Junior Assistant Scoutmaster - JASM
In a Troop with a functioning Patrol Leaders Council, the SPL will be able to identify the needs of the Troop and where best a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster can serve the troop. This is where the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster play an important role in selecting a JASM. The JASM, once selected will work directly for the Scoutmaster just as any other Assistant Scoutmaster would do. The fine line here is that he is still a youth and all the youth protection guidelines apply. He can’t sleep with adults and he would not be considered to transport Scouts.
The role of the JASM is to help the Troop. Be a good example by wearing the uniform correctly and be a visible example of the Scout Oath and Law, he is a teacher, coach, and mentor to the Patrol leaders and to all the Scouts of the Troop. He is typically an older Scout that has demonstrated outstanding leadership and therefore has the respect of the Scouts of the unit.
According to BSA:
The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is a Scout at least 16 years of age who has shown outstanding leadership skills. He is appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader with the advice and consent of the Scoutmaster. A Junior Assistant Scoutmaster follows the guidance of the Scoutmaster in providing support and supervision to the other boy leaders in the troop. Upon his 18th birthday, a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is eligible to become an assistant Scoutmaster.
In Troop 98 the JASM is an asset, he is a good “go between” from the Scouts to the PLC and to the Adult leadership. We treat him like an Assistant Scoutmaster and give him a lot of responsibility and latitude. He can sign books, tests Scouts in skills, coach Patrol leaders, and is available to meet the needs of the Scoutmaster and SPL is support of the Troop program.
Many Troops do not have JASM’s. Some Scoutmasters feel they don’t need them or don’t know what to do with them. Troop 98 feels this position is a great way to keep an older boy completely engaged in the Troop. It is a fantastic way to recognize a young man that has been an outstanding leader and is getting close to his 18th birthday. It is hard sometimes for a Scout that has been in front of the Troop serving to now step back into a patrol and just follow. In most cases they have served in Troop level positions for some time and have been a decision maker for the Troop for a long while. To ask him just to follow is not rewarding and leaves the Scout in a awkward position. So the reward comes from being appointed by the SPL to continue his service to the Troop at a level that is fitting of his skills, maturity, and demonstrated leadership. We all have that Scout in our Troop, that Scout that you will want as an Assistant Scoutmaster one day.
We encourage the right Scouts to agree to being appointed to the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster position. It is rewarding for the Unit, the Scout, and a great asset for Scoutmasters.
Click HERE for a good article that describes the JASM position.