Are you a new Secondary student deciding what Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) you should join? Want to join a CCA that is enjoyable but also offers opportunities for you to learn and grow?
You probably heard of the more common ones like Band Ensemble, Netball, Basketball, Robotics… etc. But here’s one I highly recommend – Uniform Groups!
Let us discuss why you should consider joining a Uniform Group and the benefits!
What Uniform Groups Are There?
[Girl Guides Singapore]
Let’s start from the basics; what Uniform Groups can you join? If you plan on participating in one, you must know which ones are accessible and compatible with you.
Here are the Uniform Groups that are available in Singapore:
1. Boys’ Brigade Singapore
2. Girls’ Brigade Singapore
3. Girl Guides Singapore
4. Singapore Scout Association
5. National Cadet Corps
6. National Civil Defence Cadet Corps
7. National Police Cadet Corps
8. Red Cross Youth
9. St. John Brigade
You have to take into consideration what they do and whether you are suitable to join (note that some Uniform Groups are only available to certain gender groups).
What Benefits are There to Joining a Uniform Group?
When you join a Uniform Group, expect to learn a lot from your experience. Believe it or not, Uniform Groups are a great way to develop your character and learn new skills.
Learning new skills
While in a Uniform group, you soon realise that there are many tests, activities, and proficiencies for you to complete during your time in the CCA.
Here are some of the skills you will learn:
1. First Aid
2. Practical life skills (for example, cooking, sewing, camping)
3. Survival skills
4. Organisation and logistics (especially when you have to plan events and camps)
Uniform Groups are known to have a vast array of activities for you to participate in. These activities often present trials that you need to overcome. This actually helps you to build endurance, resilience, and other values. You also need to work with your teams or patrols often, allowing you to foster teamwork and responsibility.
For example, one of such activities is volunteer work which encourages community service. This helps you build empathy and consideration for others while also giving you a chance to work with others.
There are many ranks and leadership positions available to you in the company. For example, there are leadership opportunities in every patrol in Girl Guides, like the Patrol leaders and Patrol Seconds. By getting the chance to be a leader, you also learn to take responsibility for your patrol, learn to lead them, and communicate with them.
Are There Any Downsides to Joining a Uniform Group?
There are two sides to a coin, and it is the same for Uniform Groups. While you get to enjoy camping out or setting up campfires, there are some things to note if you join a Uniform Group.
In Uniform Groups, you are expected to participate in strenuous activities like foot drills (marching).
For those of us who lead a less active lifestyle, the sudden increase in physical activity might cause us to overexert our bodies, resulting in injuries.
Work out daily to avoid this, and don’t wait for your CCA session to exercise. This also applies if you are in other CCAs as well.
With a uniform-clad in belts, badges, and sashes, it isn’t surprising that you might need to spend a little more than you planned to. Fret not, though, as I have a few ways to save your wallet (or your parent’s wallet).
1. Borrow old uniforms from your seniors
2. Get your hair accessories from dollar stores
3. Check the Den (CCA room) for any extra pieces of Uniform like belts, scarfs, badges, and shoes
4. Bulk buy with the rest of your company
Low DSA options
Direct School Admissions (DSA) is where students like us can use our CCAs and recreation to apply to a school of our choice, without using grades.
However, with Uniform Groups, you might not be able to get into a school with DSA. This is because many Uniform Groups discontinue after Secondary School. But there is an exception.
By attaining a leadership position, you can use this leadership to apply to the school of your choice.
Students often choose more well-known CCAs or something that seems less boring. This is why Uniform Groups are less appealing to them because their seemingly military-like regime often makes it appear quite dull.
Considering which CCA you should take up contributes to many factors, like your lifestyle, budget (some CCAs can get quite expensive), and time. But I hope that this article will help you consider taking up a Uniform group as a CCA!