scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Youthful Adult Leaders
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Sun Aug 20 2000 - 13:23:28 CDT
As a former "Youthful Adult Leader", I thought I'd share some thoughts.
I remained active in Scouting after age 18. I live in a college town and
attended school locally. I served as an ASM until age 22.
At age 22 the troop was in need of a Scoutmaster, I said I would keep
things going until they found someone permanent. That was nearly 25 years
ago (25 years in November) and I'm still waiting for my replacement.
As a youthful adult leader, I think I continued with the troop because I
felt useful. The 18-20 year olds need to be told they are appreciated and
needed. If you can give them a specific ASM position, that's great. But
having something worthy for them to be involved in is what counts, not
just handing them a title.
When I became Scoutmaster, many of the older adults stepped back a little
to give the new SM some room. To run the troop I relied on a core group
of young 18-20 year old ASMs (all Eagles) and together we worked very
closely with some truly great older Scouts. It made for a strong team
with very good rapport.
The older adults were used more in the role of "elder statesmen", serving
as Scouting experts on the troop committee. They served as my lifeline. I
valued their opinions and insights tremendously and relied on their vast
Scouting knowledge. Some are still active in the troop nearly a quarter
century later. They still serve as a lifeline for me.
Young adults can usually relate to Scouts in a very unique way. They are
old enough to be wiser and looked up to, but still a part of the boys'
generation. There's a powerful connection there.
I often have former Scouts coming back from college to help out and I
strongly welcome their involvement. Most boys turning 18 in our troop
expect to become ASMs. It's the natural progression. I welcome and value
As for the title thing (not to start a new thread), either way is correct.
Adults can go by Mr. or their first name, I believe both ways can work
fine. It's not about which is right, it's more about preference.
In our troop we use first names for most everyone in our troop, unless
they prefer Mr. or Mrs. Usually adults start out as Mr. or Mrs. until the
boys get to know them and accept them. The first name basis in our troop
is more a level of acceptance than anything else. Respect is respect,
titles don't guarantee that.
At the summer camp we attend, Camp Lowden, Bruce Small is the camp
director. Bruce works as a school teacher in his other life. He has been
camp director for about 20 years or so. At school he goes by Mr. Small,
at camp he goes by Bruce. He is highly respected in both places.
All my Scoutmasters went by their first name. The boys know me as Cliff.
That's the way I prefer it.
In our troop we don't have any strict rules regarding how someone is
addressed. If someone is uncomfortable or offended, then it's wrong. If
people are comfortable with it, then it's right. You respect others, they
repect you. We try to encourage the habit of people respecting each other
regardless of title, position, job, name, or anything else. Everyone
should be treated fairly and with respect. That's Scouting.
"Former Youthful Leader"
Scoutmaster Troop 33