NYSC has to be the most popular abbreviation in Nigeria. It is an honour to serve your country, as a civilian in Nigeria, one way to do this is participating in the National Youth Service Corps otherwise known as, NYSC. NYSC is not just about spending one year in another state or impregnating young girls in the village as Nollywood portrays, at its creation, the intention for NYSC was to foster peace and love for your country and its people. A major goal was to have youths become more familiar with other parts of the country and bring about unity. Of recent times due to the high rate of unemployment, Youth Service year has double as an experience gaining scheme in the job market, as most jobs require experience. NYSC Nigeria from the outside may seem like a year of adventure where corps members wear green and white, for some reason you will always find a corps member at the bus stop. NYSC is a one-year programme university graduates register for. It is a requirement for many jobs in Nigeria, especially government jobs. Before mobilization, it is always a question as to how to register for NYSC, what to take to NYSC camp, NYSC age limit, what are the requirements for NYSC orientation camp, how you would cope, and more. It’ll feel like so much anxiety just to be called an otondo, just to hear random people scream at you, ‘CORPER SHUN!’. Once camp is over your next worry would be NYSC latest news on allowance and hoping your boss signs your monthly clearance letter after receiving numerous queries. Before worrying about how you will survive the NYSC year, first, figure out how you’re going to survive the three weeks NYSC orientation camp probably in the middle of nowhere and if the ‘NYSC connect’ you paid to influence your posting will work. Nobody will blame you when you can’t stop refreshing your NYSC dashboard hoping that when you download your posting letter, a preferred state of deployment will appear, it won’t. One thing corps members before you never tell you is a requirement for camp is courage. Three weeks may seem like a short time when it is all over but on days when you feel defeated, 5 minutes would feel like a day. You will need the courage to survive.
Here are some essential NYSC camp requirements. It is survival of the fittest.
Its one thing to complete your registration on the NYSC portal but it is another and even longer process when registering at the NYSC orientation camp. These registration documents are key because they will be filed as records and will be used from time to time during your service year and after passing out of the NYSC scheme. To register, you will need your NYSC registration slip also called a green slip, graduate certificate or statement of result, this certifies that you are a graduate from a recognised university. Some individuals desperate to serve, may forge their certificate or statement of result, however, be warned, they have a list of schools, documents and signatories, if yours does not match, sorry is your case. To register for NYSC, you will also need a medical report from a military or government hospital, NYSC call-up letter, Student ID card, and passport photographs. With regards to passport photographs, you may be told to take 32 copies, however, you will not use more than 8 of them, throughout the year.
White t-shirt, shorts and other items of clothing.
A white t-shirt on white tennis shorts is the orientation camp uniform. This is what you will wear every day, for three weeks except on swearing in day and passing out parade. This uniform is worn with white tennis shoes, and the NYSC face cap, compulsorily. Thought you will be given two pairs upon registration at camp, it will not be enough as you can get extremely dirty in minutes. It is advised you take 3 to 6 pairs of white shirts and shorts to camp, if you wish to be comfortable and always have a clean pair, ready to wear. There are dry cleaners at all camps offering services at various prices. If you’re wondering what type of T-shirts to buy, short sleeve vests will do. Other items of clothing refer to mufti. At NYSC orientation camp you are allowed to wear mufti for religious worship and carnival day. Most corps members, mainly females, anticipate carnival day because they get to dress up and put on fun makeup.
White tennis shoes and socks
White tennis shoes and socks are a must. You will need just as many pairs of socks as white shirts and shorts. Do not be sad when you only have a pair of socks left after three weeks, count yourself lucky. Some people will lose all their socks after the first week. To survive NYSC orientation camp, you will need to pair of shoes, one regular pair and one rubber pair. You will need the rubber for when it rains or if it ever rains. If you’re resourcing up on a budget, stick to just one rubber pair of white tennis shoes because upon registration at camp, you will be given another pair of shoes. Just like your clothes if you ever need to wash your shoes, drycleaners have got you covered.
