Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guide to Surviving NYSC Orientation Camp - Platoon Registration and Accommodation

And so I was saying...

Platoon Registration
When you've submitted your forms and been given the go-ahead, it's time to report to your platoon and get registered with them. You have a Platoon Coordinator and 2-3 Military Commandants. Your platoon members can potentially become your family for the next 3 weeks, so mingle and get to know some people. You might form lifelong friendships, or even meet your future wife/hubby.

Anyways, you may spend another hour plus trying to get registered with your platoon. It depends on if they're registering you on a first-come, first-served basis, or by your number. This is the point where you

  • Get your NYSC kit = Khaki shirt, khaki trouser, belt, NYSC cap, 2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of white tennis shoes, 2 white t-shirts, and 2 pairs of shorts. Please be prepared, as all or none of the above may fit you. I was lucky - everything fit! WAIT! On one of the numerous forms you fill out, they ask for your clothing and shoe sizes... so why do they still give you kits randomly? NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.
  • Fill out your information for what will be your NYSC id. You'll need to attach another passport picture here. *My advice about always having passport pictures will help you a lot. It doesn't stop at camp.*
  • They might also give you a booklet which has lots of vital information in it, such as the Camp Schedule, the NYSC anthem, rules and regulations, etc.
*It took me about an hour to get registered with Platoon 5!!! Well, it could have gone a lot faster, except that the boy who was assisting the Platoon Coordinator refused to call my number. In his defense, I skipped the line :) When I got to my platoon, there had to have been at least 100 people in front of me, but my cute (sometimes) little self wormed my way to the front of the line :p. As in, I was actually sitting next to the Platoon Coordinator while she processed others. Alas, they finally called my name (much earlier than it should have been) and I smiled and greeted everyone in charge, got my kit and went to settle my...

Accommodation - Finally!!!
Hopefully your experience is easier than mine and you get a bed with as little stress as possible.

*When I first arrived in the camp and dropped off my luggage at the dorms, I was told to write my name down on a list, and come back at 9pm - at which point they would start giving out beds. Well I was there at 8:30pm sitting on my suitcase, when I noticed a gaggle of females following an older woman. I deduced that she was a camp official and my street sense told me to follow along - BEST IDEA EVER! She WAS giving out room/bed allotments. She went into each room looking for empty beds or space to put in extra bunks. After going through all the rooms on the ground floor, with about 6 extra girls getting settled, we got  up to the first floor. There was a corridor that had been converted into a room, and the lady walked in. At this point I was right behind her, and she said an extra bunk could fit in the room by the door. How about I FLEW outside and grabbed a bunk with another girl to claim that spot!

Unfortunately, we ran into a little issue - the occupants of the room were NOT having it. Putting a bunk by the door meant blocking off the main air supply into the room, and there were very few windows, which made for VERY uncomfortable living. It turned into a battle of wits, strength and raised voices. They tried to push us out, and we pushed back because we were determined at all costs to stay. The alternative was to sleep outside and there was NO WAY that would happen to me! Thankfully, the girls relented and voila...I had a bed/room! My bunk mate went downstairs to get mattresses while I watched her belongings. My mattress was about an inch thick, very uncomfortable and I felt like I was sleeping directly on the spring. 

You can negotiate with your bunk mate about sleeping on the top or bottom bunk. I chose the bottom bunk because I didn't want to worry about hopping on and off. I also had the advantage of storing my stuff (suitcase, buckets, etc) under the bed. Top bunkers have to either keep their stuff on their bed, on the side of the bed, or ask if their bunk mate to share their space under the bed.

Below is a picture of my bed! Not pretty at all, right? I got the bottom bunk as is plain to see - all pink bedding :) You kinda have to find any little thing that will make you happy - for me, it's seeing pink :p

All in all, I arrived camp at 4pm, and was settled properly by about 9:30/10 pm. From what I heard, I was lucky, because some people started their process at 8 am.

*NOTE* I must mention that people were still arriving to camp as late as Days 4 and 5, and got registered. The likelihood of getting beds are okay-ish, as a lot of our aje-butter counterparts would have elected to leave camp by then, thereby freeing up beds. 

Visit my previous post for links to other blogs chronicling the first day at camp.

So, what to write about next... A typical day at camp? How to survive/endure camp days? Tips and tricks to ease camp life? We'll see.

Au revoir ma petite jolie! 
Berry kisses from me to you.


  1. I feel like I am already there.
    NYSC batch C lego!!

  2. I've just come home from the UK and I want to get this NYSC thing done as soon as possible. Except... everyone laughs at me when I say I'm going to do it. I told my aunty yesterday and she laughed for almost 10mins straight... sigh... Also, I keep having little panic attacks about the whole thing. I won't say this blog is calming me down exactly, but at least, I know what it is to prepare my poor heart for.
    I'm going to enjoy this experience if its the last thing I do!!! Or at least, survive it.
    Anyone else doing the 2013 Batch C, feel free to reply to this, especially if you end up being posted to lagos, cos that@s where I'm fighting to go :)

    1. Hiya!

      I promise you it's a little easier once you know what to expect. And "worst" case scenario, if it gets too much for you, get an exeat pass from camp.

  3. Hi anon1:49

    Im going foor batch C and im also fighting to go to lagos. The camp thing is so scary, but i also heard its fun there.
    Well, see you there...
    Here is my e'mail

    See u in camp :)

  4. i am also goin for nov batch c, i am so scared. here is ma email see u guys soon @ Lagos camp