Life in The Boys' Brigade (Various Authors)

Posted on 22-Dec-2014

Editors note: Due to the similarities between these four articles, they are put as a single feature for the reading pleasure of our readers. Thank you, writers, for your contributions!
Published December 23rd, 2014

My Journey in the BB

By Lance Corporal Jack Heng of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

Before every student enrolls in Sri Sempurna, which is where 10th Kuala Lumpur Company Boys' Brigade holds its parade meetings, we are to have an interview with the Principal, an ex-10th KL's captain. When the principal asked me which uniform body I wanted to join (we have a choice of joining between two uniform bodies, which is St John and Boy’s Brigade.), I told him I wanted to join St.John's Ambulance.

What was the reason? Because The Boy’s Brigade is a tough and very disciplined organisation. It didn’t suit my “lazy” attitude. Although I said that, the persuasive principal kept encouraging me to join The Boy’s Brigade.

Then came D-Day (Decision Day). Each newly enrolled student was given a piece of paper used to decide which uniform body we are going to join. The paper which I was required to “tick”, was right in front of me. Part of me said joining St.John was the right decision, while the other part of me wanted to join BB. Finally I made my decision to join BB (with my fingers crossed).

Soon came the first day of BB, which was quite nervous for everyone who made that brave decision to join BB. On the my first day of BB, the officers asked all recruits to stand aside at the field to watch how the parade was ran, and most of us ‘newbies’ looked at how the members of 10th KL Boy’s Brigade ran the parade in a stylish way.

As the weeks went by, with each parade meeting that was held, I learned more and more new things, gaining more and more experience and knowledge. Though there were ups and downs, tons of work and millions mistakes made (I’m a super careless person), I persevered on and pushed through.

Till one day where all my efforts paid off - the day where I went from a recruit to a Private, then from a Private to a Lance Corporal. But those promotions didn't mean the end - it was only the beginning of more responsibilities and tasks coming up.

Yet in 10th KL Boy’s Brigade, itsnot just all about jobs and responsibilities. It is also a place of fun where people can make long lasting friendships. Almost everybody in 10th KL's Boys' Brigade is friendly and sociable.

The officers and NCOs (almost) never misuses their authority, instead treating us like friends, like we’re all of the same age. I find BB enjoyable when it comes to camps and trips where everybody would laugh till their faces went red and our tummies would hurt! One of the most memorable things for me in BB occurred in a camp where we just sat down and started to joke among ourselves and just made ourselves go, “high”.

As it turns out, The Boy’s Brigade isn’t (always) scary or torturing at all. It’s a place where people come to gather, serve God, equip ourselves with new skills and talents and make friendships that will last till the day we grow old.


My BB Experience

By Private Ng Sue Ann of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

The starting line

In 2012, I was facing one of the toughest situations in my high school years. Deciding on a uniform group to join as a 13 year old was one of the toughest jobs the least to say. I still remember Orientation Day in school, a boy and a girl came up onto the stage wearing navy blue from the bottom to the top, with red sashes strapped beginning from their shoulders to their waist. They then explained what The Boys' Brigade was about. Instantly! I felt drawn to the activities and camps as they continued speaking.

When the time was up and I needed to choose, I had to make my choice. Holding that piece of paper in my hand was quite nerve racking, and I thank God till this very day that I made the right decision two years ago.

The First Ever Parade

Early one Saturday morning around 10am, everyone was gathered in the school field. The older members were all in their “day dress” (which I later found out it meant "full uniform"), all of them looked smart and proud. Out of nowhere, the sudden shriek of the trumpets scared the living whits out of me! Yet everyone seemed to know what was going on and they just stood in a straight yet disturbing position. It felt like I was standing among statues at that moment. But neither less, the hyper little Juniors whom could not keep still for a second continued their frantic chase around the field.

After the opening parade, we then moved to the hall and had a session of praise and worship. It was indescribably AMAZING! It felt refreshing as if I were back in my own church praising the Lord. I felt so much at home. It was then I knew that God could really change me here.

