WHAT EVERY YOUTH CORPER SHOULD KNOW BEFORE LEAVING FOR NYSC ORIENTATION CAMP
It’s another service year, and we at the Nigerian Campus Forum are determined to make sure every prospective NYSC corps member is adequately prepared for the year long national assignment.
We will begin this article with a brief introduction to the NYSC service year. The service year comprises of four (4) main segments in which every Corps Member must satisfactorily participate before he/she is qualified to be issued a certificate of National Service.
- Orientation Courses.
- Primary Assignment.
- Community Development Service.
- Winding – Up / Passing – Out.
The service year starts with the Orientation Course which is seen by many as the most important and enjoyable part of being a corper.
The orientation course lasts for three (3) weeks with so many activities lined-up for the benefit of the new corps members (Otondos). It opens with a swearing-in / opening ceremony presided over by the executive Governor of various States or the FCT Minister, for those posted to the capital city, Abuja. The oath of Allegiance and the National Pledge are administered by the Chief Judge of the State / FCT.
The orientation course content involves physical training, drills, lectures on the people and tradition of the host State, professional lectures for Corps health personnels, lawyers, teachers and Skill acquisition training e.t.c. Corps members participate in social activities designed to create opportunities for them to interact. They participate in dance and drama competitions, Miss NYSC and Mr Macho.
They also participate in inter platoon competitions on football, volleyball, table tennis, cooking and sanitation. Corps members are also trained on Man ‘O’ War activities leading to competitions on inter platoon drills and tug of war.
These activities culminates with the Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) posting for corps members at the end of the three weeks, with of course your first taste of “allowie” payment currently N19,800.00 only. This is when you can graduate from being an “Otondo” to “Ajuwaya”.
Quick Tips and Advice For Youth Corpers Before Leaving For Orientation Camp:
Below is an itemized 20 quick tips to enjoying your NYSC service year;
- There are washer men and women available at your disposal for mostly the Aje-butter children and those who do not want to stress themselves. I can proudly say I used them. Registration stops 12 midnight preceding swearing –in day.
- Never forget to wear your cap.
- You would be given your meal ticket. Never misplace it. I actually never used mine till end of camp.
- I never knew what otondos meant ==MUMU.
- Adjustment of clothes: You definitely have to adjust your khaki given, no one escapes this. Make sure you do this on time and also make sure you follow those tailors up if not you would be given flimsy excuses. Ensure you negotiate price for adjustment very well. They think you have money to waste.
- You would meet different types of human beings the crazy, spoilt, razz, dirty, complicated, stupid,… holy, party, drunk, beautiful, ugly, different tribes etc. Be open-minded and smile at someone. New friends! The truth of the matter is, you shouldn’t go through camp alone.
- Read your call up letter thoroughly both back and front.
- Just have enough t-shirts and shorts to wear throughout the week because some camps, the activities are time consuming leaving little or no time for you during the week till weekend.
- You will be fed three times a day in camp, but the food is barely edible. The kitchen is run by incredibly hard working women who are assisted by fellow otondos from different platoons assigned to the kitchen for each meal.
- If you are someone who loves to eat good food, or you don’t want to have the mammy feel, no problem just come loaded to camp with provisions. Like cereals and beverages, garri, biscuits etc. You should also hold extra cash to eat at the Mammy market, you will get good food there and won’t spend much to eat well, and the price however depends on the state to which you have been posted.
- There are places available where you can charge your batteries at the camp market.
- Always fetch water down for the next morning. You can be shocked that water supply might finish before it gets to your turn and that’s the end for you. As for drinking water you either bought pure water or bottled water; there was no free drinking water whatsoever.
- Ladies try not to go with heavy or synthetic hair to avoid excess heat and time to care for it. You could advisable make short hair to avoid heat and save time, I did a short hair which lasted me three weeks, braids is also advisable, don’t do lace wig or even fringe.
Also Read => THINGS YOU MUST NOT FORGET TO TAKE TO NYSC CAMP.
- Pocket Money: The question is “How much money do you really need for the NYSC Orientation Course, you will be paid a N1,500 allowance once you arrive the NYSC camp and also another one (first ALLAWI) after some days on camp. if you intend to drink and hang out at the Mami market, then you can take more money depending on how much you can finish, be wise though!
- Just be prepared to wait in line for EVERYTHING.
- The bathrooms and toilets are nothing to write home about. It is always dirty and terrible in fact if not careful disease could be contacted. Well some ladies don’t know about guys, had buckets for the sole purpose of relieving themselves with what I can call ‘pit bucket’.
- Do not dare the soldiers, some can be ruthless and you know they have authority to deal with you in name of discipline.
- Always switch your phones off or put them on silent while on parade ground. Just don’t bring it out, it could be seized and destroyed not minding if it’s a blackberry z10.
- The accommodation was something else. Rooms were jam-packed with little or no space to pass and walk freely. I had up to 60 roommates if not more. It was always stuffy, dirty and ventilation was poor.
- There are fellowships for Christians and Muslims. The 3 recognized associations are NCCF (NIGERIAN CHRISTAIN CORPERS FELLOWHIP), NACC (ANGLICAN) and MCAN (MUSLIM CORPERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA). But there were others like Redeemed, Winners, catholic, Christ embassy and deeper life. So you could make your choice. Also they have morning devotions and weekly service.
Don’t forget to Read => THINGS YOU MUST NOT FORGET TO TAKE TO NYSC CAMP.
Overall, the NYSC camp was fun and I met a lot of people and I can say it was worth it was well worth it. It is an experience every Nigerian should have. It was the best 3 weeks of my life.
We will be here waiting to see you again with your comments and experiences on camp.
Till then wishing you a successful NYSC YEAR. May you all go and come in peace and not in pieces.