First day experience in NYSC camp – what to expect

The key to a wonderful NYSC camp experience is adequate preparations. Not knowing exactly what to prepare for could ruin your NYSC camp experience. In this post, I am going to show you what your first day experience in NYSC camp will be like and what you should expect.

The information you are about to read on this page is crucial for your survival in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation camp. You need to read this post to the end, so that you won’t go there and mess up things for yourself.

For those of you who have completed their NYSC online registration, I say congratulations to you! Please, get used to be called ‘otondo’.

If anyone calls you ‘otondo’, answer the person because that is your other name in case you don’t know. Please, don’t ask me for the meaning of the name because I myself don’t know, maybe you should ask soldiers when you get to camp.

For now, let’s go into the main topic of this post which is, “first day experience in Camp, and what to expect”.

To make things easier and smooth for you, I squeezed out time to write this piece of awesome article, it is all for you. Read it very carefully so that you won’t miss out the vital part.

The Four (4) Cardinal Points of NYSC

It’s important you understand that NYSC as a scheme has Four(4) Cardinal Points, viz;

  • The Orientation Camp Exercise
  • The Place of Primary Assignment (PPA)
  • The Community Development Service (CDS), and
  • The Passing Out Parade (PPA)

These are the four(4) cardinal points of NYSC that every Corps member must pass through before his/her National service can be said to be completed.

Our today’s topic is revolving round the first cardinal point, so let’s go there!

Your journey to the NYSC orientation camp starts after receiving your NYSC Call-up letter.

In your call-up letter, the state you are posted to, Orientation camp address, Date to report and other important information will be clearly stated. You’ll spend 21 days in the NYSC camp, which after you would be posted to a Place of Primary Assignment (2nd cardinal point).

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During the camp period, the Nigerian soldiers and other officials will be with you in camp to train you. After the 21 days in camp, soldiers will return to barracks, NYSC officials to offices and ‘otondos’ to Places of Primary Assignment (PPA).

Best Time To Report To Camp

Some people believe that it is better to report to camp on the 2nd or 3rd day after the camp official opening date, mostly with the view that it would help reduce too much stress, but that is not true if you ask me! I don’t by the idea at all. In fact reporting late could deprive you of so many good things, and could cause emotional trauma.

Moreover, camp life is about the survival of the fittest, and there used to be good reservations for early birds.

Speaking from my own camp experience, I arrived to camp a day before the camp was official opened, it helped me to secure good hostel, bunk and mattress. The following day which is the official day the camp would open. I woke up early, dressed up and went straight to the physical verification and registration point. My registrations were smooth as I really prepared adequately for camp activities. My advice is for you to go to camp a day before the official camp opening date, especially if you are posted to far a place.

NYSC Camp experiences and what to expect.

To make it easier and simple, we are going to break it down into parts.


Arriving At the NYSC Camp: Preliminary verification starts right at the NYSC entrance gate. At the entrance gate, your NYSC Call-up letter would serve as your ‘gate entry pass’, the security at the gate after checking your call-up letter would direct you to a police post where your luggage would be checked as to make sure you do not bring in restricted items. After that, they would give you a book to write down your name. After you have written your name, you would be given a tag number. That number is very important as you would need it for subsequent verification.

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Note: Always have your documents ready and handy at every registration point as to avoid embarrassment.


Accommodation stand: So, after being cleared and given a tag number, you are to immediately proceed to a point where you would get hostel and bed space. Those at the police post will direct you to that point. At the accommodation stand, you would be asked to provide the number you collected at the entrance gate. A book would be given to you to write your name, the serial number corresponding to your name is your bunk number, copy it out. At this point, you would be directed to a room to pick up a mattress. After picking up a mattress, take the mattress to a bunk which correspond to your serial number. If you fight another person over a bunk, that book you wrote your name at the accommodation stand would be used to determine the real owner of the bunk.

Note: Do not expect comfort! In fact, almost all the available mattresses are too dirty, flat and some infested with bedbugs and other insects. Some mattresses are up to 30 years; older than yourself! (Lol)


Registration: After getting accommodation, the next thing is registration and documents verification. You should make sure that all the documents needed in camp are intact to avoid embarrassment. The officials will check the original of your Statement of results and other required documents. After registration, meal ticket will be given to you. Make sure you don’t loss your meal ticket because there is no replacement for that, and only the meal ticket gives you access to camp food. NYSC will feed you three times per day; morning, afternoon, night. Also, a very big tag number that would serve as your identity through your stay in camp will be given to you. They will make it to look like ID card, you are mandated to always wear the tag around your neck every time even while sleeping. The last digit on the tag is indicates your platoon. i.e. 3045, 0569, 634etc, indicates platoon 5, platoon 9 and platoon 10, respectively.

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In case where the last digit is “0” it is platoon 10.


Kit collection and platoon registration: After being registered, you would be assigned a platoon as we explained above. Use the last digit of your tag to identify your platoon. So, after knowing your platoon, head straight to your platoon stand for registration and collection of your kits. This can be the most annoying stage as you are likely to be given over size. The shoes, khaki etc can be bigger or smaller than you. But those that registered on time have more chances of getting their size. I guess that is one of the advantages of coming to camp early.


Bank Account Opening: Every Corps members must open a new bank account in the NYSC orientation camp for the payment of NYSC allowance. So, make sure you come to camp with your BVN number because it would be required. Also your name on BVN should correspond to your name on the NYSC documents. After opening account, put on your NYSC kit immediately and run to the parade ground.

Updated: June 14, 2019 — 11:48 am

The Author


I'm a webmaster, a blogger and an internet entrepreneur by the mind. I graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, served Nigeria in 2016 as NYSC member. Feel free to contact me if you need my assistance.


Add a Comment
  1. What group can one join in the camp to aid a paying or better ppa

    1. OBS, Red cross, etc

  2. oluwaleye oluwaseyi

    Hi, thanks for d piece of advice. Will I be allowed to stay in d camp if I go a day to the official opening of camp and also on d official opening will I have to carry my belongings to d gate for checking.

    1. Why not! You will be allowed.

      1. Thanks for the piece of information highly appreciated.

        Though a final year student

        But please this has been bordering me; on my jamb admission letter after regularisation, its showing that I deed matriculation 2015 instead of 2014 would that affect me during registration/documentation?

        1. It won’t affect you

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