I attended a district planning meeting last fall at a church which charters a rather large troop. The Scouts were there, setting up and checking their patrol boxes and getting ready for the church picnic the next day, for which the troop was doing the cooking. Assistant Scoutmasters were working with the patrols where needed, helping them to figure out their equipment, how things went together, and providing support from the equipment coordinators.
Where was the Scoutmaster?
Sitting off to the side, on the church’s front porch, chatting with one of the committee members, but otherwise just watching.
“I’m keeping an eye on everything. They know where to find me,” he said.
A Scoutmaster’s job, other than training the senior patrol leader and counseling boys individually, is basically to stay out of the way while the Scouts run their troop. Conveniently nearby but not smotheringly close.
It’s no wonder that this troop runs as well as it does, consistently attracts new members and retains a high number of Scouts.