Posted on 23-Sep-2013
24th August 2013
To become the Captain of a Boy’s Brigade Company is something that requires great dedication and commitment. Even with that said, the rewards are there and they are bountiful. Just ask our Captain, Ms. Esther Chew.
Currently in her fourth year as a captain, Ms. Chew has been part of The Boy’s Brigade for over a decade and a half, first joining as one of the pioneer members of the company, then as an officer. However, it was even before the company started that the groundwork for such a long life in BB was laid.
Three years before our company, 10th Kuala Lumpur, came into being, one of our Lieutenants, Madam Angie Low, started The Eagle’s Club”. Based on the ideals of Boy’s Brigade, The Eagle’s Club quickly caught the attention of our future Captain. Not only did she have friends joining the same club, but she also had a father who encouraged her to join, so she did. In 1998, when she was in Form 1, our Captain joined The Boy’s Brigade as a Platoon Leader.
Only a year later, to her disappointment, she was demoted from being a Platoon Leader simply because she was a girl. Despite that, she stayed on and continued benefiting. Not only did she get to camp and cook outdoors with her friends, but in 2000, she got her first taste of Pesta. Never before had she been to so large a camp – in addition, her friends being there made it even more delightful.
Years passed. People grew. Now, three entire cycles of members have passed. The once demoted platoon leader is now 10th KL’s captain. And with that great promotion, the roles have changed. Our captain is still dedicated to the BB, though in a different field. Now dealing with the company’s external relations, she still humbles herself, teaching our Pre-Junior Section, forming personal relations with all our members of all ages. Furthermore, she performs all her duties while developing people that live up to The Boys’ Brigade’s Object.
All that hard work was not put to waste. For the workload increases, so does the need to reach out and connect with members. As she put it - “Your generation looks at things like a buffet. You have so many options. For us (her batch of members), last time we [did not] have. So even if we didn’t like it, it’s take it or leave it. We had no choice but to take it. But for you it’s like ‘so what, if I don’t take this I have another one, I don’t like this I have another one.’”
Nowadays, it is harder to have members that join, stay and actually learn something from The Boy’s Brigade. “For example, if I make them do push ups, they will say why do I need to do push ups? If I don’t like it I can leave BB, I don’t have to stay in BB. I have a lot of options.”
The culture today is changing, no one can stop that. Yet when asked about her long term hopes for the BB, she had no problem saying: “I would say in like 15 years, my goal would be to have a company that produces members who really enjoy the outdoors; I think less and less enjoy the outdoors, especially camping. Also, to have members who can communicate with each other. I think it is harder these days, with Facebook, texting... they don’t talk to each other, so their communication skills actually dropped a lot .. also to have members who really really love God.”
It is not only the Captain’s job to help achieve this. “I think a lot of them experience God through the people around them, and if you actually spend time talking to them and showing Christ-like characters, that’s what’s important. It doesn’t matter whether you are teaching drill or badgework or learning and performing in band. As long as you reflect Christ-like behaviour, that’s where people will get to know Christ.”