Are you the type that’s so crazy about joining the National Youth Service Scheme?
Do you have this fun memory of actually seeing yourself putting on your crested vest and khaki trouser?
Or are you the type that thinks nothing about going for your national service?
Love it or hate it your service year would begin with three obligatory weeks in the orientation camp. Unless you have long legs you cannot escape it, and like 99% of us, you have to pass through the scheme. As you pick up your call up letter and step your feet on the camp be aware that your compulsory one year service has started. My advice at this moment to you is that you don’t just have to accept to serve your fatherland, you have to enjoy it and I bet you can more than enjoy it; you can make it a most memorable three weeks.
Anxiety Leading Up To Camp
I know you this must be your first time (unless you are the type that would illegally go for a second time) and as it is your first time I guess you must be anxious, curious and worried about what your next three weeks are going to look like in the camp.
I know you have a lot of hovering questions on your mind and by this time you might have asked your senior colleagues who have passed through the scheme a series of your perplexing questions. Some of them gave you a scary lot of ideas of what the camp looks like. Others shared with you a hundred lists of dos and don’ts. Still, some gave you hope and reassurance.
Don’t worry I understand you and I understand your worries. Today I am going to alleviate those worries and make you anticipate these incoming three weeks of your life full of expectations.
So we ask, “How do you enjoy your three weeks in the camp?”
ENJOYING YOUR STAY IN THE CAMP
This part one of this article would highlight just six of these eighteen ways in which you can enjoy an exciting stay in the orientation camp. Here we go.
- Participate In Morning Devotion
Every morning there is a compulsory morning devotion by 5 o’clock which signalled by high piercing horn sound. The wakeup call is usually irritating to most corpers. Regardless, every Otondo is expected to come out for this morning routine. Failure to show up on time could cost you some uncomfortable early morning punishment. Ensure to know your platoon (your group) and fall in the cue with them. Important information’s are passed out in this parade even at the platoon level. These bits of information’s at the morning devotion are few of the reminders you need not miss out on or risk falling into the wrong hands of the soldiers.
- Collaborate With Your Platoon
Your platoon is your new family. What is a platoon? A platoon is a group you would be assigned to in the camp. A lot of activities are scheduled at the platoon levels. These activities include drama, matching, football, volleyball, variety night, dance and others. Each time you miss out in your platoon activity you can always choose to make it up with another platoon but I can assure you that you can never enjoy it like you would with your own platoon. Sad enough you could even miss joining another platoon because of the shyness or the discomfort. Truly there is nothing like your new family.
All platoons are scored and rated on these different activities. Since there is absolutely nothing important you would be doing with your time why not give out your best to your group? You could be the one idea, or character that would lead your platoon to win high position or medals and you also enjoy the consequent fun and feeling of fulfilment that comes with it.
- Have Few Belongings
Simplicity is the best. Some people surprisingly can come to camp with two or more travelling bags. In the quest to live a showy life you can see some others with laptops, tablets, and whatnot. The burden of those loads would begin to have its impact on you just at the gate when you would have to frog jump with your bags in your head. So bad, it is now too late too painful. While at camp many soon realize that just a few things is what you need to stay in the camp.
What are these vital things? To me I’ll summarize it thus:
- Two white t-shirt
- Two shorts
- Three Sundays church wear
- Small provisions
- Slippers and soap dish
- Waist bag
- Camera phone
- Your documents
I don’t think there is anything more. You can even skip the first two because they would be given to you at the camp although most times there are not in fashionable taste. You can even skip all because you would find them at the camp.
If you are like my bedmate, Michael who would say, “If I was given another chance I would come with only my documents in my hand”, then you might not even come without a bag. That’s my opinion though.
- Listen and Follow instructions
The military would say obey the last command. That rule would also apply to your three weeks in camp. Frankly, the strict regime in this three weeks camp would curtail most of your freedom. (Just call it house arrest). You are expected to conform to the rules and regulations guiding the program because failure to do that could lead to some painful drilling experiences most of the time.
- Make Friends With The Soldiers
There is no denying that the soldiers would instill in you a certain kind of fear in the first few days of your camping. Relax and enjoy the embarrassments. It would only last for a few days. After which the pressure would continually die slowly. Most times our fear of them is heightened due to the nurtured fear we already have of the army. You would soon realize that there are humans with feelings like you and me. With time they could naturally draw themselves close to you, and then begin to miss you when you leave camp.
So try and be friendly with them. Get close to them. (That reminds me of one hot lady soldier I had a crush on until I realize they were also dying to have company too) Ask them questions, play with them but be careful don’t overstep your limit. Show high sense of respect to them amidst the friendship.
Thank you readers for taking the time to read through part one of “18 ways to enjoy your orientation camp”. I promise to keep up with the next part two. If you are kind enough you can say one or two nice comments on the box provided below. In the meanwhile enjoy your stay with www.awajis.com/nysc You can always count on us to make your service year a fulfilled one. Cheers!