By The Boys’ Brigade Primers
The Boys’ Brigade is an organisation catered towards youths, which aims toward creating meaningful communities where Boys (from the Y1-4 side) can grow into principled and capable leaders. As the senior counterparts of these Boys, us Primers shoulder the vital responsibility of steering their development.
What do we do during regular CCA sessions, you ask? Well, the compulsory portion of CCA technically lasts only for one hour a week. However, the life of a Primer is laden with optional yet crucial responsibilities. Every session, we conduct lessons to impart essential skills or trainings to prepare Boys for competitions.
One such competition is BB Blaze, an annual triathlon-esque outdoor adventure race which involves running, cycling and kayaking. We are responsible for planning and organising weekly trainings to stretch Boys both physically and psychologically to prepare them for the competition. Of course, to be suitable role models and competent mentors to push the Boys to their physical limits, we have to train both ahead and alongside them.
Naturally, we are a Uniformed Group and play the part just as well as any other. For example, we uphold the practices of a Uniformed Group such as regular parades and drill practices, while emphasizing high standards in areas such as discipline. We also have our own distinct blue-white uniform, which looks pretty cool.
Now, have we mentioned that we have our own Band? The Boys’ Brigade isn’t all about sports, camps and drills. Tracing its roots back to Glasgow, Scotland, the Boys’ Brigade also provides opportunities for Boys to learn the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe (a unique instrument that only those with prolonged exposure can come to appreciate) and snare drums! The Band is also where many Primers and Boys find another family within our large community– surrounded by individuals who practise alongside them on a regular basis.
Ever imagined what it would be like to be the oldest member of a squad? The most important part of the Primers journey is building relationships with the Boys. A lot of the work we do in Primers involves interacting with Boys on a regular basis, and to top it off, the Boy and Primer populations are split into squads to allow for more specific interaction. Most of the Primers are almost like older siblings to these Boys, there to guide them throughout their time in the Brigade.
There is plenty of space for Primers to grow and have fun too. For instance, you can participate in various activities during our Biannual camps such as urban navigation hikes. Of course, there are activities that don’t involve Boys; for example, Primers are invited to participate in Primers’ Challenge, an overseas expedition, every year. This year, we went to Perak, Malaysia for a 4D3N outdoor adventure camp with other Primers from different schools across Singapore, involving activities like whitewater rafting, waterfall abseiling and caving.
Who can join Primers?
Contrary to general expectations, girls are more than welcome to join Primers, and half of every batch is usually made up of female primers. Those without prior experience in a Uniformed Group also shouldn’t worry about adjusting to this new experience, as your fellow batchmates and seniors will be there to guide you along the way. You need no qualification to be part of a family, after all.
What is the commitment level like?
CCA sessions for the Boys are held every Monday and Wednesday from 4-6pm. All Primers are required to come down for Company Contact Time along with teachers, officers, and Boys every Monday, as well as attend Company events like camps. Commitment is flexible and dependent on the number of committees you choose to join. You will get to choose which areas you want to contribute in, be it mentoring the Boys, or training them for different competitions. Sign-ups for events and courses on a national level are purely optional and based on personal interest.
Above all, the Primers are a close-knit community. Aside from your personal growth, look forward to deepening the relationships with your fellow Primers. Given the great amounts of time spent with one another, we tend to become very close friends… whether we like it or not. You can definitely depend on your batchmates if you need any help – whether it is advice, ‘tuition’, or just someone to listen to your troubles.
BB Primers is truly a unique CCA – to find out more, approach any of us or visit our Open House booth!