Background to the Boys’ Brigade
For over 125 years, The Boys' Brigade has reached out to millions of children & young people. Today they are passionate about partnering with churches to build bridges into local communities and engage a generation of children & young people with a message of hope rooted in Jesus.
Through The Boys’ Brigade children & young people (aged 5 to 18+) get involved in local churches by means of weekly groups, residentials, special events, community involvement and training programmes. These activities are led by thousands of volunteers who are trained and supported to work as effective children’s & youth workers in a Christian context. Whilst BB work in the UK and Ireland, they are part of a worldwide organisation set up and run to reach over one million children & young people all over the world.
Their programmes cater for the varied interests of all children & young people. They are all aimed at having fun, but have a special focus on developing individual potential, getting involved in the community, providing opportunities to be listened to and have a say, and recognising achievement.
The Boys’ Brigade in Stoke sub Hamdon
Here at St Mary’s we have the Second Stoke sub Hamdon Boys’ Brigade, which has been running since 2000, and meets every Thursday in All Saints’ Hall, led by Ian Rumbelow and Elaine Seabrook and supported by a team of helpers from St Mary’s Church. The Junior Section, for boys aged from 7 to 11 meets from 6.00 to 7.30pm, then the Company Section for older boys from 11 to 16 meets from 7.30 to 8.45pm.
On a typical evening they will do games/sport; badgework; activities to encourage teamwork; a time of worship possibly in the form of a talk or a wordsearch or a quiz; art or craftwork.
Other activities include walks in the dark which are very popular!; challenge evenings; fire lighting; den building; art nights; club nights; hare & hounds; wide games on Ham Hill; potted sports night; fun sessions at swimming pool; BBQ.
The boys join with other companies in Somerset for area activities such as the swimming competition; 5-a-side football; unihock; team games; quiz teams; cross country; table tennis league; sports day in the summer.
Badges are earned through the programme of activities and awarded at the end of the year. There is a weekly team trophy as well as a termly inspection award to the boy with the highest inspection marks.
In the summer Ian and Elaine (and other helpers) take around a dozen of the boys on holiday to Swanage for six days, sleeping in a church hall. They usually manage a barbecue on the beach as well as visits to local attractions such as Splashdown, and walks in the local area. They join their host church for worship on the Sunday morning.