I am sharing with you guys how to prepare for NYSC. This guide will as much as possible answer the most FAQs about the 3 weeks orientation camp in a simple yet detailed way. Also, it might be a lengthy post. Grab you a cup of your favorite drink, a pen and paper or better yet.. bookmark it. Lets jump right in
What Is NYSC?
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is an organizations set up by the Nigerian government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country since 1973. Graduates of university and polytechnics are required to take part in the national youth service program for one year. Prospective corp members get posted to states far or different from their state of origin. This program begins with a 3 weeks orientation camp; a military controlled boot camp. It is important to note that this program is not a military conscription.
The 3 weeks orientation camp period aims to help the youths (corp members), develop skill through the skill acquisition programs available in camp, mingle with other youths from different ethnic groups, cultural and social background, in other appreciate and better understand one another culture to develop common tie among the youths and promote national unity. During this orientation period, ‘prospective corp members’ are inducted in a “swearing-in ceremony” after which they become ‘corp members’. At the end of the 3 weeks orientation camp, corp members are assigned to their place of primary assignment. The NYSC closes with a “passing out ceremony” at the end of the Year.
Important Documents you need for NYSC 3 weeks orientation camp.
– Green Card:The first thing that informs your step about NYSC or the 3 weeks camp is your Green card. this is the slip you print after you’ve successfully registered for the NYSC online mobilization. NO! it is not green in color. I remember being confused during my time because a lot of rumors about green card being green came up. The NYSC green card can only br gotten online after submitting your online application. Please, DO NOT forget this and/ any of the documents ill mention below. I saw a lot of people fall out of the registration process or decamped as a result of that. take the original and 5 photocopies with you to your designated camp.
– Call-up Letter: this letter is a proof of document that shows you’ve been signed up for the clarion call. It has your data and other important information. Ensure you read it as it has information of things that you need to take to camp. You need the original and 5 photocopies of this. if you are a medical doctor, pharmacist or an optometrist you are to bring along original of your registration certificate with the Nigerian Medical Council, Pharmacist Board or Optometrist Council and evidence of completion of horsemanship or internship.
– Original statement of result and BVN Number: If you intend to successfully go through the registration process in camp, which is for a period of 2 days, please do not forget any of your original statement of result and 5 photocopies. Nigerian graduates who are foreign trained should take their original statements of result uploaded in addition to your travel documents (international passport) etc for verification. Allowee is the apple of every corper’s eyes. In order to set up to your bank account to receive monthly allowance/allowee, you need your BVN number.
– Institution identity card, 8 passport photographs and medical certificate of fitness: you will need to present your institution identity card, 8 recent passport photograph (ignore those stale gist or rumors about needing 15/20/50 passports. Biko, save your money. You will need it in Mami market. Thank me later!). The medical certificate of fitness is to confirm your physical fitness or lack thereof to fully take part in camp activities. Obtain your medical report from a government/military hospital.
Necessary items you need for NYSC camp.
– White shirts, short, socks, sneakers: I laugh at the memory of me and my friends in these. Depending on what you can afford and how much love hate relationship you have with laundry. You will need at least 7 white shirts, 6 white shorts and 2 white sneakers. I’ll recommend you buy rubber white sneakers. I know, before you smirk at me or think about your swag and all that. It’s cheaper, easy to clean and super comfy.. I mean, half the time you’ll be covered in dust anyway and your fine expensive sneakers will get ruined.
If you are not a fan of laundry you can have each washed for #50 or less depending or how well you bargain with the vendors at Mami market in camp. Also, two pairs of shirts, shorts, socks and a pair of sneakers will be given to you by NYSC in your kit. I can’t promise you it will be of good quality, Get ready! If you’re in Abuja you can get these items in Wuse, Utako, Garki or Karimo if you’re up for some thrift.
– Fanny pack, Mosquito Net, sheets: Guys, my fanny pack was my bff in camp. I couldn’t bear the thought of being without my phone for 3 weeks on account of safety. If you’re in that dilemma of to take or not to take your phone, I say ‘take it’. I wore my fanny pack everywhere guys.. even to bed and bath, put my money and phones in there, that way it was always safe and far from those with light fingers. However, try not to forget it in the bathroom or keep it carelessly. strap up!!
Mosquito net is very important, as mosquitoes in camp are vicious. You can pick up mosquito net from a hospital or supermarket for around #2000 upwards. You’ll also need bed sheets because there is no provision for any in camp. Do not overload your bag in the bid to carry too much, the beds are tiny and depending on what state your camp is.. you might be asked to carry your luggage while frog jumping. During my time, I wasn’t asked to frog jump though. I went to Obubra camp in Cross-River state. I’ll have another post up that will detail my experience there and what to expect.
