Finally, I can pause a bit on this NYSC series (to come back later) and congratulate those who are eagerly expecting their callup letter in a few weeks… I was posted to Cross River state and had only a few days, actually 4 days to prepare and be in camp. The NYSC year begins with a three weeks compulsory Orientation experience in a camp. Your posting letter contains your state of posting, the address of the orientation camp and the documents to take along.
Those documents include:
1. Call up letter
2. Final year student ID card
3. Statement of result or certificate (if you already have yours) from school
4. Passport Photographs (The more the better, it’s yours you’ll still be able to use it later…say like 30.) You’ll also be required to take a few passports with the NYSC uniform you’ll be given but not much at all.
5. Make photocopies of all documents (say 10). Make them before you leave school or home. Photocopies are available on camp, but are head cutting expensive!
You will present these documents at the registration on camp, after filling the forms you will be given. You will be given a state registration code number, that you’ll use throughout your service year. You will also be given your identity card, keep it well.
Now, what should you take to camp?
1. Important documents…As mentioned above. Just take all your documents, check and cross check before you travel, please don’t forget your documents…It could be very embarrassing!
2. Stationaries: Biros, A4 sheets, gum/glue, Stapler (with sufficient pins), tippex. You’ll get these things on camp, but you’ll likely pay to do them; it will also save your time.
3. White round-necked t-shirts, white shorts and white tennis/canvas with White socks. This will be your uniform throughout your three weeks, so it is important. You’ll be given 2 pairs but they are very flimsy and sometimes big & exposing! Depending on how often you plan to wash, take up to 3 pairs.
4. Washing soap (detergent) for washing your clothes, remember they are white. You’ll likely need to find time to wash every night…There will be small children (boys & girls) who will be around to help wash while you pay them but be careful, they steal clothes and canvas on the lines o. When you wash, squeeze well and spread in sight or on a line you tie to your bunk (if you have one).
5. Slippers for bathroom. Go with one, preferably one you can spot from a distance. Keep your property well, when you finish, pack it well and keep, otherwise you’ll need to look for it every morning until you’ll not even see it again!
6. Toiletries. Take your toiletries, your bathing soap, perfume, cream, tissue papers, toothbrush and toothpaste, other personal things, dettol for disinfecting your bathing water. You can’t trust the water there, it can even be smelling! But there are some camps that are good, with clean water and good facilities…just take precaution!
7. Black waist bag. Very important, don’t forget to buy this. It is your personal locker for all your important things. Your phone, your purse, your cards, your keys etc. Please hang them on you everywhere, take them everywhere you go even the bathroom. Protect it when you sleep, don’t be careless with your bag!
8. Bible and Note. Since you plan to do your quiet time, please don’t forget to carry your bible to camp with your note. This is important for you as you will have enough time to study on camp.
9. Novel, music player or a rugged phone with memory card. Depending on your preference, take something to occupy you. A novel or christian literature, your phone that can play music and don’t forget your earpiece. Please don’t go to camp with your iPhone, or Galaxy S4 or your iPad or laptop. Please leave those things at home for those three weeks. Buy a small phone (preferably nokia) that can at the most, make calls, send sms, send email if you wish to, chat if you need to and probably music. Load your memory card with songs and messages that you can listen to while you’re on camp. Don’t take anything that you will cry about if you lose or it gets stolen.
10. Basic medication. Take paracetamol/panadol, antibiotics, and other things you know you may need. Camp is usually stressful!
11. Padlocks, torchlight…for locking your box and for seeing at night. If your phone has torch, that’s fine.
12. Plate, bowl, cup & spoon. If you intend to eat the food (which is not usually too bad, except for some extreme cases). Note your materials, mark them and keep them. Wash your plate immediately you finish eating. Don’t keep it for a subsequent time or leave it for someone else to wash for you. You may prefer a small warmer/cooler with a bowl in it…
13. Mosquito net. Please go with it so you don’t fall sick on camp, many of those camps have been deserted for long and the mosquitoes have been hungry, don’t forget to take a net.
14. Bucket for bathing. But this can be bought on camp to avoid carrying load to camp.
15. Medical report. If you have any medical issues, please go along with a medical report. Camp is handled by soldiers, they can be very hard and harsh, they train you to be like soldiers, it can be very stressful. If you have medical reasons why you should not go through the stress, please go with a report.
You will not need more than one or (maximum) two muftis, you’re not likely to wear them throughout. Pack your bag well, don’t carry too big a bag. You’ll meet soldiers on camp and in my state for example, you’ll carry your box on your head and frog jump in from the gate. (Maybe not all camps anyway). So please be as modest as possible in your packing, pack the minimum things possible; the whole initial journey is just about 4 weeks.
Did I forget anything? Please share it!
In all, please don’t forget your spirit at home! It is probably the most important thing you need on camp. Camp can be very fun-filled but also very nasty!
Be as high as possible (in the spirit) before you leave home. Like I shared in previous posts, find time to pray and lock yourself up (most importantly in your heart), ask God for help and commit the entire journey into God’s hand. It will be well. Many of your brothers and sisters have gone before you and we came back strengthened, so it’s your turn to further prove that God exists everywhere and goes with his own everywhere.
19 GO you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the END of the WORLD. Amen.
God’s promise again is “Go…I will be with you always, even to the end of the world”
God bless you