It is a well known fact that the key to a wonderful NYSC camp experience is adequate preparation. Not knowing exactly what to prepare for could ruin your camp experience. In this post, I will show you what your first-day experience in NYSC camp will be like and what to expect.
First, please get used to being called ‘otondo’. If anyone calls you ‘otondo’, answer the person because that will be your new name. To know the meaning of otondo it is recommended you read meaning of otondo in NYSC camp.
For now, let’s delve into the main topic, “first-day experience in NYSC camp, and what to expect”. To make camp life easier and smoother for you, I took the time to write this piece. We shall begin by looking at the 4 cardinal points of NYSC:
The Four (4) Cardinal Points of NYSC
1. The Orientation Camp Exercise
2. The Place of Primary Assignment (PPA)
3. The Community Development Service (CDS)
4. The Passing Out Parade (PPA)
These are the four (4) cardinal points of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Every Corps member must pass through these points before being awarded the NYSC Discharge Certificate.
However, our topic revolves around the first cardinal point, which is the NYSC orientation camp. 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, orientation camp address, date to report to camp, and other important information will be stated.
You’ll spend 21 days in the NYSC camp. After the 21 days in camp, you will be posted to a Place of Primary Assignment (2nd cardinal point).
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 with the view that it will reduce stress. I don’t buy the idea at all.
Reporting late could deprive you of many opportunities and could cause emotional trauma. Moreover, camp life is about the survival of the fittest. Also, there used to be good reservations for early birds.
Speaking from my own camp experience, I arrived at camp a day before the camp was officially opened. It helped me secure a good hostel, bunk, and mattress.
The following day, which is the official opening day, I woke up early, dressed up, and went straight to the physical verification and registration point. My registrations were smooth and seamless because I prepared for it.
My advice is for you to go to camp a day before the official camp opening date, especially if you are posted to a far place.
NYSC Camp experiences and what to expect
Here comes our main topic. To make it easier and simple, I will break it into parts.
PART ONE – Arriving At the NYSC Camp
Preliminary verification starts right at the NYSC entrance gate. Your NYSC Call-up letter will serve as your ‘gate entry pass’. After checking your call-up letter, you will be directed to a police post where they will check your luggage. After they clear you at the gate, they will give you a book to write down your name and a unique number.
The number is very important, as that would be used for subsequent verification. Note: Always have your documents ready and handy at every registration point to avoid embarrassment.
PART TWO – Accommodation Stand
After being cleared and given a tag number, proceed to a point where you would be given a hostel and bed space. At the accommodation stand, provide the number you collected at the entrance gate.
A book will 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 the corresponding bunk. If you fight another person over a bunk, the book you wrote your name in at the accommodation stand will be used to determine the real owner of the bunk.
Note: Do not expect comfort in the NYSC camp. Almost all the available mattresses are too dirty, flat, and some are even bedbug-infested. Some mattresses in the NYSC camp are up to 30 years old, much older than you, can you imagine!
PART THREE – Physical Registration
After getting accommodation, the next thing is registration and documentation. 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, a meal ticket will be given to you. Make sure you don’t lose your meal ticket because there is no replacement. NYSC will feed you three times per day; morning, afternoon, night.
Also, a very big tag number that will serve as your identity through your stay in camp will be given to you. They will make it look like an ID card. You are mandated to always wear the tag around your neck every time, even while sleeping.
The last digit on the tag indicates your platoon. i.e. 3045, 0569, 6340, etc., indicates platoon 5, platoon 9, and platoon 10, respectively. If the last digit is “0”, it’s platoon 10.
PART FOUR – Kit Collection and Platoon Registration
After registration, they will assign a platoon for you (tag number indicates your platoon as 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 platoon registration and collection of your kits.
This can be the most annoying stage, as you are likely to be given oversized items. The shoes, khaki, etc., can be bigger or smaller than you. But if you register on time, you will have more chances of getting your size. I guess that is one of the advantages of coming to camp early.
PART FIVE – Bank Account Opening
Every Corps member must open a new bank account in the NYSC orientation camp for the payment of NYSC allowance. So, make sure you go to camp with your BVN because it’s required.
Also, your name on BVN should correspond to your name on your NYSC documents. After opening an account, put on your NYSC kit immediately and run to the parade ground.
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