Some said it was a splendid experience, some said it’s an unforgettable experience, some wished for more of the experience while some didn’t, some missed the experience but for me the experience was not exciting because all throughout my stay on camp, I wished I could leave.
This was my life on the camp
Before swearing in we were referred to as prospective corps members, and after swearing in we became corps members; corpers. Life on the camp for three weeks was another world ….……corps members were categorized into different platoons according to our registration code and we were placed on daily routines where a “bibble” (I don’t really know how it’s pronounced) is blown in different form to announce a particular activity of the day. As a Corp member, we were to be on parade ground by 5am with the help of the soldiers, and there we were treated like military men and women, though the treatment wasn’t up to military standard but still it was like hell. On the parade ground, morning devotion is said, lectures are given, exercises and march pass are done till 9am, then all other activities comes in place. During these activities on parade, many times we were punished whether there was an offence or not. Living with the soldiers on camp was so very unpleasing, stressful and disturbing. I remember a night we finished a program by 10pm, we had no rest when we were been forced out of our hostels for no reason and we were punished, insulted, abused using vulgar languages, caused, preached to, and finally we were advised. We stayed out till 2am before we went to bed. On camp, there was quite a no of activities, football competition, cooking competition, volleyball, beauty pageant, cultural dancing, beauty Contest(Miss Bold and Beautiful, Miss Hot leg, Miss Ebony, Mr. Pretty face, Mr. Macho, Miss NYSC). There was also an empowerment program called, Skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development (SAED) though boring but knowledgeable. Programs like Photography, catering, fashion designing, bead making, bag and shoe making, cosmetology and lots more of others were learnt. Also on camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner were given. As outlined in the camp kitchen curriculum, on different occasions, platoons were assigned with cooking responsibility of the camp with the help of the kitchen officials in which quite a few numbers of corpers from a particular platoon represents the platoon as a whole. Getting to about end of our three weeks on camp, we had a carnival were different platoons represented by colours and cultural groups.
Ehen! Lest I forget, you don’t need to take extra cloths when you are going to the camp because throughout your stay in the camp you will be on white and white. But, you need extra white top and white shirt, let’s say extra two white tops and two white shorts so you don’t have to look all dirty and unkept in the camp.
There is a radio station of sort called Orientation Broadcasting Station (OBS), it’s a broadcasting unit were information are easily passed to all corps members, other entertaining activities also go on in this station. There was also a camp clinic were corpers with minor cases are treated but in major cases that can’t be handled, they are referred back home for proper medical attention. Though my camp clinic was far too below standard because most times, virtually all necessary medication that were supposed to be given to patients weren’t available. Mammy on camp, I s a market were anything and all things are sold and done. There is also a hall called Jamaica hall, it’s a place where all activities takes place.
I hope this piece of my experience on camp helped a bit, at least you can now know what to expect when you get to the camp. Don’t forget, be a good otondo!