13th September 2017

BB Juniors Celebrate 100 Years

(from www.lifeandwork.org)

 

The Boys’ Brigade (BB) is this month celebrating a centenary of working with the 8-11 age group.

The first sections of what was initially called the Boy Reserves were established in September 1917. They became known as the Life Boys in 1926 and the Junior Section (now often just ‘the Juniors’) in 1966.

To celebrate the anniversary, every Junior Section is being encouraged to hold a birthday party this month, and have also been challenged to use the celebration to invite friends to join. Throughout the year, the Juniors have been taking part in the Juniors 100 Challenge, a set of 100 individual and team challenges including 'taking part in a world record attempt’, ‘learning basic first aid skills’, ‘raising £100 for a local charity’ and ‘trying out a new sport’. 

A ‘Looking Back’ resource celebrating the history of the Juniors notes that the first Boy Reserve Manual, published in 1918, included thirty different drill movements and only ten possible children’s games. By the time of the second edition, published in 1923, there were thirty-four different games, and drill had been reduced to a bare minimum.

59 Boy Reserves sections were formed during the 1917-18 session, of which 25 are still running today. In the early days of the Boy Reserves there was a noticeable increase in attendance at Sunday School in those churches which had adopted the section and the number of Companies operating a Boy Reserves quickly started to grow.

At its height in the 1970s, the Junior Section numbered over 70,000 boys in nearly 3000 sections; and there are still over 16,000 children involved in 1300 sections today.


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