“Queen’s Badge is a symbol of my time with the BB”

Former BB member Jack Haugh looks more in depth into the organisation’s highest award and speaks with a couple of recent recipients… 

With several awards’ presentations taking place since May, a number of young people will have celebrated achieving the highest honour of the organisation; the Queen’s Badge.  Awarded to young adults who excel throughout their time with the B.B. and who demonstrate leadership, commitment, and passion, the award often signals the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood.  For members old and new, the award still holds a very special place in their lives.

“The Queen’s Badge recognises and rewards the substantial time and commitment that a boy has devoted to the B.B.”  Remarks Frazer Kennedy, once of 7th Airdrie (now 6th/7th Airdrie), who divides his time between a medical degree at the University of Glasgow and his part-time work.  “The Queen’s Badge built upon the characteristics forged by the wider B.B of self-confidence, discipline, and obedience.  It represents an involvement and dedication that the individual has had to give for their wider community, demonstrated through the voluntary hours required to achieve the award.”  For Frazer, this involved work both within his Church, where he would help with the running of community coffee mornings, and at the local autistic unit.  “Both (of these experiences) aided my awareness of the need for a strong community spirit, which I think many teenagers may not understand.”

And the experience of Frazer is one mirrored by thousands of B.B members, with Euan Robb, formerly of 4th Carluke, effusive in his acknowledgement of the award.  “The Queen’s Badge means a lot of different things to me, but I would say that it has become a symbol of my time spent with the B.B.”  Having recently attended the Church of Scotland General Assembly, Euan proudly adorned his Queen’s Badge pin during the debate.  “It seems surreal that the B.B was one of the only constants in my life from five until eighteen and the badge is a reward for committing my life over a number of years.”

“I still use the skills developed during my time in the B.B on a daily basis, particularly the skills in relation to working with the Anchor Boys.”  Now studying for a degree in Theology from University of the Highlands and Islands, Euan’s relationship to the B.B and the Church remains as strong as it ever was.

Whereas Frazer and Euan have both moved on from the B.B, many of this year’s Queen’s Men still remain very much an active part of their companies.  Callum McDonald of 3rd Airdrie has grown up in the B.B and this culminated in the award of his Queen’s Badge in May of this year.  “The Queen’s Badge was a good experience, working with other boys (from different companies) and learning new skills.”

“The award has helped me to find out lots of stuff about myself, and I think the B.B has changed me.  I can now help others without being asked and have learned so much during my time.”  With KGVI (youth leadership course) just over the horizon for Callum, who continues to help out with the Anchor Boys on a weekly basis, the Queen’s Badge and the B.B have turned the once unruly teen into a responsible young adult.

Whilst all three may have tread a very different path in their lives, it seems that they are all agreed on the significance of the Queen’s Badge and of the B.B itself.  “I think The Boys’ Brigade is highly viewed throughout the world because it is somewhere where people can go to feel safe and helps boys through what can maybe be rough backgrounds,” Callum remarks, whose thoughts are seconded by his fellow Queen’s Men.  “As someone who has had a number of interviews over recent years,” recalls Euan, “I believe the B.B, and in particular the Queen’s Badge, is hugely valued by the public.”

Its value to the public and the young adults who attend the B.B can be best demonstrated through the principles of the organisation that have stood the test of several centuries and continue to be the driving force behind it.  “I believe the B.B. plays an important role in instilling Christian values amongst youth.”  Frazer suggests.  “In a society where religion plays a smaller role than ever before, it is crucial that these values and beliefs, which our country is built upon, can still be passed down through generations. From my own experience, without the BB, I may not have been to church at all.”

Find out more about the Queen’s Badge.


Young people attending their Queen’s Badge completion residential at Carronvale House in 2017


Getting off to a good start!

1st/2nd Milngavie Anchor section has seen a really strong membership over the past several sessions.  Val Dunn, Officer-in-charge, offers her take on how best to grow membership…

You might need to begin by contacting your local council education department to get permission to approach the schools.  If not, it’s best to start by getting the names of the head teachers at each local school and  ask if they would be willing to help you by either letting you talk with the kids or putting the leaflets out.  It’s important to be confident, but not pushy especially with the schools – we need their support!

1st-2nd Milngavie picI’d say the best time to go to the schools is in June.  Schools seem to be more relaxed
at this time.  Other important folk to contact are local churches, local newspaper and community magazines.

