For the first time in our chapter’s history (but certainly not the last), STC-PMC and a few special guests took on the escape the room challenge at Project Escape in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Escape the room challenges have become a wonderful way to bond with friends and coworkers, build teamwork, and put communication and critical thinking skills to the test. It’s no wonder that our TechComm group did wonderfully–both teams made it out in under an hour and beat the challenge.
There were two rooms, a team of eight, and a team of five. One room was a Harry Potter-themed escape from the wizard prison of Azkaban, in which our group of five tested their mettle. Jess Rineer, first-time escape the room player, said that she “would have never made it out without a good team,” and that she “enjoyed watching people work together as a team.”
The two Co-Chairs of Publicity, Victoria Stanton and Madison Hughes, were also in this group, and their youthful exuberance and love of point and click adventure games helped lead the team to victory with 18 minutes and 34 seconds left on the clock. Chapter Vice-President Danielle Villegas had a great time escaping Azkaban with her colleagues. “It was a great example of teamwork,” she said, “we had to divide and conquer.” Our Chapter President Tim Esposito had a great time as well, though after 42 minutes in the wizarding prison he said, “I don’t ever need to hear Harry Potter music again.”
The other group of eight were tasked with committing a jewel heist–not only did they have to break in, they also had to safely break back out. When asked about what she liked best, special guest Michelle Krane said that “every part was her favorite part!” Another special guest, Ruijin Qi, talked about things she was impressed with, like cool combination puzzles with lights and locks. Unfortunately, one puzzle got stuck and an attendant had to come in and manually unstick it and it broke the flow of the fun a little. Regardless, they both felt that teamwork was so important to escaping in time. Ruijin Qi added that the rooms were “a little dark”.
When asked for comment, another special guest, Jeff Krane, just said that he’s “glad they got out alive,” with a relieved smile on his face. Their group escaped the room with 1 minute and 20 seconds to spare. Member Ellen O’Brien was delighted that her team made it out alive, and despite the complicated multi-step puzzles, she thought her team productive. “I learned it takes a village to solve an escape room,” she said. Another member, Staci Bender, was excited to meet and work with new people. “I didn’t know anyone I was paired with!”
It was a thrilling evening that Danielle is excited to do again. “I’ve been trying to organize the group to do something like this for the past year and a half,” she said, “and we finally had an open spot on the calendar. We definitely want to do something like this again, and soon.”