Top to bottom – Group pic, Squad Commander reports to the Camp Commander, Bugle call for retreat at the closing of the training.

Story by James TC Wong, 4th Miri. Contributor – Cpt. Yong Soon Fuan, 5th Miri.

MIRI – The Boys’ Brigade in Malaysia, Sarawak Northern Region Council (NRC) held a Basic Non- Commissioned Officer Training Course (BNTS) at Riam Methodist Kindergarten from July 17-19.

Led by 20 Officers and Helpers, 25 members from 1st Bintulu, 2nd Bintulu, 4th Miri, 5th Miri, 6th Miri and 1st Limbang (ages 14 – 17 years) participated.

BNTS aims at developing youth to be a Christ-centered leaders to be equipped with the 3 C’s – Calling, Competency and Character. Participants were encouraged to learn from the BB founder, Sir William Alexander Smith on Pioneer’s Character. Unity, teamwork and humility were emphasized during the course.

Modules like Christian character, communications, how to conduct meetings, presentation skills and planning were taught through interactive activities. Groups also re-converged to reflect on their mistakes made so that lessons could be shared and learned.

Excited on the newly-acquired knowledge of learning, the participants had to experience challenging activities that instilled the elements of discipline and strictness.

The 3D/2N training would be an unforgettable experience for all the participants from Bintulu, Miri and Limbang, as new friendship and bonding were formed.

One of the coaches, Cpt. Roseline Lee (4th Miri) praised the Boys for their patience and resilience. She also expressed concerns on the challenges faced by today’s youth. “Our teenagers must learn to be more self-reliant and understand the consequences of being ignorant. We are surprised that many of them are lacking in life skills like having a sharp eye for observation and doing chores. Our course will definitely equip them with these skills, and also teach them about teamwork, leadership and self-reliance,” said Cpt. Lee.

Camp Commander 5th Miri Cpt. Yong Soon Fuan reiterated that the training course would strengthen leadership skills in every BB Member and Officer. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another – Proverbs 27:17, personally I hope all the participants have learned the key lesson on leadership, that is, a leader develops a leader. Interaction among Members and Officers is one of the unwritten modules that further encourages everyone to stay enthusiastic for the BB ministry. Today the BNTS may have ended but the journey for BB Members and Officers have just started,” summed up Cpt. Yong.

On July 19 all Officers, Helpers and Boys attended the Sunday Worship Service at Gan En Methodist Church. 5th Miri Chaplain (Sponsoring Church – Gan En Methodist) Rev. Tie King Siing closed the training with a prayer followed by lunch served.