Advancement in Scouting is the responsibility of the Scout

Unlike Cub Scouts, parents have  a limited role in advancement in the Boy Scout program.  A Scout will not advance if he disregards Scoutmaster safety directions.

The Scoutmasters’ (SMs) are the primary adults who help the boys have fun safely, by: Explaining skills; Demonstrating the skills; Guiding the boys through practice; and Enabling them to use those skills on their own. Advancement will follow, with integrity.

Cardinal rules for SMs

It’s all about the boys; We meet them and help them at their individual pace; Don't do for a scout what he can do for himself – that includes thinking. The SMs won't sign off on any requirement(s) for which we don't have proof that the Scout has met the standard for the requirement(s). This applies to some older Scouts who are authorized to sign off on certain requirements (see below). Proof means that the signer sees the Scout perform the skill or listens personally to the Scout tell him or her about it, or that the merit badge counselor certifies that the requirement has been met to Scouting standard. 

Who may sign off on requirements

Any SM/ASM may sign off on any advancement requirement for Scouts other than their own sons.
Scout Instructors and Troop Guides who hold First Class Ranks, certified by the Scoutmaster may sign off only on rank requirements up to First Class.  
Eagle Scouts certified by the Scoutmaster may sign off for skills up to First Class.

What does the Troop mean by “we expect the Scout to meet the spirit of the requirement?"

Troop 1525 strives to deliver a quality Scouting experience to all of its Scouts - the Adult Leaders volunteer to ensure Scouts learn and grow using the Scout principles, not by "checking the block" on Scout Rank Advancement requirements.  We want the Scouts to learn and demonstrate proficiency in the requirements as they proceed in rank.  For example, watching someone do something is not the same as actually doing that that event personally.  All Scouts in 1525 are expected to execute the spirit of what the requirement is attempting to provide as a lesson or experience for the Scout - doing anything short of that is a disservice to the Scout in the long run.  Further questions about this should be addressed to the SM or any ASM.