Say your troop has a 16- or 17-year-old Scout who has already been senior patrol leader but still wants to serve his fellow Scouts.
The BSA has just the position for him: junior assistant Scoutmaster.
The junior assistant Scoutmaster is a young man who is at least 16 — but not yet 18 — and is appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader with the advice and approval of the Scoutmaster.
The junior assistant Scoutmaster, sometimes called a JASM, functions as an assistant Scoutmaster and reports to the Scoutmaster. (Youth Protection note: Though a junior assistant Scoutmaster functions as an adult leader in some ways, he still must follow BSA youth policies regarding two-deep adult leadership, sleeping quarters, driving, etc.)
Once a young man serving as junior assistant Scoutmaster turns 18, he’s no longer a youth member in Scouting. If he wants to remain with the troop, he should become an assistant Scoutmaster — something he’s even more qualified for after serving as a JASM.
Now that you know how a young man becomes a junior assistant Scoutmaster, you’re probably wondering how best to use a JASM in your troop. That was on the mind of Virginia assistant Scoutmaster Ray L., who wrote me this email:
I’m an assistant Scoutmaster, for a new troop. We have a boy who just made Eagle and was made a junior assistant Scoutmaster. I’d like to know how other troops use their junior assistant Scoutmasters.
Tips from Scouting magazine
This very subject was covered in Scouting magazine back in 2001.
A few ideas from that article:
- Use junior assistant Scoutmasters as new Scout patrol advisers and teachers of such advanced skills as backpacking and rock climbing.
- Have JASMs serve as liaisons with the troop’s brother Cub Scout pack.
- Encourage JASMs to aid in the patrol leaders’ council’s annual program planning conference by sharing their experiences in camping and program activities.
Tips from you
Does your troop have a junior assistant Scoutmaster (or three)? If so, how’s it going? What best practices can you share for getting the most out of these ambitious Scouts?
Please leave a comment (or three) below.
Learn more about the junior assistant Scoutmaster here.