The IDS family finally gathered for a staff retreat after a 2-year hiatus. The day started off with a scrumptious seafood feast at Rasa Istimewa Waterfront restaurant. We enjoyed an array of mouth-watering dishes, accompanied by a scenic view of the sea and also the Woodlands Causeway.

The chilli crab was a hot favourite even though many of us were hesitant at first, fearing that we will stain our clothes (but we went for it anyway!).

With full stomachs, it was time to burn those extra calories. We headed to River Wonders Singapore, where our event organiser, Senserene Pte Ltd, had a mini Amazing Race planned out for us. We were divided into 3 teams: Team Champion, Team Marvellous and Team Superwomen. A task will be assigned to us every 5 mins over a 2-hour period via a Whatsapp groupchat and the team that fulfils the most tasks will earn the most points and win! Fully charged with energy and competitive spirit, we were all ready to take on the challenge.

It was nearly 2 pm when we embarked on our River Wonders adventure. For the first task, we were told to capture pictures of as many animals as we can that are up on the walls of the main entrance. Every team started strategizing and then dispersed from there. Minutes went by and the new tasks kept coming in on the groupchat. We soon realised that we not only have to work as an individual team but intra-teams as well to gather extra points. Aside from team coordination, we also had to remain focused as we scanned through the various information boards for clues and answers to our tasks. Our creative minds were also put to test as we had to come up with video montages at the Panda enclosure and film our river boat ride. As expected, we spent the most time in the beloved pandas’ enclosure – aside from capturing pictures and videos of the adorable Kai Kai, Jia Jia and Le Le, we were enjoying the air-con there too! It was a happy chaos as we braved through the blazing sun and ran around taking pictures, videos and completing the race together. The experience also unleashed the inner children in all of us as we were amazed by the creatures and sights around the park.

Before we knew it, it was 3.45 pm and time to gather back at the initial meet-up point. We took a team photo before boarding the bus back to Gleneagles. Even though we were all clearly exhausted and sweaty, the trip back was still filled with laughter and a buzz of everyone relating their experiences and funny encounters at River Wonders.

Once we returned to the clinic, it was time for the Long Service Award presentations by Dr Wong and Dr Lam. There were 2 staff members who had worked with the Group for more than 10 years and another 2 more than 5 years.

The last item was a team discussion on reflecting upon the challenges that the team faced over the past 2 years, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Each team member’s sharing on the experience and also their hopes for the future was enlightening for some of us who only joined the team recently. We then moved on to express our gratitude and hopes for the future.

We concluded the day with the prize presentations for the challenge. Everyone went home with a prize in hand and tired but happy faces!