Boys’ Brigade: An Introduction

by Terence Yap

For the past 69 years, the 1st Kuala Lumpur Boys’ Brigade (1st KL) has been thriving strong under the protective wings of KL Wesley Methodist Church. We are tremendously grateful for all the support from the pastoral team and church members, and the patrons who have continually supported us via various donations and prayers. For those unaware, 1st KL BB is a youth organization dedicated to developing young boys into responsible and active members of society through activities designed to promote their physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Since we reopened our doors to physical meetings in mid-2022 post covid lockdown, 1st KL has seen tremendous growth on the number of boys who joined the company.

Over the past four months, the organization had been busy with various activities aimed at promoting the cohesiveness and personal development of our members, as well as promoting community engagement through interactions with our parental community. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of our organization’s activities, we have provided a short write up from the Junior and Senior sections on some of the highlights in the past few months.

Aren’t we all famished: Boys in the Junior Section enjoying their burgers during an outing

The Junior section is made up of boys aged 6-12 years old. Our section started the year off with an informal orientation session for both new recruits and parents. We understand the importance of creating a strong sense of community and belonging from the outset, which is why we made sure to incorporate fun and food to help build relationships between members! During the initial weeks in January and February, we had games and impromptu events such ‘Ice-Cream Saturdate’ to spur up the excitement amongst the boys!

We kick started the Chinese New Year festivities by organizing a Chinese culture station game that ended with a feast of fried wantons (handmade by all the boys during one of the station games!), longest yee sang toss and variety of food provided by the parents and officers. After Chinese New Year, the boys had many other events such as an outdoor picnic, outings to District 21 and KL Bird Park, plus an in-house Achievement Camp to brush up on the boys’ life skills. This is on top of the normal bible studies, drill and badge classes.

Leadership grooming for all boys aged 11-12 are instilled into our weekly programs through half hourly meetups before the official parade. During this meetups, the leaders in the Junior section were taught on the expectations of being a leader, communication skills and given opportunities to plan and lead on smaller projects such as games or camp dinners under the tutelage of Junior officers.

The key item of our semester was the line up towards the Easter celebration. During the weeks leading up to Easter, the Pre-Junior members (boys aged 8 and below) participated in a ‘7-stop station games’ on ‘Finding Jesus’. The plan was to introduce the life of Jesus to the younger boys through story-telling and station games. This then cumulated to the main Easter event on April 8th 2023, where the entire Junior Section actually experienced life as Jesus’ disciples – going with Him into Palm Sunday celebrations (waving of the palm leaves and singing songs of praises!), sharing the last Supper and witnessing the arrest of Jesus by the Roman soldiers. After which the trial by Pilate was explained to them, and followed by Simon carrying the cross for Jesus as they made their way up to Golgotha. The boys had the privilege of listening and witnessing the actual gospel story of Jesus’ death on the cross for us and not forgetting, the Easter morning of the empty tomb! There was an altar call after the leading officer, Miss Wendy, summarised the events for the day and gave the closing prayer. Over half the boys in the entire Junior section raised their hands to dedicate their lives to the Lord.

We are eternally thankful for God’s providence in allowing us to tell the story of Jesus. We request for prayers that God will sustain us as we continue to minister to the hearts of the growing boys.

Don’t miss out on all the fun: The Senior section with their Officers at District 21

The Senior section of the 1st KL Boys’ Brigade is a program that focuses on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of boys aged 13 to 19 years old. Its aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment where young men can develop their leadership, teamwork, and service skills while growing in their personal faith and relationship with God. Through adventure sports, community service projects, and mentoring programs, the Senior Section seeks to equip young men with the necessary skills, values, and character traits to become responsible and contributing members of society.

The 1st KL Boys’ Brigade Company had a successful start to the year 2023 as 11 Junior boys were promoted to the Senior section before the new school year began in March. This allows the Senior Officers and NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers, mainly made up of leaders from the Senior section) to have more time to engage and groom the boys into the culture of the Senior section. It was perhaps a blessing in disguise that the council had more time to groom our existing boys before the new recruits from the nearby schools registered.

In line with the commitment to ensure that parents and guardians are actively involved in the lives of our young people, the 1st KL Company organized its very first physical Parents’ briefing post MCO on February 11th 2023. There were 45 parents in attendance and over 100+ boys in the parade for both the Junior and Senior section. We introduced an exciting twist from the normal regular briefings of the past years – we decided to let parents be part of the F&B hosting for the boys, be involved in playing the games at the field and join an actual badge/band class with their sons.

However, the Easter gospel rally held on April 8th 2023 was THE major event that drove all the officers to obtain support for provisions. Both the Junior and Senior sections held separate events on the same day to accommodate the maturity of the audience involved. For the Senior section, a combined rally with the Girls Brigade was organized, where Mr. Kenneth Ho, the youth director of KL Wesley Methodist Church, shared his thoughts with over 80 pax of boys and girls. He used the example of Jeremy Lin, an ex-NBA player, to show how one can find strength from God to carry them through the peak and valleys of their career. We were delighted to see that 10 boys and a few girls from the Girls Brigade responded to the altar call. Our senior officers are committed to guide these boys on their spiritual journey through regular mentoring, small group Bible study discussions, and prayer meetings.  By organizing all these activities, we hope to foster their thirst for God and help them grow in their faith.

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