I have a Guide-level unit, and we’ve really enjoyed the three Guiding History escape rooms created by Elisha Hardwick.
These are fully printable escape rooms – you won’t need things like locks or boxes. Since there’s no equipment, you don’t have to run the escape room in small groups sequentially – you can break a large unit into smaller groups and have everyone run at the same time.
To set it all up, you will need to:
- print the poster-style Information and Clue sheets, and hang these up around the room ahead of time.
- print the worksheets – one for each team.
- print out any required puzzle pieces, one for each team, as well.
We also liked to offer a little incentive, so we had a box of girl guide cookies as a treat for girls who escaped (and of course, we also gave one to girls who didn’t end up escaping when time ran out). You could have stickers, patches, or other little treats on hand as a reward.
When we run an escape room evening, we run the whole unit at once. We break the girls into teams of about 3 or 4 girls. We do find that the younger girls – first year guides in particular – have some trouble with these puzzles, so it is best to make up teams that contain a mix of years, so the older girls can help the younger girls.
Each team gets the clue sheet for puzzle #1, and then GO! They can rush around the room using the info and clue sheets to solve their puzzle.
We run this with multiple leaders, and each leader has one of the future puzzles – #2, #3, or #4. Once the teams think they have the answer to puzzle #1, they also then have to find out which guider has puzzle #2 by trying out their “password” – the answer to puzzle #1 – on each guider in turn until they are rewarded with puzzle #2.
We give our girls 45 minutes to escape and this is usually a good amount of time for the older girls to make it out. If you have teams made up of younger girls, they may need more like 60 minutes. You will find that when there are some teams that don’t escape, they beg for more time to be able to get out! So it helps if you have some flexibility in your schedule.
We also take teams that are finished and redistribute those girls to teams that aren’t done yet – so they can provide hints and help the other teams move more quickly, so hopefully everyone escapes.
Girls that make it out get a cookie – and those that just can’t quite get there when time is up get a cookie, too.
Our girls have really enjoyed these and always beg to do more. I would highly recommend them as a fun evening – but also because they are a great way to work in some required programming. Elisha has made escape rooms that cover the life of the Baden-Powells (great for Our Story or Spirit of Guiding), Cookie History and Safety (great for Our Story, Money Sense, or Life Skills), and World Guiding (great for Global Guiding).