Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Turning 18 (Pt 2)
Re: Turning 18 (Pt 2)
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 16:10:38 -0400
<Matt Thoman wrote>
I found when I turned 18 the same happened to me. The Troop
Commitee and Troop still don't recognize me as an adult. Im active in
the Troop and all the boys still call me by my first name, which I
have no problem with. However, it is common to call your elders by Mr.
Maybe its hard for the older leaders to recognize me as an
adult when I'm so active in other parts of Scouting that still
consider me a youth member. I honestly don't see where they are
coming from. I believe I make wise and well thought out descsions. I
believe I'm a role model for the younger members of my troop and the
Right now I'm in a delima on whether or not to stay active in
the troop because of this, but no matter what happens I will stay
actvie in the OA Lodge and in my Crew. But, I do want to let you all
know that this does happen to others the age of 18-21.
<Michael Bowman wrote>
I was one of those 18 year olds that became an Assistant Scoutmaster
while still in high school and while serving as Lodge Chief for OA.
Never had a problem with being treated as a youth. The Scoutmaster
simply told me that in the eyes of BSA I was an adult, better act like
one, and would have to pull my weight. The other adults at the time,
were tickled to have a youthful adult leader and offered nothing but
PART TWO - For Everyone Else
Legally, becoming an adult in the US is pretty simple. All you have to
do is have an 18th birthday. Even then, though, you're not completely
an adult until your 21st birthday (due, in part, to some strange
sociological concepts used in the US). In Scouting, as well as other
areas of your life, it always seems to take much longer. There are
several reasons for this, and many of these reasons explain the
difficulty of the transition from being a Scout to being a Scouter.
First of all, new Scouters who have just turned 18 are not just
transitioning between Scout and Scouter. The transition exists through
every facet of their lives. At home, at work, at school, in Scouts;
everyone looks at them pretty much the same as they always have. Those
of us who have been adults for some time often forget that it takes
time to get used to the differences between youth and adult.
There are, obviously, many variables involved on all sides. Not every
18 year old has the same experience and ability. Not every 35 year old
has had the same experiences getting from 18 to 35. Even at the legal
age of adulthood, there are still things that separate us from other
adults. There are rules in society that limit our participation in the
adult world, and there are rules in Scouting as well. Some of these
rules didn't exist when some of us turned 18. (18yr olds couldn't vote
when my dad turned 18 but they could get served in a bar; they could
vote AND get served in a bar when I turned 18; now, they can still
vote but can't go to a bar in most states)
Staying active in Scouting isn't a bad thing, and it shouldn't be a
problem staying active in your troop. It can actually help to be
active in a Crew or the OA (where you're still a youth), AND in a
troop (where you're an adult) as this gives you a chance to take on
adult responsibilities and "act" like an adult and still have a place
to go to "be a kid." It's important, though, is to NOT be an exception
to the rule.
If all of the adults in the troop are addressed as "Mr." or "Mrs."
then you should be too. If you have to insist that Scouts address you
this way, it may cause a little friction, but it's important for
everyone to recognize the differences. If you continue to let Scouts
address you as a Scout, the other adults will tend to treat you like a
Scout. It works the other way too. If the adults still treat you like
a Scout, so will the Scouts.
If you have friends in the troop that are still youth members, it gets
even harder to "act like an adult" because they are your friends. You
probably won't be comfortable asking them to call you "Mr." and they
might think you're taking things a little too seriously. Like
everything, making this transition from youth to adult takes time. It
may be frustrating at times, confusing at others, but sooner or later
everyone will finally be on the same page. Then you'll have the joy of
wishing you were a kid again!
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"