CCA Previews ’21: Boys’ Brigade Primers

By Boys’ Brigade Primers

*cover photo was taken pre-COVID*

If at first glance, you think we’re just a UG CCA, you’re wrong. 

Somehow, we’re a UG that does sports and performing arts as well! We do way more than just building tents and doing foot drills. We participate in a variety of activities, to provide our members with a holistic experience in the Boys’ Brigade! As Primers in BB, we are in large part coaches and mentors to the Y1-4 Boys, helping to teach them during CCA sessions, and run the large array of activities that BB has to offer. 

In Primers, we split up into different committees that take care of different activities and programmes. For instance, we have committees to teach the different Y1-4 batches and offer them guidance in their secondary school life. Through this, we form bonds with our juniors and become very much like older brothers/sisters to them!

This year, despite facing many restrictions due to Covid-19, we innovated and came up with many solutions to give our Boys a meaningful experience during eCCA. We used online platforms like MS Teams and changed our teaching methods, such as by using Kahoot quizzes, filming video lessons, or designing interactive lessons to keep our Boys engaged. As a CCA we felt that it was important to continue having consistent interaction with one another to maintain our strong sense of community!

Year 1 Mentoring Comm having an online lesson with the Boys.

Did you know that BB also has our very own bagpipe band? We usually play at various events and compete in competitions, but it hasn’t been possible this year. Still, we have kept up with it by having online band practices—with Primers mentoring Boys individually— which has allowed us to produce an e-performance this year!

Our winning performance in the Singapore-Southeast Asian Pipe Band Competition (2019).
Our band’s e-performance this year.

Despite not being a sports CCA, BB does organise a variety of sports events! We have an annual hiking competition called “BB Blaze” where our Boys race against other BB companies, with them running, cycling and kayaking up to 30km! In the six months leading up to the competition, we train the Boys and function very much like coaches to them!

Our Primers and Blaze Competition Teams at the Track after the last training of 2019. (photo taken pre-COVID)

As for Primer events, we usually start our year off with Day 0, where we come together as a batch to set our goals and vision. Following that, we have March Camp, a 3D2N camp where Primers participate in hikes with the Boys, among other activities like archery or high elements. After that, we have Primers Challenge in June, which is a 4D3N camp in Malaysia, where Primers are challenged with exciting activities such as waterfall abseiling, white water rafting and caving. If you are someone that loves adventure, joining Primers will be a really awesome experience for you!

Primers Challenge 2019 in Perak, Malaysia, after waterfall abseiling. (photo taken pre-COVID)

In August, we have the Annual Parade, where the company puts up a grand parade for the alumni and parents. During this parade, our band puts up a performance, the Boys get promoted, and we recognise the efforts of our graduating batches! If you love the impressiveness of the contingents you see during NDP, Annual Parade will be really cool for you!

Annual Parade 2019 on the Raffles Square.

We also have December Camp, which is an end-of-year camp similar to March Camp. During December Camp, the Primers participate in many fun bonding activities with the Boys and plan some of these activities. We also have an annual Christmas dinner at the end where we reconnect with many past batches and end the year together as a company!

In BB, we also get to participate actively in community service. For example, the BB Share-a-Gift (BBSG) Project is a community service project that promotes the spirit of caring and sharing amongst the local community during the Christmas season. The project is carried out annually, and our Boys and Primers serve by collecting the donations at the various Fairprice outlets, packing the hampers at the BB HQ, and most satisfyingly of all, delivering the hampers to underprivileged families. 

Delivering hampers to underprivileged families during the BB Share-a-Gift Project in 2018. (photo taken pre-COVID)

With so many different wonderful opportunities in BB, we hope that you see the appeal of joining Primers! But even more than just being a CCA, Primers is a family dear to many of us. Through all the things we’ve gone through together, both in and out of CCA, we have grown close to one another. The Primers community is one where we can all trust one another and depend on each other for help as friends. We hope to see you in our CCA!

FAQ 1: Who are we looking for to join Primers? Can I join if I’m a girl or not from BB?

Everyone is more than welcome to join! Girls are welcome to join as well, and in fact they make up a good portion of many of our batches!

The Primers Programme is diverse and multi-faceted, with a whole slew of activities catered to various strengths, and can thus comfortably accommodate people from a multitude of backgrounds. We have had quite a few Primers that are not from RIBB or even Girls’ Brigade in the past, drawn to Primers by the community and programs. Don’t worry, as the Programme is tailored to also suit youth without prior experience, and the ‘veterans’ in your batch will guide you along the way!

FAQ 2: How busy will I be, should I choose to join the BB Primers?

The Primers Programme largely adopts a committee-oriented commitment scheme—CCA is on Mondays and Wednesday (from 4-6pm), with Company Contact Time (where the whole CCA gathers) and Company events (camps, etc.) being the only compulsory activities. 

One’s schedule is highly flexible, depending on which committees you’ve signed up for earlier in the year, be it badgework such as Adventure and First Aid, mentoring committees, or training the Boys for competitions. 

FAQ 3: How does it count towards the Raffles Diploma and other awards?

The breadth of activities organised ensures that all of us are well beyond the minimum criteria for the Raffles Diploma. In fact, most Primers will get the BB Anchor Award through our participation in the CCA, earning us minimally a Merit Award. The NYAA Gold award is a notable additional achievement for members to work towards, for which the Primers Programme is adequately aligned towards.

FAQ 4: How can I find out more about the RIBB Primers Programme? 

We’d be delighted to have you down at our open house booth, or our January Induction Programme CCA feste! We’re also on Instagram (@our60th) :D

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