I decided to write this article from my experience at the NYSC Orientation camp because I don’t want prospective Corp Members facing the same kind of hardship I faced before gaining my balance, even though I had lots of friends who are corp members.

Requirements for Registration

Registration is the first and most important thing at the orientation camp, just like at any other place. At the registration point, you are expected to provide the following things:

1. Your final year Student ID card

2. Notification of Result from your School

3. 16 Passport Photographs
4. Your original call-up letter5. Medical certificate or marriage certificate and evidence of change of name. (If you want to apply for re deployment)
Note: you should make at least 10 copies of each.

The forms that will be handed to you are quite easy to fill. Patiently, fill them correctly and attach your passport photographs where required. After registration, you will be issued with your State Code Number, this will be like your PIN throughout your Service Year.

After you have been given your State Code number, you should proceed straight to collect your mattress and your NYSC Kit. During my own time, I collected my bed space before doing my registration and that was my escape from sleeping outside that first night.
This may not be necessary though depending on what state you have been posted to and the number of corps members.
This is because some states have a higher frequency of corp members than others for example Lagos state and Abuja have the highest number of corps members at any given time and you cannot compare these to states like Benue or Yobe.

Personal Needs for NYSC Camp Life

A lot of newly mobilized corps members wonder what to buy and pack for camp when they receive call up letters. Most however pack the wrong items either due to lack of information or wrong perception of their needs.

First, especially for the guys who can’t hold themselves;GET A CONDOM

PREFERABLY ABSTAIN! You’ll meet a lot of crazy guys and gals in camp ready to get down not minding you cash or status but there friends, 3weeks ain too much for you to stay away!

Throughout your stay at the orientation camp, you will only be allowed to wear white t-shirts and shorts; you might not like the ones that will be given to you on camp so you can get those fitted LUX and CHASE DEER brands as long as they are white, your jungle boot and white tennis shoes will be given to you on camp as well; you might also not like it or you might be given one that’s either too big or too small so its advisable to buy a fancy one along (White). You should take 1 or 2 mufti for mosque or church service.

NOTE 1: A list of camp requirements is written at the back of your call up letter so this could also be a guide.

NOTE 2 : Make sure you take extra white t-shirts and shorts to Camp because (1) they are very expensive at the Camp Market called MAMI MARKET (2) you will most likely not have time to wash during the week, you might also be too tired after going through all the Military Parades and Man O War Drills.
So except you are on a camp where wash-men services are available, you might just have to wait until the weekends to wash your whites.

You will also need a waist pouch to keep your valuables and personal items like cash, phones, flashlights, stationary (pen, stapler, gum, small notebook etc)

DO NOT take materials like pressing iron, knife, fork, tin cutter or any kinds of sharp objects to the camp. They will be seized and returned to you only on the last day of camp. This is a security measure.

If you have a camera you can take it along because you will want to take a lot of pictures and it might be too expensive to make use of the camp photographers all the time.
If you have a Blackberry phone, that’s good for you because you can easily share on social networks|(but then be careful).
If you don’t have any of those and want pictures of all your camp activities, you will probably have to pay some camp photographers to follow you around and snap you wherever you go. They might charge up to N2000 for the duration of the camp. They would then give you all your photos and videos in CDs at the end of Camp.

You will be fed three times a day in camp, but the food is barely edible, I tell you the truth. Most of the time at least, they can be nice on few occasions, I think (that’s my own opinion though). If you are someone like me who loves to eat good food, make provisions for your own food. You should get some provision to take along; cereals and beverages, garri, biscuits etc. You should also hold extra cash to eat at the Mami market, you will get good food there and won’t spend much to eat well, the price however depends on the state to which you have been posted.

Other things you could need are mosquito nets, bed sheets, pillow, cover cloth, bucket, bailer, drinking cup/water bottle, plate/food flask, plastic spoon and camphor. To stay clean and healthy, please buy dettol or izal. Use bar soaps and not detergent to wash clothes in order to save water, and maybe extensions to make charging your phones easier but there are places available where you can charge your batteries at the camp market.

You would also need sunglasses, cardigan, slippers, potty (if you don’t want to share toilet) and toilet paper.

And girls try not to go with heavy or synthetic hair to avoid excess heat and time to care for it, my time, i did a very simple brush able style which lasted me three weeks, braids is also advisable, don’t do lace wig or even fringe.

Taking Brazilian hair to camp without it being on your head is a risk worth not taking.

Pocket Money: The question is “How much money do you really need for the NYSC Orientation Course?.” I remember writing to my uncle, asking him to send me some money for my NYSC Orientation Course; guess what his reply was…. Ajoke (my native name) you don’t need much money for your NYSC orientation course, you will be paid a N1, 500 allowance once you arrive the NYSC camp and also another one (first ALLAWI) after 3 to 4 days on camp… first I felt bad at his reply but later saw the truth in his words, even though he later sent me N19, 000. Based on my experience, about N10,000 to N15,000 should see you through the camp period if you spend modestly, even if you do not eat the kitchen food at all, but 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!

So far, these are the major things you will need to make the best out of your stay in camp. Any other thing that is not listed above can be found in the MAMMY MARKET…always remember that MAMMY MARKET is HOT in FIRE……

I 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.