to repeat takes character.

This post is originally an email sent to all teachers after a repeat victory in a national competition by the school’s Boys’ Brigade (BB), a Christian co-curricular activities organisation for students…

3:50p.m., 19 March 2016 (Sat)
St. Hilda’s Secondary School Canteen Team

Debrief after Boys’ Brigade Adventure Quest (AQ) 2016

“Y’all look happy. What do you think is your greatest success today?”
“Getting the national championship in AQ?”
“Getting the national championship in AQ… For the second consecutive time?” 
“Having two teams finish in the Top Ten?”
“That we are better versions of ourselves ten weeks ago…?”
“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.”
 – Legendary basketball coach John Wooden

Ten weeks ago, 14 Boys from St. Hilda’s Primary School’s 49J Company Boys’ Brigade (BB) set out on what has become a “rite of passage” for Primary 6 Boys in BB: Training for the Boys’ Brigade Adventure Quest – a nation-wide competition pitting 448 Boys in 109 Teams from all over Singapore in a gruelling 3-hour obstacle course race under the blistering 34°C Bishan Park heat.

In weekly trainings culminating in an arduous “Bootcamp”, these Boys gave more than their all: they pushed beyond what they individually thought they could.
Some eyes welled up. Some blisters developed.
Some couldn’t feel their little toes anymore…

But what did they learn?

Believing that the person beside you will never let you falter, and that you are responsible in upholding that belief from another.
“The name on the back of your PE T-Shirt is BIGGER than the one above your crest for a reason!”
Understanding that until the last straggling member crawls, sprawls or rolls past the finish line, no one has achieved anything. 
“Go back there and finish it with him! You’re only done when everyone is! No one gets left behind!”
Having belief in one’s own skills and the presence of mind to execute with precision even though the body screams stop.
“Why, why, why? Shagged cannot think ah? You know this, man!”
As a byproduct of their increased stature in character, they achieved something no other Boys’ Brigade Company has done before:
Of course, the “real Adventure Quest” is not a one-Saturday event.
The real Adventure Quest is life itself. 
For these group of young men in the final year of their Primary school life, one important station in this Adventure Quest is the upcoming PSLE and the journey of ‘training’ for it. And I’d humbly reckon we as Teachers are perhaps, in some ways, the ‘trainers’ for this station more than academically, but more importantly in what will last for the rest of the Adventure Quest: Character.
If these Boys are in your class, please, and by all means, hold them accountable to what they have learnt and said in this BB Adventure Quest journey.
Especially when they give trouble or “take it easy”, please (not so) gently remind them of the specific words, thoughts and actions they have experienced or exhibited in this BB Adventure Quest process, and to repeat those things in class, because:
To repeat takes character.
And Character derives from Habit;
Habit, from Actions;
Actions, from Words;
and Words, from Thoughts.
 And sometimes,
A little timely reminder of an impactful thought will inspire effort and improvement,
Just like a little thought ten weeks ago
Inspired these Boys to push past their old selves and become champions today:
“To Leave a Legacy in our School”.
My utmost gratitudes to Everyone for your time and thoughts in reading, to fellow Boys’ Brigade Officers for selflessly rendering assistance and prayers to the trainings, and most importantly to God for graciously honouring the Boys’ efforts.
Here’s to an abundant and healthy Term ahead!

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