Hello guys, I decided to get a couple of my friends that are serving in various states in Nigeria to tell us a bit about their orientation camp experiences. I hope you enjoy their stories as much as I did 😀😀😀.
1. Evelyn Serving in Bayelsa
I Had expectations on getting to the orientation camp, I expected that the mami market will be expensive amongst other things. There were various things that were over exaggerated to me before I got to camp, there was the numerous warnings to have a zillion photocopies of all documents and to take a lot of passport photographs as we could. On getting to camp, the need for these things were only minimal and not as exaggerated as it was made to be.
I left home on Monday to go to camp, on the bus I met a group of people who eventually became my clique/squad in camp. They basically made camp fun for me.
One of the downsides of camp is not having money and not liking the kitchen food, although the food cooked in Bayelsa camp was very good, one would still need money to live comfortably in camp.
Another downside is the waking up early, the sounds of the burgle📣📣 everyday was exhausting. I just remembered the lectures, some of them were so uncalled for and totally boring, I slept 50% of the time.
I Had my birthday celebration in camp and it was LIT!!!.
2. Adeoye serving in Adamawa
⚠ this write up will contain extra amounts of sauce, if you can’t deal… Well, don’t deal.
Ladies and gentlemen, prospective Corp members, these are personal experiences I had during my 3 week stay in Damare, Adamawa state for the NYSC orientation course.
So, I boarded a bus to Adamawa from Lagos, just about 30 hours (not too much eh) Left Lagos at about 10:30am, got to camp at about 6:30 pm the next day.
We were checked in by the security personnel outside the gate, no ID card and you’d be on a long thing.
Afterwards, the hussle for bedspace. We were provided with bunks and beds. After “attempting” to settle down, I managed to make some acquaintances with some of the guys around. Normal night… No stress… Yet.
Day 2: Registration day
As early as 3am, boys had already had their baths in preparation for registration. We were called to the registration center at about 6am ish. After the briefing *of which I didn’t hear jack*, we were told to queue to commence registration. I need to take a breather here, I am UITE, believe me, I thought I had seen queues back in Ibadan, Mon Dieu, see queue for this place. Now the tragic part wasn’t the long queue, it was the fact that people were skipping lines to enter the front, especially our female folks. When it became unbearable for me, as a sharp baby boy, I skipped line o, got registered and I was allocated a platoon.
2 Platoon *platoon of famous men like Julius Caesar and Aesop.
Long story short, I got my kits, most of which were my size. If the kits aren’t your size, you’ll see people you can exchange with, or you can just slim it or enlarge it at Mammy market… Problem is, be ready to pay 1k or more to fix your khaki *up and down
Apart from kits, we were also given meal tickets; you’ll take them to the kitchen to be served food. *take your cooler along o
After registration, we were bounced to the parade ground to learn the “art of marching like a pro 101”
Under the 2pm Adamawa sun *feels like 44°C* dressed in our white vests and shorts *well, looked like bumshorts on our very fine female corpers* we had a platoon officer that was tasked to whip *i mean literally* us into shape.
Not long after, shouts of “Prei“, “Prei Shun“, “standard eyes“, “attention by number, squad 1,squad 2”, “left turn by number” yada yada. *those are not necessarily their exact spellings, I didn’t study Nigerian army colloquialism*
In the course of the parade thingy, people fainted… Some real, some acted, but people hit the deck sha… *all those butter babies*😂😂
After torturing us for about 2 hours less, we were dismissed.
If by this time, *1st official day at camp* you don’t have your squad, I don’t know what you’re doing… Your squad can determine how fun camp will be for you *my own opinion*
So, over the course of 3 days, we had parade upon parade, drills upon drills geared towards our swearing in ceremony in which we’ll evolve from Prospective corp members to Corp Members. I remember one soldier saying, “now, you all have just started“. Imagine my shock, when I was still thinking it couldn’t get any worse.