At training courses, I think it would help to have someone come and talk about things like interacting with schools and parents, visiting homes, and correspondence between home and BB. This has the effect of parents supporting B.B and working together for your members.

We need to go out and attract new members these days – they don’t often just arrive!

1st/2nd Milngavie meets in St Luke’s Church on Balvie Road, Milngavie.

#iamaBBleader because…

David Sneddon is currently the BB Scotland Committee Chair and also a company officer in Bothwell.  David took a moment to reflect on his role as BB leader.

My “BB life” began in the Life Boy team at 1st _DSC0043
Bothwell in 1965.  The Company was fairly small but very vibrant; there was always a buzz on BB night and always plenty of things to do. As a 12 year old, the concept of being well organised, was probably something I didn’t really think about – and yet the Company must have been, as there were activities on 3 nights per week plus sports and competitions most Saturday mornings, and of course Bible Class on a Sunday. Highlights from these times include meeting my friends, Company camps, the expedition hikes, gaining my Queen’s Badge and even the one and only time we won the Battalion drill competition when I was a Boy!

I became a BB leader, like many other people, because I wanted to share what I had enjoyed in the BB with the next or possibly even future generations.

As a young leader I learned a great deal from the other officers, not only at 1st Bothwell, but also officers in other Companies – especially my peers as we completed our Officers’ Basic Training together. One particular highlight as a young leader was how early the Captain and seniors gave me their trust as I was allowed to organise and lead weekends away for our N.C.Os as part of their leadership training.

Thistle ServiceI have served in many different roles both in Hamilton and District Battalion and within the Lanarkshire District Fellowship, learning all the time and sharing marvellous experiences with young people from around the county and from across Scotland.

Every organisation I have ever worked in has had its own hierarchy and structure. The Scotland Committee of the BB takes an overview of all BB work in Scotland and aims to support Battalions around the country to provide the best support which they in turn provide to the local Companies.

In my time on the Committee I have been privileged to work along-side many talented people on a variety of “work groups”. It is also my privilege to be the current Chairman of the Scotland Committee, which I see as not just the task of chairing the regular meetings, but also representing the BB in Scotland at appropriate events to promote the BB or to share views and ideas with our kindred organisations.

Being the Chairman of the Scotland Committee sounds very important; it is however simply a job that needs to be done. My first and most important job is still to work with our young people in Bothwell – I particularly enjoy working with the seniors and young leaders and hope to continue to try to offer them the opportunities and experiences which I have enjoyed through membership of the BB.

Given my experiences and my passion for BB, the statement “I am a BB leader because”, for me should read “I am still a BB leader because”, even after 50+ years’ service in the BB!

Find out more about the #iamaBBleader campaign here and learn more about BB volunteering on our website.

#BB15for2015 – Question number nine!

Below is the latest (and final) question in Fifteen for 2015’s Trivia section.  You can still join up by registering here!number nine

Many companies and battalions are running events in the run up to
Christmas.  We are used to braving the cold winter weather at this special time of year, but can you think of countries (at least one) where BB companies will be celebrating Christmas during their summer time?

Make sure to keep a note of all your answers and send these with submissions from the other fourteen challenges to 15for2015@boys-brigade.org.uk

If you’ve got any questions, please email 15for2015@boys-brigade.org.uk

#BB15for2015 – Question number eight!

Below is the latest question in Fifteen for 2015’s Trivia section.  You can still join up by registeringhere!eight


Thanks to BB companies across Scotland, The BB/Church of Scotland World Mission Fund has raised millions of £s for projects overseas and last year raised money for an anti-bullying project in the Caribbean.

What is the name of this year’s project?   

Keep a note of your answers for the final submission of your challenge at
the end of the year!

If you’ve got any questions, please email 15for2015@boys-brigade.org.uk

#BB15for2015 – Question number seven!

Below is the latest question in Fifteen for 2015’s Trivia section.  You can still join up by registering here!


Born on December 31st 1941, he is one of The Boys’ Brigade’s most recognisable ex-members, but what’s his name?

Keep a note of your answers for the final submission of your challenge at the end of the year!

If you’ve got any questions, please email 15for2015@boys-brigade.org.uk

#BB15for2015 – Question number six!

Below is the latest question in Fifteen for 2015’s Trivia section.  You can still join up by registering heresix

In 2014, a group of BB seniors and young leaders from Scotland broke the World Record for doing what?

Keep a note of your answers for the final submission of your challenge at the end of the year!

If you’ve got any questions, please email 15for2015@boys-brigade.org.uk