Imagine you are watching your favorite sporting event as the game begins and the players take the field. They make a few mistakes and a few good plays as the game unfolds.
No matter what happens during the game the coaches don’t leave the sidelines and begin playing. The players take the field and the coaches stay on the sidelines.
Now imagine Scouting as a game. We have players, (Scouts), coaches (Scouters), we wear uniforms, we learn skills and rules, (the Scout Oath and Law, camp craft, etc.), and meet challenges, (a troop meeting, a campout, etc.).
Good coaches and good Scouters don’t leave the sidelines and interfere with the game; they prepare the team and see each player gets on the field.
Once the game begins the players play, win loose or draw. A good coach knows a team generally learns more from honest mistakes than they learn from winning.
If a coach steps into the game a player get’s sidelined, if players leave the game the whole team suffers.
It takes courage, wisdom and experience to recognize where the sidelines end and the playing field begins in Scouting. We don’t have chalk lines, we don’t have referees, we have to let the Scouts take the lead and do their best while we encourage and advise from a respectable distance.
A good Scout Troop will have no players on the sidelines and no coaches on the field.