IDS Staff Retreat – Bintan 2023

20 Aug 2023 – The 11 of us were buzzing with excitement as we gathered at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to embark on IDS’s first overseas staff retreat to Bintan Island. As we arrived at Club Med Bintan, we were welcomed by an enthusiastic team of G.O ambassadors and briefed on the activities and amenities available there.  We were also alerted on the recent incidence of oil spills, the jellyfish season as well as monkeys roaming around the resort. We then enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at The Waterfall restaurant.

The 1st activity of the day was team flag decorating. We started to brainstorm on a team name and flag design  as well as a  team cheer. The 2 teams: Juara & Eco Queens came up with eye-catching  flags and both delivered catchy team cheers. Our next ice-breaker activity was “Whose story is it?”. Each person had to write a sentence which describes them and a fun fact about themselves. As we tried to match each team member with the right descriptions, we discovered things which we did not know about each other before; such as that one of us was a lap swimmer and another loves Doraemon!

It was then free and easy time for us. Some of us enjoyed a rejuvenating massage, some explored the activities there such as flying trapeze and rock climbing, while others simply took the chance to rest and relax. We got together again for dinner at The Terasse restaurant where we enjoyed a variety of delicious dishes. After dinner, we watched The Matahari Show together. It was a fascinating display of songs, dance and acrobatics.

The next day, we charged ourselves up with a refreshing yoga session, power walk and hearty breakfast together. It was then time for kayaking! After a briefing by the instructor, the team set out in our kayaks into the sea. Those of us who cannot swim could not participate in this activity for safety reasons but we had a good time nonetheless, posing for pictures together by the beach and cheering on the rest of the team. As it started to rain, it was time to get competitive with some indoor sports activities instead. We started off with a badminton tournament. Basketball was then added as a surprise component to our team competition. We  also  tried the Doctors’ favourite sport: table tennis, and actually enjoyed it! At the end of it all, we were surprised that some of us were fitter and sportier than we thought we were!

After lunch, the team competition continued.  We played “Roll, Roll, Roll the Ball Again” where we arranged ourselves according to our heights and had to roll a beach ball from the tallest to the shortest person, without dropping it to the ground. Eco Queens completed  this task within a minute! All of us then created a longer human chain  and tried to roll the ball down. This time we did it within 3 tries!  We then warmed up with a simple round of Charade first. The “Sports” category was a breeze for both teams. As we moved on to the “English Idioms & Phrases”category, we laughed our hearts out as we desperately acted out the phrases and gave ridiculous guesses. “Blessing in disguise” proved to be a challenge for both teams but ultimately, Juara managed to get it right!

Everyone then got all dressed up for our “Sun, Sand & Sea” themed dinner and prize giving and appreciation ceremony.  Juara emerged as the champion with just a 1-point lead over Eco Queens. The Doctors  handed out  the prizes to the teams and kickstarted the appreciation speeches. We presented a photobook  to the Doctors as our token of appreciation to them for bringing us on this trip. Everyone also expressed their gratitude and were all happy to be part of this trip.

It was certainly a memorable and enjoyable trip for all of us.  We have learnt more about one another and the time spent together has brought us closer as a team. With a better understanding of each other, we hope to work better and achieve greater things together. Till we meet again at our next staff  retreat!