My autobiography: My experiences in NCC Camp

I am not sure why I joined NCC when I was in school. Actually, our Karate Sempai had just left and we were looking for an alternative extra curricular activity after school hours, when NCC was introduced for the first time in our school.

I remember the students whipping some frenzy – Some of them said that they give ropes and we will be trained to climb up the school building! Some of them said that the certificate is very valuable and it will help us get good jobs/ get into the army, etc. Since we had no idea what it was, we thought it was some fun activity and enrolled anyway.

I think the NCC dress (khakis), belts, cap, shoes (boots, actually) and everything else was given by the Government to all the kids participating in the program. Of course, we were thrilled! We were also told that we would be given food on one day (of the two daysΒ  per week it was conducted). We didn’t know the price we were going to pay for freebies, back then!

One army person (I am not sure of his rank) was selected to train the cadets of our school. So, we were supposed to assemble in the play ground after school and he will start the drill. Drill consisted of only one activity – March past! That was the only activity we got to engage for the entire two years that it was conducted! And that instructor was very very strict, to say the least!

What I don’t understand is, at least we didn’t know about the program and enrolled in it. But what made our juniors enroll? They should have pretty much known what was about to come! Anyway, that is not the point of this post. After about a year and a half of drills, we were told that we need to attend one mandatory NCC camp.

Again, innocently we were thrilled! After all, it was ten days outside home and perhaps we might be able to go for trekking, gun shooting, rope-climbing (yeah, we never stopped hoping for that) and all other such fun activities! It took only one day for the reality to dawn on us.

We had to stay in tents on the ground, there were no shops / no signs of any other human activity at least for a radius of five kilometers, the food/ bathrooms were hopeless, we were staying in a ground that was surrounded by dense trees and we were warned against going near the trees because sometimes there were some snakes there!

We had to wake up at 5:00 AM everyday, exercise for one and a half hours, take bath, eat breakfast, participate in some drill related activities (yeah, the same march past πŸ™ ), eat lunch, take up an allocated activity for our school (ranging from pistol shooting to community service – cleaning, bringing water, etc), take rest in the evenings, participate in what was called cultural programs in the late evenings (where students were required to perform some cultural activities, mainly for the amusement of the military officers), eat dinner and sleep. We were strictly instructed not to go out of our camps in the nights.

This was a shocker for us because we were expecting the camping to be something like 10 day theme park enjoyment experience! We were obviously shocked because we were exposed to living in the natural environment for the first time – Away from the comforts of our home! A lot of us (me) got home sick. I even wrote one letter to my parents asking them to come and see me πŸ™‚ These kind of negative-tone letters were not supposed to go toΒ  parents, but mine somehow did! Maybe it was slightly positive πŸ™‚ They came on the seventh day to see me. But by that time, I was feeling much better and more adjusted.

My biggest problem was the food. I just hated whatever was provided. But since we were very hungry after those tedious drill sessions, we somehow started eating them fully after the third day or so. Yeah, for the first three days, I was not even able to eat! By the seventh day, when my parents actually came, I was already adjusted to the food! At least, it was no more a problem.

Of course, we had some fun moments also – We had that pistol-shooting session, for which we were waiting for such a long time! In the name of trekking (we ‘climbed’ a flat-land actually!), we went out with some senior NCC cadets (from college), who on seeing our plight stopped our vehicle in a town nearby and we bought some biscuits / drank some cool drinks. That cool drink tasted delicious that day!

By the end of the tenth day when we came out of the camp, our instructor teasingly asked if we wanted to stay for ten more days and we said, ‘Why not?’ πŸ™‚ Sure, the experience was harrowing but we learned a surprising fact that given some time, humans can adapt to any situation. That learning, and the confidence it gave us to face difficult situations in life, is priceless!! Add to it, the discipline that those rigorous NCC drills inculcated into us.

Destination Infinity

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30 Replies to “My autobiography: My experiences in NCC Camp”

  1. You were in NCC tooo .. WOW… Me too I was in air wing.. and Oh boy i have so many stories to write .. I could write a book .. I guess i will have to start putting the drafts in my list to publish …

    NCC has been good to me. the camps and all I attended as in blogging I have made such lovely friends all over india , and Thanks to the NCC i have them so very close to me now …

    thanks for sharing .. I will shar some of mine too but mine are more of not so disciplined πŸ™‚ he he he he

    1. I remember you mentioning about NCC in some of your blog posts, but you have not given any details of them. So, why don’t you share some interesting NCC camp stories with us? Would love to read them.

