First, you all ought to know this program was MILES more popular than I ever would have expected. If you all are looking to bring millenials and 30-somethings into your library, DO AN ESCAPE ROOM PROGRAM and do it now.
|Group #3 came the closest to escaping the room.|
Even though I had opened the registrations up to "all ages" I was warning parents that anyone under about age 8 would be horribly bored. I was 100% right about that. I had one mom who very much insisted on bringing her 6 year old and he lasted about 3 minutes before he started crying, demanding to go home, asking for candy and trying to destroy various items. Everyone else however, had a fabulous time!
|Group #1 was almost all strangers. It took them longest to start working together.|
Here are some things I discovered while observing the teams in the rooms:
1) Kids between the ages of 8 and 12 were the best at this! The one team that came closest to completing the challenge had 3 kids and 3 adults in it.
2) Adults do not listen to kids, but they SHOULD. Several times a child would have a GREAT idea about how to solve a clue, would voice their opinion, then would be promptly ignored until it proved that their suggestion was completely awesome and valid and would have saved their team loads of time.
3) Teenagers really sucked at this game. One group was made up completely of teens, and this was the group that did the worst. In general the other teens who participated also got really confused really easily. I noticed that the all-teen group was the only group that chose to completely ignore the first clue they were given and simply looked for any puzzles in the room without trying to solve any of them. This was a VERY bad plan because then they got totally confused, could not remember where they had found the puzzles or clues and could not figure out how anything related to anything else.
|My all-teen group, Group #4 had the hardest time. They also made the biggest mess.|
At the same time, it took every group shockingly long to realize that there were complete keys to each of the puzzles prominently displayed in the room. One person realized one clue was in Morse code, for example, and then spent several minutes looking through a pile of books trying to find one on Morse code, while there was a complete chart taped to a wall in plain view.
5) Pressure makes fast friends. Most of my groups were made up of pairs of friends, parents with small kids or couples smooshed together into a team. It was great fun to see everyone being very shy at first, with friends sticking together on opposite ends of the room... but the closer the clock got to that end game, the more everyone worked together and made friends. By the time they were done and getting pictures, everyone was chatting and smiling and recounting their adventures.
|Group 1. They did well once they loosened up. Only 2 knew each-other prior to the game.|
|Group 2: They did well, but our youngest player got bored very quickly.|
|Group 3: They did the best. They came so close I gave them goody bags even though they lost.|
|Group 4: They had fun even though they admitted their strategy was a big mistake in hindsight.|