BSA Methods – Association with Adults
Association with adults is one of the methods used in both Scouts BSA and Venturing. While these programs are youth-led, there are still adults present to mentor and help the youth leaders.
Association with Adults Provides Support
Every month, our troop PLC presents its plan for upcoming meetings and activities to the troop committee. One thing which is always asked after the presentation is “What do you need from the adults?” That way they know that while we are following their lead, the adults are willing to work with them to help them carry out the ideas they have presented. We want the youth leadership to lead, but we don’t want them to be overwhelmed. Leading a troop is a lot of responsibility for the 13 year old SPL and ASPL and a couple of younger patrol leaders.
Association with Adults Helps Youth Grow
The methods of Scouting are the ways that Scouting’s aims of developing character, citizenship, and fitness in youth are achieved. One of the methods is “association with adults”.
Working with adults prepares Scouts BSA as they transition from youth to young adults. For Venturers, adults provide shadow leadership as the youth leadership form and execute their ideas. They learn how to conduct themselves and have positive role models. Scouts benefit from seeing that there are adults who are accessible to them and who care about them.
Opportunities for Association with Adults
How does the Scouts BSA program provide the opportunity for adult association?
- By having Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters to serve as mentors to the youth leadership
- Through the Scoutmaster Conference
- Through Boards of Review
- Through merit badge counselors
In Venturing, there are also opportunities to work with adults.
- The Advisor and Associate Advisors provide shadow leadership for the youth leaders
- Consultants work with youth members to provide their expertise in specific areas
A reader asks a question about adult involvement. “The adults are very enthusiastic, which is great, but they tend to talk over the kids and take over the meetings. Some of the adults are keeping the kids form running the meetings successfully.”
Jen asks a question about adult leader succession. What do you do when it is not clear? What if issues such as “its always been done that way” and hesitance of new leaders arise?
Is there such a thing as too many adults on your troop campout?
A reader asks about being youth-led in a newly formed troop when all of the Scouts have no previous experience.
This article talks about a Scouts BSA troop, but the principles apply to Venturing as well.