Yesterday, 38 boys from the 74th Boys' Brigade Company and 63 girls from the 54th Girls' Brigade Company came together for the Enrolment & Dedication service held at Kent Ridge Secondary School.
We want to thank God for Mt Hermon being the sponsoring church for the BB and GB ministry in Kent Ridge Secondary School. Through this ministry we endeavour to nurture and build character among the boys and girls under our care.
Today, we have the opportunity to share the testimonies of WO Javier Yap and SGT Lisa Lim about their journeys with the BB and GB in the school.
— Dn David Oh
Good evening, officers, teachers and fellow Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade members. I am Javier Yap, a sergeant major in the Boys’ Brigade. When I first joined the BB, I was a little disappointed by the fact that it was not the CCA that I had wanted. Despite this, I decided to continue on and see what the BB had to offer.
At my first CCA session, I was shy and very quiet. I did not know what to expect. Despite this, my seniors were warm and welcoming towards us. They came up to us and asked us how our secondary school life had been going and how we felt about this CCA. We got to bond over some games and adventure activities. I felt happy and excited at the end of my first CCA session. Over the course of the next few months, I got to learn many new things such as tent building and kayaking. Each CCA session was more fulfilling than the previous ones. We also got to serve our community through BB Cares and participate in competitions like BB Character Quest.
One of my most memorable BB moments occurred during my Secondary One end-of-year camp. The seniors brought us to the trampoline park to play, and we chilled at a lighthouse for two hours while playing board games and Xbox. We also had a squad bonding session. Another exciting event was when we first got our full uniforms. Wearing the uniform for the first time, I thought that I looked very cool and of course had to snap some pictures. I also remember my first combined UG parade. I fainted halfway through and fell face-first on the ground. Most embarrassing moment in my life. From then on, I kept improving myself so that I wouldn't embarrass myself again.
There were other times when we had to overcome challenges. Due to the pandemic, we had to suddenly switch to online activities, which caused us to be lost and confused. Despite this, we kept trying our best to see how we could make our CCA sessions more productive and lively.
In Secondary Three, we had the task of leading the CCA. We were all new to the prospect. Working together as a team was no easy feat as we were all juggling increased school work and other commitments. Nevertheless, we were able to plan out CCA sessions in time and also have fun along the way. I thank all Secondary Four and Five seniors for being with me on this four-year journey.
Throughout my time here in the BB, I have been given lots of opportunities to grow as a leader, forge deep friendships and learn more about my strengths and aspirations. I do not regret choosing this CCA and I am proud to be a BB boy. I would like to thank all my teachers, officers and primers for being supportive and patient towards us even though we may be not the best at times. I hope that everyone will be able to participate in CCA activities with an open mind and see what you can learn outside of the classroom.
—WO Javier Yap
Good afternoon Mr Poh, Officers, teachers, adult volunteers, church representatives, and friends. I am Sergeant Lisa Lim from the 54th Girls’ Brigade company. I have been in the GB since Secondary One. I remember when I was in Secondary One, I was very soft-spoken and did not dare to interact much. I am glad I joined the GB, where I grew and learnt to be more confident as a person and a leader, leading both in person and through online platforms. GB has provided me with a myriad of opportunities to grow not just in terms of my character, but also in social and communication skills. If you had asked me in Secondary One, a timid and shy girl, if I ever imagined myself addressing a big audience, I would have shaken my head vigorously! But now, here I am, speaking to everyone. Who would have thought?
However, this leadership journey has not been an easy one. Over the years, as I took on the responsibility of a Squad Leader or as my batch planned for activities, I had moments of self-doubt in which I second- guessed myself and my abilities. I often asked myself questions like, “Should I have said something different just now?” and “Am I trying too hard?” Yet, these moments of self-doubt have taught me two things.
Firstly, by questioning myself, even in self-doubt, I’ve learnt to be a more reflective person. I think about my words and my actions as a leader, and truly take stock of everything. The GB, through its various leadership sessions and debriefings, has taught me to reflect and ponder on my own experiences. I become more aware of my actions and how I behave as a role model and leader to my peers and juniors, and this makes me strive to be a better leader every time I lead.
Secondly, I’ve learnt about the importance of encouragement and support. When I face moments of self-doubt and become anxious, having the assurance and encouragement of peers and teachers makes a huge difference. They often say, “It will be better next time”, “It is not the end yet, you still have many shots” and “Nobody is perfect”. These words of encouragement are humbling and so heartfelt. The sense of belonging, care and being part of the GB family gives me the strength to continue as a leader. Through the GB, I’ve made authentic and interesting friendships that are important as I grow as a person, as they make CCA sessions much more fruitful. They are my support system.
There are many things I’ve gained from being a GB girl, but if there is one thing I really want to highlight, it’s the fact that in the GB, I have been able to seize new and different opportunities to develop as a good leader, while learning to embrace my weaknesses and reflect on my own growth.
This year’s Orientation camp is the first and last camp organised by my cohort due to COVID-19 restrictions in the past years. I am so glad to have gotten to know my juniors before stepping down, and to be able to have a camp experience with them. Lastly, to my dear Secondary One juniors enrolling today, welcome to the 54th GB company, where we are more than a CCA. Welcome to your second family.
— SGT Lisa Lim