NYSC CAMP: Things You need for the Camp and My Candid Advice to You.

NYSC CAMP: Things You need for the Camp and My Candid Advice to You.

I don't need a soothsayer to tell me that I have prospective corps members in the house, and in this article, I will be telling you what you need for the forthcoming NYSC orientation camp. I will as well advise you on what to do in order to make your camping and service year most memorable.

The NYSC scheme (which was established on May 22, 1973 by General Yakubu Gowon) has four (4) main programmes. All corps members are expected to actively participate in these programmes before they can be awarded their NYSC discharge certificates. 

These four programmes are:
  • NYSC Orientation Course.
  • Primary Place of Assignment (PPA).
  • Community Development Service (CDS).
  • Passing Out Parade (POP).
1. The NYSC Orientation Course
The NYSC orientation course is the most important among the four cardinal programmes of the scheme because it is a prerequisite for becoming a bonafide corps member. In other words, for a prospective corps member to be certified as a corps member, he/she must attend the orientation course.

I call it the holiest of all the programmes. The reason is that you can maneuver the other three programmes but you dare not try it with this. Even if you don't like your state of deployment, you must, first of all, attend the orientation course.

The NYSC orientation course is held in all the NYSC camps in the 36 states of the federation. It usually lasts for three weeks with varieties of mind-blowing activities that will make you say, "The camping shouldn't end".

Some of the most important exercises that take place in the orientation camp are:

a. Registration of prospective corps members
Aside the online registration you did, you will be required by NYSC to carryout another registration in Camp. The one you did online was for the mobilization while the registration in camp will make you a bonafide corps member.

The requirements for this registration are:
  • Original statement of result or Original result: B.A, B.Sc, HND or its equivalent. Please don't laminate it.
  • Passport photographs (at least eight). You might or might not use them.
  • All NYSC documents you printed out during your online registration.
  • Up-to-date school ID Card.
b. Allocation of Registration Number and NYSC kits to corps members
After you've been successful registered, you will be given your registration number (which carries your state of deployment, batch and serial number) and your NYSC kits. The NYSC kits include:
  • Your NYSC trousers and crested vest.
  • NYSC belt.
  • NYSC face cap.
  • A pair of NYSC jungle boots.
  • A pair of NYSC white sneakers.
  • Two pairs of NYSC socks.
  • A pair of white shorts.
  • A pair of white shirts.
c. The NYSC swearing in/ opening ceremony
This is another important event that takes place in camp. It is in this ceremony that prospective corps members are officially sworn in as corps members. You see why the NYSC orientation course is very important? This occasion is graced with important dignitaries and parades by corps members.

d. The Orientation Course Proper
The opening ceremony officially opens the orientation course which comes with loads of activities. Some of these activities are morning devotion/parade, SAED programmes, Lectures, Miss NYSC, Mr Macho, Miss Big, Bold and Beautiful, Inter platoon competitions, evening parade in preparation for the closing ceremony etc.

Below are some things you will need for the NYSC orientation course/Camp:
  • White shorts and shirts (at least three each). You need them to add to the ones NYSC will give to you.
  • At least another pair of socks except you wanna manage the one NYSC will give you.
  • Waist bag where you can put your phones, keys, money and other valuables so that they don't get stolen. This waist bag should always be attached to your waist even when you are sleeping.
  • At least a pair of white sneakers. NYSC sneakers are not original at all. They easily get damaged. Therefore, it is important you buy at least a pair or two pairs to add to the one NYSC will give to you. You will also need them for CDS meetings.
  • A notebook and pen to take down lecture notes.
  • You can go with your church clothes for Sunday service. Note that your uniform for the three weeks you will be spending in camp is your white shirt (round neck or V-neck) on your white short, with your white sneakers and socks enveloping your legs. The church clothes are for Sunday service. After service, you will be required to appear in camp uniform. You can attend church service with any of your NYSC kits if you like.
  • A torch or any phone that has a torch to enable you see at night.
  • Don't forget to go with your neat underwear. Remember, you are camping for 3 weeks. Make sure you shave the sensitive areas before embarking on this journey.
  • Go with at least the sum of thousand naira (#10,000). I think this will be more than enough when added to the first "alawee" (#19,800) you will be given in camp. You will also be given the sum of #2,500 for your bicycle and transport allowances.
e. Bank registration
This is another important exercise that takes place in camp. For you to get your alawee for the 12 months, you must do this registration. At one point, in course of the orientation course, you will be grouped under different banks according to your registration number to register and open your NYSC allowance account. Endeavour to do this in order to avoid stories that touch the heart.