It got worse 😪
Be on the parade ground by 5am, morning meditation starts by 5:30am. If you’re late, you’ll either be made to sit in gutter water or if they’re feeling nice, they could pour water on you and chase you down, but they’ll never beat you up… *well that‘s if you‘re not a goat.*
See people waking up by 2am to bathe. Some in the bathroom, some under the twinkling stars 😌. Baby ogbanges tho, during my stay on camp, earliest I woke up was 3:10am, and on very bad days, 4:00am.
So, this is a typical Monday to Saturday on camp.
5am <> be on the field.
5:30am <> time for morning meditation *under the sun and in the rain*
6:00am <> Nigerian flag is raised up. *that’s when Nigeria wakes up 🤐
6:01am <> address from any official that wishes to address
After the address, you start with drills, exercises, sometimes parade.
7:00am <> some platoons leave parade ground for lectures
8:00am <> general breakfast. The beagle 🎺 is sounded to announce breakfast time. You can decide to use your *meal ticket*🎫 and or if you’re not pleased with the food, you can go to mammy to have breakfast. You can spend an average of 300 to 350 naira on breakfast… In fact, on any meal on camp.
9:00am <> another lecture. This time, for everyone. See how plastic chairs will be monopolized, people keeping for their friends and Co… *see why you need friends?* you’ll either be the keeper or the keepee *whatever that means.
1:00pm <> lunch… From now till 4pm, you can be chilling, or in my case, be sweating profusely minutes after having your bath. This is OBS… Adamawa.
4:00pm <> another time on the parade ground 😓
Don’t worry, you can’t lose track of time, there’ll always be the beagle 🎺 to alert you and the soldiers to bounce you.
6:00pm <> Nigerian flag is lowered. *Naija goes to bed.
7:00pm <> dinner time.
Ehen, it is in the night that we shed our sheep skin and become wolves… *whatever that means 😉😉.
From 7pm to 10pm, you get to mingle and flex. Hangout with people, make friends. Have fun.
10pm <> kids, go to bed.
And the cycle continues.
Well, I don’t need to remind you to bring your documents and enough photocopies, as well as passport photographs, stapler. You won’t need them 🙂.📣📣
So on 18/05/2017, in the wee hours of the morning, I was told I was deployed to Ondo state and I was indifferent maybe because I wanted either Ondo or Delta
Fast forward: After about 7.5 hours from Ojota buspark in Lagos, I finally arrived Ikare-Akoko orientation camp on Tuesday at about 5:30pm. On entering the gate, I saw people already in white on the parade ground and I said to myself “it’s about to go down”. I sorted my accommodation and I went to eat at mammy that night.
Registration started for me the next day and ended around past 3, but because I wanted to avoid parade, I left my mufti on.
Parade: parade was initially stressful because I wasn’t used to waking up that early, and sometimes I wanted to break that bugle 📣📣📣📣and sleep all through.
Platoon activities: I was in platoon 3, our code name was diligence. I already had interest in volleyball in uni and I thought to myself “why not try this thing out?”Sadly, it wasn’t so as someone jumped on my leg with jungle boots during training…. Another experience: Redcross.
Cultural dance and drama were other activities I took part in and yes! Kitchen duty was cool even if I smelled like smoke afterwards
I also did security duty, I was at the gate doing gateman😂
Camp was a generally fun experience, I’d rate it 7/10,the lectures were a perfect opportunity to sleep and gist when they wake you up. Our CC waa kinda fresh shaa with his Lema Lema song
I made new friends but add they say “what orientation has brought together, posting will put asunder”.
S/O to platoon3, Reserved Corpers, Doyin, Dami, Tosin, Victoria, Kano, Tope, Toyin, Jaiye, Sally, Deba and everyone.
Thank you Aluchie, you rock!
4. A shy friend serving in kebbi
“I dun become o eh mama o
I dun become o eh mama ooo
I dun become rugged corper mama sorry o
I dun become rugged corper mama sorry ooo”
I’m not sure about becoming a rugged corper but that was what we were taught to sing the second day of camp.
Pre Camp Morale Levels – High
I was really excited for camp. Mostly because I had been looking forward to it since Uni. I had heard plenty stories and I was ready to experience it for myself. I filled all the necessary documents online with a quicknesss, checked NYSC website almost everyday for updates, and when I saw that I had been posted to Kebbi State I went to town armed with my list of “NYSC Essentials”. I was not going to dull myself in camp.
