Escape. Be it from our daily grinds, awkward situations at a dinner party, or simply moving from the kitchen to the living room before the commercials are over. We have all been driven to escape at some point in our lives. But escaping alone is often a nearly insurmountable challenge. A daring escape requires the perfect team, and often that team can be right in front of your eyes.
When escaping any situation, particularly an escape room built to keep you from doing just that, I find that families often have the perfect blend of skills, traits, and attitude to get the job done. Each role, be it the Sibling, the Parent, the Boy/Girl/Other-friend, bring something to the table. How do I know? I watched a team, constructed from my very own family members, succeed where others had stumbled. This is how they did it.
First, my father. While he didn’t have any hands-on experience with escape rooms, he knew what to expect, as was well prepared, with years of puzzle solving under his belt. Some of the information in the escape room would have flown right over my sister’s head, and his ability to understand the references and apply newfound information in context made him invaluable to the team. Another pair of eyes and a different perspective can make the difference. He was also a little more willing to ask for hints, which is vital when time is key and you are struggling over something you almost have solved wastes precious seconds as folks deliberate over whether they want help or not.
Then there was my sister and her boyfriend. These two tended to be the ones who picked things up, unafraid to explore and investigate the escape room. Being in school, they seemed more mentally geared towards problem solving, attempting different solutions and using what they had learned from other areas. It was no wonder they worked well as a pair, as I’m sure any duo could in a situation like this.
But how does this relate to other families? It’s all in the methods. The younger crowd forges ahead, gathering and cataloging. The older folks hang back a bit, digesting and testing with the clues at hand. If they are stuck in an escape room, the dynamics should flip, and the younger ones take a crack at the puzzles, their academically stretched minds allowing them to see things from a different perspective. Youth, with its high energy, can do more of the physical legwork, while wisdom can fill in the gaps.
Every team is different, but there is always something special that each member will bring. That special something is often the key to success.