      Destination Infinity

  2. My brother was in NCC and had some rank also during college days. Son was also in NCC. I remember going to their camp fire at Theosophical society and eating bajji and bonda which were very very tasty! He didn’t take bath for many days, I remember even now because everything was done in open land! I think he enjoyed his camp.

    It is nice to know that this camp changed you in a positive way. You write very well about happenings of so many years back, so clearly. Nice.

    1. I generally have a less than average memory, but certain important events are etched in my mind. I know, many of my friends enjoyed the camp more than me but I was not all that outgoing type… Look at Bikram’s comment above – I guess he will go to an NCC camp even now if invited πŸ™‚ Good to know about your brother and son being in NCC – Its a must-have experience.

      Destination Infinity

  3. The last 3-4 lines explain why kids are encouraged to join this stuff. Teaches you a lot about yourself, discipline, adaptibility and all that πŸ™‚
    Good to know that you didn’t wimp out and ultimately chose to enjoy the experience… πŸ™‚

    1. At that age, we are obviously oblivious of such learnings. No, I did not enjoy NCC back then, but thinking back now I feel that it was a vital step to widening my experiences about life.

      Destination Infinity

  4. loved every word of this post…

    i was in NCC too but left it sooner than i expected .. may be i never found interest in physical activities…and over discipline i would say…

    anyways, i may not be a part of NCC during school but i do like to read about it….as how people managed to survive there and their adventures….

    regards
    rahul

    1. I guess one needs to just go to the classes and survival happens automatically πŸ™‚ In our school, not many people left the course in-between. But one of my close friends enrolled in it, came for a few classes, came for the camp, and got the certificate! The trainer even recollected seeing him after a very long time! But then, the experience is much more important than the certificate, right?

      Destination Infinity

  5. My school didnt had ncc but we had scouts and guides.I was in scouts and guides but my mother never allowed me to go to the camps.

    In college i tried to get into NCC but i went there late and they didnt take me.

    1. I heard that scouts and guides was less demanding than NCC. Not sure about that. Ha ha, why did you go there late? πŸ™‚ I have a friend who went to the first day of a Tennis coaching class late and was asked to leave as well…

      Destination Infinity

    2. My school did not NCC either….but I was a part of bulbuls & guides. I eventually became enthusiastic about NCC at college and enrolled myself (army wing) . I was late for the air wing selections πŸ™ …but I had to discontinue after a year…as I became prone to sickness ( wheezing )…& I regret it so badly πŸ™ missing my seniors & frnds…One great thing abt NCC is that you inculcate a lot of values…discipline , respect, punctuality(most necessarily for me),pushing yourself against your comfort zone and doing incredible achievements …this was the least that I learnt in my first year.Coincidence is that yesterday was the send off for my Seniors ( heart crushing :/) wonderful memories…happiness, proud moments, tears n joy…mixed feelings.
      NCC is such a wonderful thing to be a part of…and the contacts n friends you make there….will be with you foreva…no matter what ( it was due to the pressure at home, I quit ncc ). But the values I cultivated there n frnds (includes my seniors) , I will cherish it for the rest of my life.
      Wonderful article Rajesh K, always be proud of it πŸ™‚

    1. Since it was the first year it was introduced in our school, we had no clue at all! But our juniors could have always asked us about it!

      Destination Infinity

  6. NCC is in my school too. And they said to join NCC you should come by morning 6. End of story for me πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    But might have been good if I joined. A bit of physical exercise for me πŸ™‚

    I think rope climbing are all for college students. My friend said about that πŸ™‚

    1. Thank God, NCC classes were in the evening for us! At that age, we already get good physical exercise by playing a lot of cricket anyway. Oh, so it is available for college students, or is it a bait to make them join in NCC? πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      1. In college level…u even have parajumping and many other cool adventurous sports too…for air wing I think 😜

  7. hi everyone i am a cadet in ncc air wing.i am going to attend the camp for the first time in school.could you share your experience with me. i am a bit nervous too…….

  8. NCC is really very intrestin.The training gives to the students from the boring routine of his studies and the students gets an opportunity to employ usefully his leisure.And the role of cadets in NCC is to surve the sufferers for the cause of service to the nayion.

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