Week 1 Camp Morale Levels- Low.
On arrival to the camp, we were searched for contraband goods and then asked to go to the store room to register for bed spaces and get mattresses. Those mattresses were paper thin and terrible for your back but that was what they had and that was what we had to make do with. The next day, we started registration. I want to be optimistic for Nigerian youths but seeing the kind of behaviour people put up when asked to orderly arrange themselves and come forward for registration, I’m not going to hold my breath on this country getting any better in my generation. After registration, we were divided into platoons. Your platoon is essentially your family for the three weeks you spend in camp because almost all camp activites are carried out by platoon.
You’d think with all the time the officials had to prepare for us, they’d have been a little more prepared to receive us abi? Hahaha….jokes!!! I’d just like to state all the things that went wrong in the first week because unno…..someone important might be reading.
- Don’t wake people up by 1am on the first day after they have had a long-ass day and try to get them to move rooms and rearrange bunks. Not Cool!!!
- IT IS POINTLESS TO MAKE PROSPECTIVE CORP MEMBERS FILL IN THEIR SHOE AND CLOTHES SIZE IF THE NYSC ADMIN IS GOING TO GIVE US WHATEVER SIZE THEY FEEL LIKE GIVING US!!!!!
- Not having access to basic drugs in the “clinic”. By the fourth day of camp, the camp clinic had run out of drugs needed for asthma, diarrhea, cold and cough. They had run out of appropriate antibiotics and were basically mixing and matching antibiotics for sick corp members. I had an asthma attack on the 5th day and there was no prednisonone also there was no light to power the nebulizer. That was a fun filled night.😑
- Cooking with sand. All the meals served to corp members were sandy, mostly unpalatable and let’s not even go into the cooking area which was always swarmed with flies and stinky. No wonder diarrhea and ‘purging’ was at an all time high throughout camp
- Each hostel in my camp had 8 rooms, 45 females in each room and 4 rooms were asked to share 5 bathroooms and 5 toilets. That puts it at 36 people per toilet/bathroom. The corp members quickly solved this little problem by bathing outside and shot-putting fecal waste across the fence.
In the first week of camp, I mostly kept to myself interacting only with the girls I met on the bus-ride to camp. It was difficult having to share a room with 44 other people, not have any space to myself and have to live such a regimented life on camp.
Week 2 Camp Morale Levels- Mehhh!!!
Mehhh may or may not be a word yet but it adequately describes the indifference I felt during the second week of camp. By then I had somewhat gotten used to the routine of waking up by 4am and sleeping by 11:30pm….sometimes later. My platoon had crashed out of all the inter platoon competitions so far so I had settled into becoming an observer. The usual camp events were starting to happen; A woman was caught making-out with a guy and while the chap absconded, she was decamped, a couple met in camp and decided they were in love and got engaged and female corp members were asked to stay out of the sleeping quarters of the soldiers, paramilitary and administrative staff after lights out (don’t ask me what they were looking for there -___- 😑😑). I had made new friends in camp(mostly from my platoon) that I could gist with and go to the mami market with so the days were becoming more bearable.
Week 3 Camp Morale Levels- High
All the platoons had presented and we were now becoming better at marching and taking instructions from the soldiers. The mood in camp was relaxed, people were loosening up more and getting comfortable with stealing other people’s buckets, meal tickets, provisions and allowance money. It seemed like in the last week, a lot of the corp members decided it was a taboo to be seen anywhere on camp alone so people were pairing up and getting busy in seedy corners. The soldiers were not left out of this as they were sometimes seen walking up to a couple, intimidating the guy and then moving in on the girl after the guy had run away. Everyone in camp was looking forward to the passing out parade and when that dqay came, there were a lot of tears . some of joy, some of sadness and some of disappointment. I was good to go and ready to leave Dakin Gari Camp, Kebbi State without so much as a goodbye and that was exactly what I did.
So I got a lot of entries but I didn’t want to make this post too bulky, in other words watch out for part 2….
I would love to hear about your nysc orientation camp stories in the comment section 😀😀😀😀😀