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Mystery escape room coming to Schriever

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As part of the 2016 Recharge for Resiliency program, Schriever Air Force Base applied, and was notified in February, it had received approval to create something growing in popularity across the country. Construction of the installation's first escape room will begin soon, with game master training and full operations to begin in May.

"This was one of the options available as part of Recharge for Resiliency," said Karen Draper, 50th Force Support Squadron Sustainment Service Flight chief. "We don't have a bowling alley or a golf course, but we have a room and this looks cool. We applied for it the first day."

Schriever is one of 20 Air Force installations that received approval to create an escape room.

The premise is simple. Participants are given a background story matching the theme of the room. The room itself contains clues, puzzles, riddles and questions they must solve or answer as the story unfolds. The group must work together to completely solve the puzzle or risk falling victim to the story's antagonist.

The Air Force Services Activity contracted Mystery Escape Room, LLC to provide the kits for each room theme and to train game masters at each installation. Training at Schriever is scheduled for May 2 and 3, and 50 FSS is still looking for volunteers to serve as game masters.

"Ideally, we'd like at least six to eight volunteers to make it easier to book the room," Draper said. "Anyone on base can be a game master as long as they clear it with their commander or supervisor and they are in good standing."

Game masters are responsible for keeping the process moving slowly, providing clues when a group is stumped and set the tone for the mystery. Game masters play a "character" in the story and volunteers should be comfortable with play-acting.

Draper said those interested in volunteering should contact her or 2nd Lt. Sarah Dalessandro, by April 28.

"The trainers are coming from Utah and we'd like to try to schedule an informal introduction on Saturday or Sunday (before the training begins)," she added.

MER has six available themes for escape rooms. Schriever's room will be themed, "The Invisible Files."

"The rooms are designed to be challenging and be a series of small victories for the participants," company founder Les Pardew told Air Force Civil Engineers Center Public Affairs after training the first set of game masters at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in early March. "Participants should be right on the verge of getting out after the 60-minute time window. Say they get out in 62 minutes; that makes them want to return and try to escape within the allotted time."

The room will be located in Building T-135, and can be reserved for groups of up to 12. Rooms can be reserved at any time provided a game master is available and the reservation will not interfere with Air Force Fitness Assessment Testing.

For more information or to volunteer as a game master, contact Draper at 567-2525 or Dalessandro at 567-5808
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