, lemon or anything that you can
squeeze, make juice"....in other words, make the best of the position.
Instead of appointing your previous Senior Patrol Leader into that position,
which you cannot, how about appointing him to a special Scoutmaster project
of serving as the "coach to the present SPL" for a few months and as an
instructor for the remainder of the period of service.
A lot of times, we as Scoutmasters don't have all of the time to work with
our senior youth leader (we should, that's the way it's designed, but we
don't a lot of times). Having that coach handy, whom has served previously,
can give him some insight and some sharing/leadership/coaching experiences
that otherwise he would have to be a Patrol Leader to enjoy. Just make sure
that the *current SPL* is the person making the "bottom line decisions" and
not the "past SPL", whom may choose to see this as "serving as SPL without
serving as SPL" if you know what I mean.
There's other things that I would do if I had this Scout; I would empower
him to seek service projects for the Troop to take part in (he may find a
service project worthy of Eagle, in going with the other string of
discussion this morning) and to promote the Troop among community
organizations (thereby using this Scouts's skill or lack of in
communications....he may choose to seek others in the Troop or outside to
assist him in this, which is a GOOD THING).
The key, Mark, is to make this former leader feel that he's still needed as
a leader within the Troop, and that "once you've made SPL, your leadership
experiences have run out" (kinda like what we say and they think about
Eagle!). You will have to be creative, use your resources, and work with
this young man now that's he's NOT SPL just as much (or maybe more!) than
what you did when he was a Senior Patrol Leader for your Troop.
Hope this helps out!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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