verb: associate; 3rd person present: associates; past tense: associated; past participle: associated; gerund or present participle: associating
1. connect (someone or something) with something else in one's mind.
"I associated wealth with freedom"
synonyms: link, connect, relate, identify, equate, bracket, set side by side
"the colors that we associate with fire"
- connect (something) with something else because they occur together or one produces another.
"the environmental problems associated with nuclear waste"
- allow oneself to be connected with or seen to be supportive of.
"I cannot associate myself with some of the language used"
synonyms: affiliate, align, connect, join, attach, team up, be in league, ally; More
merge, integrate, confederate
"the firm is associated with a local charity"
"she has been associated with the project from the first"
synonyms: mix, keep company, mingle, socialize, go around, rub shoulders, rub elbows, fraternize, consort, have dealings; More
informalhobnob, hang out/around
"I was forced to associate with them"
- meet or have dealings with someone commonly regarded with disapproval.
"they are at risk of associating with criminals"
noun: associate; plural noun: associates
1. a partner or colleague in business or at work.
"he arranged for a close associate to take control of the institute"
synonyms: partner, colleague, coworker, workmate, comrade, ally, affiliate, confederate; More
connection, contact, acquaintance;
"his business associate"
"his old friend and hearty associate"
2. a person with limited or subordinate membership in an organization.
- a person who holds an academic degree conferred by a junior college (only in titles or set expressions).
"an associate's degree in science"
a concept connected with another.
1. joined or connected with an organization or business.
"an associate company"
- denoting shared function or membership but with a lesser status.
"the associate director of the academy"
late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘join with in a common purpose’; as an adjective in the sense ‘allied’): from Latin associat- ‘joined,’ from the verb associare, from ad- ‘to’ + socius ‘sharing, allied.’
Associating with Adults does not imply them having to control, mentor, direct, or manage anything. I think in the modern vernacular it means to "hang out" with the boys. It would seem that a lot of the Scouting methods need a better clarification from the distortion they seem to have evolved into. Grab a cup of coffee and hang out with the boys. Anything beyond that implies taking leadership opportunities away from the boys. Go to camp, have a great time and let the boys do their thing.