Cash and padlock: Cash is king in camp. Especially, in camp like mine where there was no ATM machine, we has to get cash from the vendors in Mami market who charged 10% of whatever amount withdrawn. The best way to avoid this or long ATM queues is to carry enough cash and be prudent in spending. For those who do not want to eat from camp kitchen, food cost from 300 upwards. There are a lot of people with light fingers in camp (people who steal any and everything) make sure your stuffs and essentials are safely locked in your box. Try not to lose your key.
– Casual clothes, Toiletries, Water bottle: Fridays and Sundays are worship days. carry some mufti wears with you if thats how you would want to dress to church or mosque, you can wear your white and white to church to. It depends on what you prefer. If you’d like to take part in social night, camp carnival, beauty pageants etc, you need to take along costume or what to wear along.. its possible to get these things from Mami market.. it just might be a little pricey. For those of you who are easily cold or posted to the Northern or cold part of the country; take white sweaters or jacket, because you are not allowed to wear anything other than white sweater or the NYSC Khaki jacket.
Unless you’re lucky to get posted to a new or recently renovated camp. Please, go with your disinfectants, hand sanitizer and antibiotics. I can’t tell you how much Dettol helped me in camp. Most of the toilets and bathrooms are nothing to write home about. Also, what most people don’t tell you is how long you would have to stand under the sun or rain in the parade ground. Get a portable water bottle that you can easily hang on your fanny pack, that way you do not have to get weak from thirst when you are not allowed to leave the parade ground. Make sure you get comfortable shoes that are not tight.
Survival Tips for camp.
So, now that you have gotten your call up letter and you’re getting ready to go to your deployed states here are a few tips survival tips that helped me in camp and on days when I felt defeated or just wanted get it over and done with .
– Join a WhatsApp group of the state you’ve been posted to or send out a tweet or Instagram post asking those who got posted to same place as you to retweet or send a DM. This methods worked for me. You just might find yourself in the same flight or bus with a new buddy on your way to camp.
– Early does it. Go to camp early, start your registration early, try your best wake up early to have your bath or use the loo while it is still clean or outside before the morning light comes up. The famous ‘beagle’ goes off at 4am. You are expected up and ready by 4:30 – 5am for morning meditation. Waking up early will enable skip any squabble with the camp administrators army and civilians alike.
– acquaint yourself with the camp schedule. that way it will be easy to plan your day around the schedule knowing when you can have your me time ( you will have very little ‘me’ time. After camp you will appreciate privacy some more. I know I do). Usually, the beagle is a call to action. You wake at 4am to get ready for meditation, after which morning drills and exercise, breakfast and rest, orientation or SAED lectures which can go on for as long as 5 hours, lunch and siesta, evening drills, dinner and rest, social activities and lights out.
– Put yourself out there and mingle. Mix up with people from your platoon, be courteous to staffs and administrators, join committees like: Lecture committee, sanitation committee, Res cross, Socials, Camp band, OBS (orientation broadcasting service) they are responsible for dissemination of information and entertainment in camp. I was a member of OBS in camp and I enjoyed it.. I got to meet new people and made friends; even bonded with some. We were like a family and there was never a dull moment. A few pros of belonging to committees like this are; you have chances of better posting, committee activities or meetings held during parade could excuse you from draining hours of drills, You get to make friends and be part of a family.
–You didn’t get posted to the state of your choice? Not to worry, Go anyway. Have fun and create memories, bond with people. You can redeploy. Just make sure to start early if you have someone working it from outside camp, if you do not.. get the redeployment form in camp and let them know why you should redeploy. Redeployment could be on health, marital or other grounds. Married women, nursing mothers and physically challenged have nothing to worry about. You can leave after complete registration in camp and you’ll be redeployed to the state where your spouse resides. Make friends!! However, do not throw caution to the wind. abstaining from sex for 3 weeks won’t kill you. Lol!
– Keep your kitchen card safe whether you eat from camp kitchen or not, the first two allowances you get in camp before you are given your ID card can only be collected with your kitchen card. Explore Mami wisely… do not spend lavishly! As much as you can, get all your essentials before camp. You’re not allowed outside the camp and things might be double the price at Mami market. Go with a power bank, chances are there would be little power supply. If you do not have #50 to shell out for every time you charge, you need to manage your battery and use a power bank. Torch light for late night movement. Write your state code with a marker on your stuffs for easy identification.
There you have it. The ultimate guide on how to prepare for NYSC and answers to FAQs about the 3 weeks orientation camp. in two days I will blog on my 3 weeks orientation camp personal experience as a Corper in Obubra Cross River State. Feel free to leave me your questions or experience in the comment section. I’ll try my best to give you insightful answers.