Body, Wisdom, and Hardships

It was around my second year in The Boys' Brigade that I began to feel like there wasn’t any more meaning to be in the Company. The passion and drive that I had during my first year slowly faded away. As my friends left the Company after just spending a mere year, I felt alone and unwanted. I disliked my time during the parades and constantly needed to drag myself out of bed each and every Saturday morning.

I tried to quit BB at one point, yet I felt that I was missing a piece of myself each time I didn’t turn up for parade. Deep inside, I knew that God was telling me that something would definitely change if I continued on, and so I did.

After the agony and struggles each and every parade, I found a new meaning to all the activities carried out. I then slowly begun to love drill, include myself in the worship team, tried to help out the juniors and soon found my best friends that I would cherish for the rest of my high school life.

The true meaning of BB

After all the things that happened, I found a new purpose in my days in The Boys' Brigade. It wasn’t just about building your physical strength, or learning all the drill sequences, or even being a leader and carrying out your responsibilities. It was God himself. He wanted me to get closer to Him, lean not on my own understandings but to trust in His will. I would lastly like to end this with a short verse I love and would always remember, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.-1Peter 5:7”.


My BB Life

By Lance Corporal Daniel Tan of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company

Hi. Name’s Daniel Tan. I was a normal 10 year old child spending my free times on Saturday morning either watching cartoons or sleeping. One day, I was having extra classes at school when I saw one of my friends attending The Boy’s Brigade. I got curious about it so I asked him in school. A month later, my parents approved that I join the organisation. On my first day, I’ve already made many friends through mutual friends from school. During that age, I never knew BB was trying to help us try new stuff. I used to think that BB was like school. So I just followed the flow.

Later when I was 12, BB was introduced as a compulsory co-curriculum to our school. Everyone aged between 9 to 12 were forced to join the organisation. However, The Boys' Brigade as a compulsory co-curriculum activity didn’t last long due to many complaints from the students. Furthermore, it wasn’t very enjoyable because there was only badgework classes. After this incident, a few students who were still interested, joined The Boy’s Brigade that was held on Saturday.

We were again forced to make a choice to either choose The Boy’s Brigade or St. John's Ambulance in Form 1. Obviously, many chose the St. John's because BB had to do drill under the sun every Saturday, whereas you get to enjoy classes every week in the classrooms under the air-conditioner. Although there were many who joined The Boys' Brigade, many left after a compulsory Boot Camp. They stressed that BB was too much to bear. After that year, there were only a few brigadiers left.

My batch later joined the Basic NCOs Training school that was held at Wesley Methodist School in Sentul. During that camp, I’ve made many good friends from other companies. I realised that one of my friends that I’ve made was attending this training camp for multiple times due to not passing the test at the end of every camp he attended. At the end of the camp, I eventually passed the test with flying colours. I felt proud of myself.

Later that year, I was promoted to a Lance Corporal. I was extremely happy what I have achieved and thought that I could give punishments to everyone but I was wrong. Our Company held a Worship Camp that was compulsory for everyone to attend. At the end of the camp, we did not keep the premises clean. Due to that, our Captain made all of us stripped of our ranks for a day in front of the whole company and we had to memorise and present the honor code to the whole NCO council. That was when I learnt that with great power comes with great responsibility.

In the year 2014, I attended the Advance NCOs Training School held at UCSI International School. The camp started out with a lot of scolding due to not following proper instructions and not using our brains. During the camp, we’ve accumulated many "lots" due to mistake that we made. 1 lot is equivalent to 10 star jumps. On our last night, we were made to finish all our lots in one shot. We did the lots till 5 in the morning. Everyone took turns to count. We were supposed to do 1 lot at a time. If anyone miscounted, they had to run the whole school compound and continue. Thankfully I didn’t miscount. At the end, we only had 3 hours of sleep till breakfast.

I was later chosen to be apart of the drill team to represent Kuala Lumpur in the upcoming major competition called Pesta. Pesta is a camp where Brigadiers from all over Malaysia come together as one to meet up and have fun together. Anyway, being a part of the drill team has thought me a lot of things like the strength and perseverance to accomplish something. We had to attend drill classes every Saturday although there was no parade and go for camps that we had to drill till midnight. We eventually got third placing with just 1 point separating us and second place. We couldn’t believe it but we just accepted the fact and went on with it.

