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Boys Brigade - September 2010

It is high summer and the sun is beating down, ah the joys! A holiday to Turkey beckons, and the BB session is well and truly over, well not quite, in our company it is never really over, as I will explain later in this report.

Since my last report I have stepped down from my position as Battalion President having serving my 3 year tenure, so hopefully (fingers crossed) I won’t be just as busy this coming session as I have been for the last 3 sessions.

Looking back over the end of the last session there were a number of events, which I would like to mention. We won the last of the Battalion competitions, the sports, and chalked up a significant double. The Company Section won their event, and for the first time in many a year the Junior Section also won their event. It was a great result for them, so well done to all the boys who participated on the day.

With all the competitions out of the way, it was down to the business of preparing for our Inspection and Display. It was held in Queen Anne High School assembly hall for the first time, and it proved to be a really good venue, with tiered seating for the audience, which meant everybody had a good view. Our Inspecting Officer, Alan Hunter, Boys’ Brigade training officer for Scotland, was very complimentary to the Company and congratulated us on not only a well presented and fun filled Display, but also thanked the Company as a whole, recognising the support we give to the BB in Scotland, by supporting and becoming involved in all they try to do. The highlight of the Display was the presentation of 4 Queen’s Badges to Dani Anderson, Alex Goodall, David Cattanach, and James Maclean, and the presentation of a Gold DOE award to Matthew Boyle.

With the display out of the way we were soon off to camp at Pitlochry. Camp is the highlight of the year for both boys and officers, and all had a whale of a time, laughing, playing and praising, in Christian fellowship.

We held a barbecue or BBcue, on the Wednesday evening for the boys and their visiting parents and it seemed to go down well. The food certainly went down well, you should’ve seen the amount o’ grub they scoffed. After they had eaten all we had provided it was time for them to work off a few calories as boys and parents joined in a game of kickball. (It’s the same as rounder’s but a football is bowled to you which you must kick). If there was a downside to camp it was certainly the guid auld Scottish weather. To say it tested our resolve is putting it mildly. Rain we can take but 70 mile an hour gales and marquees do not go well together. On the Sunday evening a gale blew as we were eating our meal when the cry went up, ‘the cookhouse has just blown away.’ Abandoning the meal it was all hands on deck to rescue the cookhouse, which was now half way to Perth. As the gale increased in severity all tents had to be double pegged and guyed to prevent them heading south to Perth in hot pursuit of the cookhouse. We were extremely lucky in not sustaining any serious damage to our tents, but our neighbours from Inverkeithing, who were camping next to us, were not so lucky and unfortunately one of their marquees was completely destroyed by the wind, with the roof being ripped to shreds. They were devastated. Then a queer thing happened, just as quickly as the wind started, it stopped, literally in an instant. Weird, really weird. To cap off the weather, the Thursday night and Friday morning it poured with rain so all tents came back from camp soaking wet and we are still trying to get them all dry.

We then had four of our senior boys attend 1st year KG1V course at BB headquarters. This course trains young men to become officers in the Brigade, so for us to have 4 boys attend is extremely encouraging.

The final event of the session is still going on as I write this report (Sunday 8th August – with only 10 minutes till Sandy Carruthers’ deadline), as we have half of the Company staff out hiking as four of our boys and 3 from St. Leonard’s Company are out doing their Gold DOE hike, in and around Glenshee. My wife Helen and I were up there yesterday assisting, and didn’t get back till 11p.m. last night, both of us shattered so by the end of their stint over 4 days the boys will be really tired oot.

With the session now over we have a couple of weeks rest and recuperation till it all starts again in early September, look out for the announcement of start back dates for the various sections.

Hope you all had a good holiday whether you were abroad or simply kicked off your shoes, stayed at home, and fired up the barbecue.

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