Back to Saturday afternoon we all got onto a bus full of energy for the day……in like ten minutes time the bus stopped and Caleb was announcing that we’d reached the spot……it was a little funny because some people especially Karla who lived a bus stop away from that location had actually lugged all the way to school to realise she could have easily walked to this spot. :) The place was called NACLI - National Community Leadership Institute. It was very green like most places in Singapore and the rooms we were given were really cute. Ours was called Cave Lodge and it had caveman like drawings on the wall and wooden floors. We were five girls bunking in a room so we had a lot of late night chit chatting and giggling! :) The boys' rooms were quite plain and boring, and I think they tried to make up for it by creating a complete racket till 3 am!
Talking of work, first day’s agenda was to finalise on the vision and new logo for the club and agree on the respective activity plans of all the clubs. I think we spent almost seven hours in that one room debating over issues and trying to finalise dates. Towards the end the room felt suffocating and I wished Dr. Lalit would go easy on his questioning…..anyone who knows the doc would know he asks tough questions and he is relentless…..I must say I admire his resilience. At times the room was something akin to a fish bazaar with everyone talking at the same time. First day was draining but fruitful and we did manage to align the event calendar of 5 different clubs, finalise the mission / vision statements, the logo and well, the list goes on. At the end of it some people still had energy to go out for some food and drinks.
Second day was all about team building exercises and it was more fun. We had two gentlemen from NACLI as our facilitators – Mr. Dubey and Mr. Darren. They engaged the crowd well and had lined up some fun activities for the day. We were running around in the sun trying to accomplish our tasks and at times being bitten by mosquitoes despite the liberal application of mosquito repellent. After each activity we reflected on our accomplishments and what we had to do to work better as a team. I really enjoyed the last game which had us identifying numbers written in three different languages – Tamil, Malay and Chinese. We won that game probably because we had strength from diversity…..Nan identified the Chinese numbers and Pavitra the Tamil…….since we didn’t have anyone who spoke Malay among us we called Jin Wei (our Malaysian friend) for help.
All in all it was a good two days spent and end of the retreat I went home with a little sunburn, some gifts and loads of stories to tell about the experiential learning :)