Debriefing a Company Night

The purpose of debriefing is about identifying things that will improve the experience of BB for your members and not about forcing leaders to answer questions in a legalistic way. Although many thoughts of what should be considered or improved come to most leaders during the night, many will disappear after one leaves the hall. To be more than purely providing entertainment for the young people involved, think about the following questions.

Basic relationships

  • Did any of the leaders talk to any parents tonight?
  • Who was away? Which leader will call them?
  • Were there any new young people tonight? Have we got contact details (name, address & telephone number, and friend who invited him)?

General mood of the night

  • What was fun for the young people?
  • What was boring for the young people?
  • Did any young people leave on a bad note?
  • Were any young people upset during the night? Was it because of other young people, a leader or something else?
  • Did anyone appear to be left out?

People

  • What outstanding behaviours were observed? What good leadership was shown by the young people?
  • What behaviours do we need to take note of? What good behaviours were observed by those who behaved inappropriately?
  • Did any boys mention anything worth sharing with the rest of the leaders about their lives?
  • Which young people didn’t turn up in uniform? And why?
  • What opportunities did we create tonight that allowed and encouraged members to show leadership? Did Seniors and NCOs contribute to the smooth running of the program?

Program

  • Did the program run on time and to plan? Did all the leaders get there before the program started?
  • How did every program segment go tonight?
  • Did anything interrupt the flow of the night? Can it be avoided?
  • Was every one clear about what happened throughout the night?
  • How was the Christian perspective segment (devotions) received tonight?

Venue

  • Was there anything about the venue that could be improved for next week?
  • Was the venue returned to its original state before all leaders left?

Personally

  • Was there anything I would have done differently tonight? Was there anything I learned tonight? What did I enjoy?
  • Which members do /could I encourage more to develop them further next week as a Christian disciple and a valued person more ?
  • How can I pray specifically for certain individual members throughout this week?

Reasons why these questions have value
Apart for helping us identify aspects of how we operate that need to be considered to continue enhancing young people’s experience through the ministry of Brigade, these questions will hopefully provide many opportunities of personal follow-up.
Some of these follow-ups can occur the following week at Brigade, where others will give you opportunities to follow-up during the week. At the core of the ministry of Brigade is about individual involvement in the lives of our members. It’s about letting each member know that others care – a love that is motivated by our love for God.
If you are unsure about how to go about following up young people and their families, talk to your minister or contact the state office.

Basic relationships questions
Although our primary focus is on the young people, we need to also have some relationship with their parents as they are a significant part of their lives. We need to ensure parents feel involved and informed with the program. At least one leader should be greeting parents at the start and close of the night.
Following up on people away is a basic necessity.
Get new people’s contact so you can follow them up and ask what they thought of their time there, and ensure they feel welcome to come back.

General mood of the night questions
Although it’s easy to have knee-jerk reactions to how the young people were like on the night, think overall what we are trying to achieve.If anyone left on a bad note or appeared upset or left out during the night, it’s probably worth a follow-up.
If there is an issue with any of the leaders, this needs to be investigated.
We need to ensure all comments or actions that can be interpreted as a put down are definitely eliminated from all leader behaviours, and minimised by the young people.

People questions
Ensure outstanding behaviours were either recognised during that night, or a comment is made in the following week – either privately or publicly.
It’s important we don’t label individuals as ‘problems’ – although awkward at first, positive behaviours displayed by them can be identified and fed-back to the individual to help them see themselves in a different and more positive light.
We need to allow opportunities for the young people to show leadership and for us to recognise it. The more leadership shown by the members, the less pressured we feel also.

Program questions
A well run program where each program segment just flows into the other without a break, minimises discipline issues and contributes much to keeping the mood of the night high. Try to maintain the things leaders do that ensure it’s smooth running, and minimise anything leaders do that interrupt the flow.

Venue questions
To ensure all in church are happy and that we are minimising physical risks to our members.

Personal questions
Each leader needs to examine these issues privately to help with their own motives and ability to serve. Remember also to think of the members as individuals – each with their own lives and unique value and standing with God.
I don’t think I need to say more about the immense value of pray – apart from you should do it despite whatever excuses you can think of.