Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster

One of the leadership positions that is rarely used or if used it is commonly misused is that of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster or JASM. The JASM is a youth leader in the Troop that has the primary purpose of serving as the youth leader and scout advisor. The JASM's primary job is to assist the other leaders in carrying out there responsibility with as little direct contact as possible. This leader should not be the frontlines commander but should be someone who has lots of leadership experience to share with other leaders in order to ensure the Troop runs efficiently. For my Troop in particular the jobs would be as follows:
  1. Assist in the training of the SPL and ASPL. Serve as the SPL/ASPL mentor and give guidance as necessary.
  2. Conduct parts of the meeting as need when called upon by the SPL.
  3. Make sure the Webelos to Scout Transition goes smoothly for new Boy Scouts.
  4. Serve as another point of contact for adults who are not directly involved in Troop operations.
  5. Set annual goals for himself and the rest of the Troop based upon the vision and mission of the Troop at the discretion of the Scoutmaster.
Who Should the JASM have direct contact with:
  1. SM- should be the primary point of contact for this scout. (Please remember we are a small Troop and have very few ASM's to work. If you are in a large Troop then a ASM should be the primary point of contact.
  2. SPL- Always keep the SPL informed of what your assigned mission or task is when apropriate.
  3. Other Youth Leaders- As necessary the JASM will contact other youth leaders based on the asiggnment and goals the JASM is working towards completing.

Requirements for a Scout to be a JASM
  1. Be at least Life Rank. Eagle seems to be the common standard for this position but I believe that Life Rank would suffice for this position.
  2. Have held at least 2 leadership positions. In my opinion in order to have a good and efficient JASM at least one of those 2 positions should have been either SPL or ASPL.
  3. Clear demonstration of a high level of maturity
  4. Clearly demonstrate and live by the principles and values in the Scout Oath and Law.
  5. Have been active in the Troop for at least 2 months prior to the start of the position. Allows the Scout to understand Troop dynamics and methods before having to share these items with other leaders in a understandable manner.
  6. Be recomended and approved by the SPL and SM.
  7. Have attended some form of Junior Leader Training. Junior Leader training could possibly include but is not limited to Troop Junior Leader Training, Council Junior Leader Training, National Youth Leader Training (NYLT), or National Advenced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). NYLT is a council level weeklong youth leader training experience. Contact your Local Scout Office for further information. NAYLE is a advanced youth leadership experience that is usually held at Philmont. Please contact your Scoutmaster and Local Scout Executive for a application and invitation to this training coures.
The position of JASM is not a position in the Troop that can or should be taken lightly. It is a position that will require a person to take on lots of tasks and responsibilities. It is a position that if implemented properly will make the job of the adult leaders much easier if the person chosen for this position is a educated youth leader and is will to take on a leadership position in a serious manner.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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