If your troop is like mine, you probably have had a few Scouts age out of youth membership and head off to college or military service. Most likely Life or Eagle Scouts, these young men still enjoy being active in the OA (where they are still youth members until they turn 21), and taking part in troop campouts, hikes, high adventure or other Scouting endeavors, but can no longer be a Scout in the Boy Scout program. Unless you had a Venturing crew closely associated with your troop, your only option to keep them active in your unit was for them to register as an assistant Scoutmaster. (They can’t register as a committee member until they turn 21.)
The problem with this approach is that since they are away at college, they aren’t usually in a position to serve in the role of assistant Scoutmaster – helping to train the youth leadership, working with patrols, or conducting Scoutmaster conferences. Nor do they readily agree (or even fit into their schedules) to attend the training necessary to be in good standing, including Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster position-specific training and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. With the new Journey to Excellence metrics, this can skew your training qualifications and hurt your compliance through no fault of your own other than wanting to keep these former youth active in the program.
The BSA has recognized this Hobson’s choice, and has come up with a solution called the Unit College Scouter Reserve. Extending the reach of the rarely used council-level College Reserve, the new position allows young men to remain registered with their units and take part in the OA or unit activities without the responsibility of being an assistant Scoutmaster – or the training requirements. The only training needed is that for all Scouters: Youth Protection Training.
Your council’s registrar should have all the details on position code 92U, the Unit College Scouter Reserve, and you should be able to simply convert existing college-age members from SA to 92U at recharter time without having them complete a new adult application. Newly aged-out Scouts should still submit an adult application when they turn 18, listing position code 92U. (Be sure to use the very latest adult application form, which you can obtain from your commissioner or district executive, or at your council service center or scout shop. As of this writing, it’s the one with the perforations on the left, not at the top. You should recycle any other versions of the adult form.)
Using the new position will help keep your Scout veterans in the fold and keep them involved as their level of activity permits.This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.