Once there is a mami market, there is food. Mami market is a mini market where you have many food vendors and other vendors selling regular camp needs. Because they are the only market, products and services mami market are usually expensive compared to regular market prices. At camp, there is a kitchen too, to serve corps members meals, three times daily, however, depending on your camp and the day of the week, the food may not be so tasty. To save money and still feed, provisions are essential. Camps do not have electricity for the most part of the day so, it is not advisable to bring edibles that require refrigeration. You can bring cereal, beverages, biscuits or cookies, plantain chips, chin chin etc. These provisions will serve you when you need a snack or when you’re hungry and can’t have a proper meal given certain circumstances.
Insect repellent/Mosquito net
NYSC orientation camp is a real camping experience and the wild shows no mercy. Based on the state you’re posted to, you will be faced with unique challenges like insects. Mosquitos are part of Nigeria’s population; hence, you will need a mosquito net or mosquito repellent. This will save you from the unwanted bites and effects. Make sure you dry your mosquito net for at least 24 hours before use.
For convenience, you will need toiletries. These toiletries include your regular soaps, sponge, bucket, bailer, disinfectant, body lotion, sunscreen, deodorant and more. At camp you will not need perfume or cologne, deodorant works fine, this is because your fragrance will attract insects. Your disinfectant is very key because nearly everything is infected, from the water to the bathroom itself, if your camp has a bathroom. Most corps members bathe outside as early as 2 am. Sunscreen is another essential because, at camp, it is likely you will get darker and sunburned. Your sunscreen will protect you from the harsh effects of UV rays from the sun. Also, at least two buckets will help you survive camp because most camps only distribute water and scheduled hours during the day. The buckets will help you store enough water for your personal use.
NYSC camp activities require being outside for long hours, most likely standing all through. On some days you’d feel your sweat boil on your skin. Heat dehydrates the body; therefore, you will drink more water in camp that you would on a regular day. During camp activities movement in other parts of the camp is prohibited, most especially the mami market. Keeping your water bottle filled with water at all times will save you near death experiences. You will always have water to drink whenever you get thirsty and drained.
Having a phone is key in camp. You will need it to communicate and still be in touch with the outside world. However, how will you use your phone without electricity to charge it? Simple, get a power bank. A power bank will save you when your battery runs low. You can charge your phone in the hostel and at any point in time as long as your power bank is charged. You can also charge your power bank and phone at the mami market. There are people who run charging points for respective platoons in the market.
Food flask and cutlery
If you have provisions or you wish to eat food from the kitchen you will need a food flask and cutlery. The need explains itself.
There will be at least two thousand corps members at camp, and at least fourteen people in a room/cubicle depending on your state of deployment. Some camps have close to three hundred in one big hall. Not to think the worst of people, however, some people have a narc for taking things that don’t belong to them. Hence, you will need a padlock for your suitcase, as you will be living out of a suitcase throughout your stay in camp.
The sun will show no mercy at NYSC orientation camp and the face cap may not be enough, therefore shades will do what the face cap cannot do, protect your eyes from the sun. However, during parade practice and other camp activities, you will not be allowed to wear them.
After the aforementioned details about the heat wave in camp, you wouldn’t need a soothsayer to tell you that a hand fan is another essential in camp. For the days there is no cool breeze, your hand fan will save you.
Waist pouch/ fanny pack
A waist pouch should be one of your first purchases in preparation for NYSC orientation camp. This pouch will help you carry all the small items you need during the day, stress-free, it is also easy to watch and guard.
Money makes the world go around including camp. Everything in camp costs money, even water. To survive camp, you will need enough money. Upon settling down, you may see the prices as change, however, after summing up your daily expenses, you will realise that change adds up to bigger change and that chain will burn a huge hole in your pocket.
For the most part of camp, you can survive without a torch. However, state camps differ. Without electricity, during dark hours a torch will save your steps. It will help you see and navigate pending the time the sun rises.