f. Bonfire Night
This is another fun-filled activity in camp. It is an indication that the orientation course is gradually coming to a close. It precedes the closing ceremony.

g. Closing Ceremony
Anything that has a beginning must surely have an end. This ceremony marks the closing of all camping activities for any batch. Just like the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony is graced with military parades by corps members, prominent dignitaries and other events.

It is on this day that the names of corps members and their Primary Places of Assignment (PPA) will be pasted. While it is a sorrowful day for some, it is a joyful day for others. After the closing ceremony, corps members are taken to their various Primary Places of Assignment (PPA).

2. The Primary Place of Assignment (PPA)
The PPA is another important cardinal programme of NYSC. It is where corps members render their services. It could be a school, ministry, private or public companies etc. For corps members to be eligible for their monthly allowance, they must have their clearance form (for that month) signed by the head of their PPA. It then means that if a corps member fails to render his/her service(s) in his/her PPA, the head of his/her PPA has the right not to sign his clearance form.

3. Community Development Service (CDS)
Corps members, before the end of their service year, are expected to carryout a developmental project in the community they are posted to. In order to achieve this, a CDS meeting, where corps members discuss ways of developing the community they are posted to, is held once a week.

Attendance to this meeting is taken seriously by NYSC officials, especially when you are serving in the state's capital.

4. The Passing Out Parade (POP)
The Passing Out Parade, commonly called "POP", is the last and shortest programme among the four cardinal programmes of NYSC. Only corps members who have actively participated in the first three cardinal programmes are eligible for this programme.

On this day, eligible corps members are given their  NYSC discharge certificates after successfully serving their country, Nigeria.

Things You May Not Like in Camp
These are some of the things you may not like in camp:
  • The late to bed and early to rise routine.
  • The camp food.
  • The early morning and evening parades. No be beans oh! Very rigorous exercises.
  • The SAED lectures which are usually boring. 
  • The NYSC toilets which are usually messed up. 
Even with all these shortcomings, the NYSC orientation course remains the most interesting programme among other cardinal programmes of the scheme.

My Candid Advice to You
1. Endeavour to go with all the things mentioned above.

2. Spend your money wisely. There is a place called "Maami" in camp. It is a big market where you can get almost all the things you want in this world. Most times, Corps members, out of excitement, squander their monies there (including the one they receive in camp). You really need to be financially disciplined in order to overcome this. 

Learn to save because you still have a lot to do with money after the orientation course. You don't know the PPA you will be posted to. Some PPA don't have accommodation, and you might be forced to rent an apartment with your money.

3. Control your libido. Many corps members had been expelled because of sexual activities in camp.

4. Always sleep with one eye opened; otherwise, your properties will disappear. Not all corps members are good; some are thieves.

5. If you want to be posted to the state's capital, don't hesitate to join any of these groups in camp: Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS), NYSC football/sports team, NYSC band, SAED committee. Make sure you are an active member.

6. Sleep early in order to be fit for the next day's tasks.

7. For the guys, do not impress any girl by spending the little you have. There is a awful lot to do with money after the orientation course.

8. Arrive the orientation camp early (even a day before the date) in order to get good bed space and hostel.

9. Keep good company.

10. Be active in all camping activities. It will help you really enjoy your stay in camp.

Hope this post is helpful?

I wish you a fun-filled camp and a most memorable camping experience!