Posted on 16-Apr-2015
SENTUL, KULA LUMPUR – On the 6-8th of February 2015, the 12th Kuala Lumpur Company Boys’ Brigade had its annual boot camp at Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur. Approximately 130 boys campers from Form 1, the Newbies, all the way to SPM candidates gathered together to give 2015 a head start. The camp was designed to kill two birds with one stone where we also had our regular Parade on the Saturday. This year, we even had Year 3 and 4 Privates who have fallen in love with BB so much so that they asked if they could come and join the camp.
“Why not?” – as brief as it was, that was the green light received from our officers and we decided to welcome them into the camp. So, I decided to explore all avenues making sure the camp would be a success.
The event kicked off with registration and the distribution of name tags outside the chapel almost immediately after school dismissed at 3.15pm. Once every camper had gotten his name tag, each camper was required to complete two main tasks: to find the rules for boot camp and to check-in their luggage into their own dorms. The rule of thumb was to complete the two tasks the first.
When all were ready, we went back to the chapel and had the first Target Session for the camp - led by our captain, Mr. Nicholas Yeap. He taught the recruits three songs that all members must know : the Anchor Song, BB Vesper and Table Grace. Points were awarded to campers who could sing the songs right after the demonstration.
To rest is to walk further.
An hour’s time was given to the Campers to get themselves freshened up before dinner. Being the camp commandant, I could say that Boot Camp 2015 had injected few changes to fit the need of the Camp. Throughout the years, NCOs will lead in the singing of Table Grace, a tradition of BB before having any meals. This time, however, we decided to give the Privates to lead. My committee members agreed that “we need to prepare them for the upcoming BNTS.”
After dinner, the worship team led the congregation to worship God. Everyone was in high spirits. Next, we moved on to the second Target session: Citizenship. This session was led by Instructor Yip as he taught us about the country and some facts about the parliament of our country. In a nutshell, we all learned something more about our country.
The highlight of the Camp - Capture the Flag - a team building game and a tradition in 12th KLBB. It was implemented since year 2013. This time round, we divided the eight squads to play in two rounds; with four squads competing in each round. Each squad has its own base which holds two coloured flags placed in a cone. When the game starts, the opposing squad would come trying to snatch the flags from the defending squad. The game might look easy as pie but every camper had been warned not to judge a book by its cover. Someone said, “A warrior may lose his freedom when he is out on a conquest. If the attackers are tapped by the defenders, then they will be captured and have to stay out of the game until someone revives them.” All players were like lions on the battlefield.
While the fun was going on below at the school compound, those who were not playing stayed in the chapel for “A Session with Sgt. Ong” – revise and review the ABCs in BB. I found myself amused with the “Oh”, “Aha” and “Oh yes”, interwoven between laughter, echoing in the chapel, making music to even the Officers’ ears.
The camp started its second day with morning exercise led by LCpl. Ajith. Some members were sleepy but they were pumped up with adrenalin flowing through their blood vessels through the PT session. After breakfast, opening parade as what we always have regularly was conducted by Sgt. Jack. Normal procedure such as inspecting of uniform and taking of attendance were done before we proceeded to Chapel for the next programme.
As soon as we reached chapel, the worship team led us in praising the Lord. Mr. Andrew Tan then led us through a session in Christian Education. All the members listened attentively while Mr. Andrew explained how to fold a piece of A4 paper into a cross and what words could be formed from the remaining pieces of the papers.
The sound of stamping boots was heard after this session. Members were divided into groups before going to the drill ground. The members who were involved in the march-past team for school’s Sports Day practised to their limits because the marching competition was just around the corner. They polished up their dressing and steps so that they could proudly showcase their drilling and marching skills on the red-letter day.
After filling our hungry stomachs, a polishing workshop was held by Sgt. Jack. Instead of doing a demo in front of the members, he recorded a video on how to polish the metal parts and boots. This way, the members’ interest was maintained throughout the session.
After a few hours in the chapel, the members were eager to stretch their muscles. Before they could go to play sports, another session of drill was held to help the recruits revise drill syllabus required for them to pass their Target Badge. This time round, squad leaders took charge and had one final run-through with the Target Test candidates.
An hour of sports was arranged for the members to loosen up their mind before the real test. Those who wished to revise for their test stayed in their dorms with some of the seniors. After dinner, we had our praise and worship session before the test. The test was conducted by our Captain. I could still remember their look when we told them, “Guys, this is only the first part of the Target test.” Everyone was like a mouse in the chapel.
Though they had butterflies in their stomach, they looked forward to what the NCOs had planned for them after the test: Clue Hunt. The briefing for the game was done by LCpl Johnston Tan. The campers were the detectives for a crime. They were to retrieve and disarm a bomb planted in a hotel and to unmask the culprit. Just like we can’t have rainbow without rain, the case couldn’t be solved without hard work and team work.
The third and final day started with another session of PT. Morning devotion was then held in the chapel after wash up and breakfast. We then carried out the second part of the Target exam. The examiners were made up of NCOs and privates – the singing component. Each recruit was tested on the 3 songs that they learned earlier.
Once the test was done, we held debriefing for the Clue Hunt in the chapel before the drumline team stole the show for their promotion. The campers then cleaned up their dorms before the prize giving ceremony and testimony sharing. All good things must come to an end. The closing ceremony, fondly known as closing parade marked the end of the camp held in the parade ground. After lunch, the campers parted their ways and went home for a good rest.