Later that year, most of my friends in my batch did not get promoted. Most of them were sad but I was all right with it because BB is my church. It is where I praise and worship God. On that day, I did not expect to receive my NCO Proficiency Star award. I was happy although I did not get promoted.

There were many thing that I had learned in BB. Earning badges wasn’t easy because he had to either get experiences like camping badge or had experiences and prove it. This organisation has also thought me to developed leadership skills, experience, responsibility, concentration, self-control, self-respect and extra knowledge. Moreover, BB will help in my future career and my co-curriculum points that are in my SPM certificate. The Boy’s Brigade has really played a role in my life and I thank God for putting me into this organisation.


My Experience in The Boys' Brigade

By Private Fam Yung Zhan of the 10th Kuala Lumpur Company 

As a student in Sri Sempurna International School, it is compulsory to join the uniform body. There are two selections which are the “St. John” and “Boys Brigade”. Many of my friends chose the Boys Brigade because their uniforms look cool and smart. I was very indecisive whether to choose The Boys Brigade or the St. John's. But after much thought, I finally choose The Boys Brigade.

My first day in The Boys Brigade was awful. I stood under the hot blaring sun like a sausage being fried on a hot pan. I was ordered not to move at all even the sweat slowly dripped into my eyes. I then had to suffer the pain of the acidic sweat washing my whole eyeball. I still remembered very clearly that I closed my eyes when I sang the Negaraku and the Anchor Song on the very first day. Later on we had drill, which I didn’t even know what that was all about. The worst thing was that we had to do push-ups if we were not punctual. A thought came out of my mind, whether I should continue BB anymore, I had a harsh and unpleasant time standing under the sun doing drill and other stuff which I didn’t like it. Saturday was supposed to be a relaxing day for a normal student like me, but I had to wake up early and attend BB every Saturday and only allowed to go home at 1:30pm. Every Friday night, I had to polish the belt, haversack and also my boots. I don’t even have time to do my own stuff. Also, wearing the "type A" uniform was a tortured for me. It’s like a thermo flask. If I didn’t attend BB every week, I could have probably spent my time playing computer games, do some revisions and others. It would be awesome!

Instead, I go to BB every single week and attend parade. I know I don’t enjoy it but I foresee the benefits of going to BB., making good use of the benefits. As I slowly got to know more about BB, going to BB every week is not a problem for me anymore and I enjoy going very much. I learned many things in BB. Firstly, I learned how to polish a pair of boots and some metals parts. Although it is troublesome to polish, once you see how shinny they are, you’ll feel great. Badge work class also benefits me a lot. I learned the history of BB. Besides, I also learned how to pitch a tent and other things about camping.

Teamwork is important in BB. I learned to work together and cooperate as a team, for example during drill and cooking competition, we strive hard together and achieved what we wanted. Our squad won the cooking competition this year. We were happy to see such great results. I learned to be more discipline when I was doing drill. I had to train myself not to move during drill, stand the heat of the sun and also follow instructions given. Furthermore, I became more responsible after I became a member of BB. I made sure all the task given to me was done within a deadline. For example, as a flag party, I will make sure the flag is being put back in the original place after using it. Before I joined BB, I have no idea how to do a correct push-up. Now, I know and able to do a proper push-up. It keeps me fit and healthy too. If I didn’t join BB, perhaps I wouldn’t know how to do it for the rest of my life. Joining band makes me learn how to communicate with my friends as well as coordination in playing the instruments. I loved going to band even thou I had to wake up early in the morning. Most importantly, I got to know God more. Every Saturday, I can praise God and know more about God. It helps me to cultivate a good behaviour.

I had one unforgettable moment during this year in BB, it was during the Awards Day. Few days before the Awards Day, I was down with fever. My parents didn’t allow me to go on seeing my condition, but I determined to wake up that early morning and dressed up in the ceremonial uniform. When I looked into the mirror, my face was pale white. I pleaded my mum for allowing me to attend the Awards Day, at last, she gave in. I was happy to receive the awards even though I was sick that day. Like the saying goes, “if there is a will, there is a way”.

Page Created: 23rd December 2014
Last Updated: 23rd December 2014