Questions and Answers

Who can join?

The Boys’ Brigade is open to 5 to 18 year olds – no matter what your background. Most BB local groups (Companies) are also able to cater for special needs.

What are the sections in BB?

Most Boys’ Brigade groups have three sections:

  • Anchors – 5 to 7 year olds
  • Juniors – 8 to 12 year olds
  • Seniors – 12 to 18 year olds

What do we do at BB?

Each local group (Company) varies in what they call a ‘normal night’ during the week or on weekends. It also varies for the different Sections. Usually the night will contain segments on games, learning new skills, developing friendships, and promoting a positive outlook on life.

What other activities are there to enjoy?

Depending on the age group, BB often has camps, hikes, canoe trips, abseiling, parties, outings, visits, and local and state-wide competitions throughout the year.

What about awards and badges?

Each Section offers the opportunity to earn many awards and badges. There are badges for improving in areas of learning new skills, doing a hobby, developing physically, improving friendships, etc. There are badges for being committed to BB, and understanding about BB. There are also awards for special achievements – like being a good leader, looking after others and even saving people’s lives.

Why ‘Boys’ Brigade?

There are just times when it is good to be with other guys. Historically BB was started to work with boys only and a lot of the Boys feel more comfortable doing certain things with just other Boys.

Many BB Companies also have a Girls’ Brigade Company operating in the same place with similar programs available for the girls.

Why do we wear uniforms?

Uniforms show that we belong to a group and we are proud of that group. The uniform of BB takes various forms and the local company will have one of the options for everyone to wear.

Why do we meet in a church/school?

Each Brigade Company is part of the overall Children and Youth ministry of the church, with the church appointing and encouraging the leaders, and underwriting finances and resources. This also gives the Company a place to meet and run week night programs. Brigade groups are also in a church because they are pretty good places to be and have other programs to meet the needs of whole families.

How did BB start?

BB was started in 1883 in Glasgow, Scotland by William Alexander Smith, a Sunday School teacher and ‘army reserve’ Officer. There wasn’t much available for Boys to do. He wanted to teach Boys how to get more out of life, as well as give them lots of fun and challenging things to do. BB started in Australia in Melbourne in 1890.

How big is BB?

Not only are there BB Companies all over Australia, but there are BB Companies all over the world – in practically every country. This means that BB members in Australia also become members of a world-wide organisation of over 750,000 young people. There have been millions of Boys and men since 1883 who have been involved in BB. In fact, Scouts, Girl Guides, Girls’ Brigade, and many other youth organisations came out of the original BB program started back more than as century ago.

Is it like Scouts?

Back in history Scouts started out of BB with Baden-Powell (Scouts founder) being a close friend of BB founder William Smith. The two organisations became separate but parallel their approach to working with Boys and youth. There are many similarities between the two organisations. We both have a uniform and many similar activities. Both can earn many awards and badges by getting involved in the program. We both also provide a balanced program in all areas of life- socially, physically, educationally and spiritually. BB is mostly based in churches and schools using the resources and leaders from the church. BB also tends to have a stronger focus on an understanding the Christian faith through the development of friendships, leadership and self-discipline.

Do we have a motto or object?

We have both!

Our motto is “Sure and Stedfast “. It comes from a verse in the Bible (Hebrews 6:19) which talks about the hope we have in Jesus Christ. The spelling of “Stedfast ” comes from the ‘King James’ version of the Bible written back in the time when BB started.

Our object is: “The Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-respect and all that tends towards a True Christian Manliness.”