Posted on 02-Sep-2013
Transitioning to a new school and environment (be in from kindergarten to primary school, or primary school to secondary) can be a difficult time. This makes BB a perfect place to start as there will be a fresh batch of recruits which are going through the same thing.
BB offers a good balance of programs which cover educational, social, physical and spiritual aspects. For instance, a typical parade has singspiration/praise and worship (spiritual and social), awards (educational), drill (physical) and sports (physical and social). This ensures that a member is all-rounded, something useful when they go out into the working world.
BB gives you opportunities to explore your talents and what you are good at. If you’re unsure what you’re good at, the wide range of BB programs via its complex system of 23 awards will identify and develop your skills and interest. The longer one stays in the BB, the more the experience gained which will be put into practice. For example, rather than struggling to gain the necessary experience playing for a world-class band, in the BB, you have the chance to start “humbly”, be able to make silly mistakes without getting laughed at or looked down upon, until a time where you are ready.
Our officers are always trying to make things interesting for us, which often result in many field trips, some taking us to places unheard of before. We also get to meet many people, some prominent, all thanks to the connections in the BB. This not only gives us valuable experiences, but a wider perspective to things and events happening around us. Also, it is fun getting the opportunity to go places and meet people most of our peers can only dream of!
Compared to other groups, BB has a wider pool of dedicated volunteers and officers to help us along our journey. Sometimes, we ourselves will return to the BB and become rank-and-file officers, wanting to give back something to the company, to God, as well as to our members. BB officers care very much for their members and are focused on building their character in accordance to the BB Object.
BB provides avenues to helps others, be it our younger brothers (and sisters) in the company, or the public in general. Our squad systems require higher ranking NCOs to look after the lower ranked ones, not necessarily just in a “bossy” way, but also as family. The BB also has a Community Service Award where members need to serve 15-25 hours in a community project, such as an old folks home, orphanage and so on. This is to teach our members that life is not just about them and there are less fortunate people all around us, which we need to bless and show our love.
Whether you spend two months studying to ace a test, or volunteer to help an officer, everything you do is accounted for. Different forms of rewards exist, including promotion and badges. Even a simple look of recognition is not very easy to get when competing with a hundred others.
Yes, punishments are also considered benefits! As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain!“. Whenever mistakes are made, we can expect retribution to fall upon us quickly. No, this is not a sadistic means of torture and I’m sure our officer find no joy (some officers anyway) in making us suffer. Often, these methods are simply a means to get us to be on our toes and not take things too easily. When mistakes truly have been made, punishments are designed to make us realise the error so we do not repeat them in the future. It is better than making silly and costly mistakes in the working world.
.. and meet you will, all the time. A certain number of these will more than likely be your friends and at least one or two will be close to you. New members are always coming in to BB, new friendships always ready to be fostered, some which will probably outlast our time in the uniform.
One big part of The Boys' Brigade is its aim to teach leadership. This useful ability of leading is one that is instilled in every BB member. Countless people have gone through The Boys’ Brigade, many of them have learned to utilise this priceless skill to its utmost. This is only made possible with the platforms given within the BB programs, always giving chances to lead. From our first time commanding a drill squad (often lousily, but it’s a start), to planning birthdays, to company camps, being in committees gives us exposure to work alongside other members and officers. Being a leader in the BB doesn’t necessarily mean we are in-charge, but playing our part in the larger body.
Another large portion of The Boys' Brigade involves discipline, a skill used in everything from studying to singing to just having fun. It forms a great part of the BB philosophy in the form of the Twin Pillars (which are Religion and Discipline). The Boys’ Brigade, being a uniformed organisation, puts in quite a lot of emphasis in this important yet often neglected skill through the practice of, what else, drill. Though initially it may seem inhumane and difficult – not being able to do anything we want to do whenever we want, it is a logical life lesson and message that we need to exercise an element of control and consistency in order to be successful. Discipline is and will be useful your entire life.
Even with all the activities we have, one of The Boys’ Brigade’s main purpose is this. Our Founder brought this idea into reality, this was the aim, as his group of rowdy Sunday school Boys weren’t listening to lessons and losing out hearing the Good News. When the organisation reached Malaysia after World War II, it was with this objective that Mr Robert G. Davis introduced starting the BB to a group of Boys, with the hope of using its programs to make their Christian walk more relevant in their lives. Other programs in the BB are secondary to the BB Object, which complements the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).