The LWRWC’s Great Escape
By Monika Templeman, LWRWC Past President and Prisoner
On Thursday January 25, 2018. A group of more than 30 would be sleuths from Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club bravely faced the Escape Room challenge. This exciting, team building, Off the Ranch Outing, was skillfully coordinated by our LWRWC Program Chairs, Claudia Dombrow and Cathy Reinitz. The unique and engaging event, located at 6526 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, offers multiple time slots. Our 10:45 AM and 12:15 PM sessions each featured two separate detective missions; Cabin in the Woods and The Detective (one mission per team).
For most of us, it was our first “escape challenge’ and we didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived, we were told to put our cell phones in the lockers and that pictures and/or videotaping is not allowed. We all signed an electronic waiver, were given the rules and objectives, and watched a brief video to prep us for our missions.
We were divided into two teams and asked to choose a team name. I was assigned to the Cabin in the Woods team and we proposed several names, including Columbo, but settled for Clueless. We did not realize how prophetic we were. Although we all dress far better than Columbo, we did not rival his honed sleuthing skills. Of course, Columbo had a script and the advantage of a teleprompter. We were only entitled to request three vague hints that would be delivered via a monitor in our locked room. Since no technological assistance from cell phones was permitted, needless to say, Alexa was not an option in any of the escape rooms. Accordingly, we entered our escape challenges armed only with out wits, determination and a prayer that friendship and teamwork would save the day.
Since all teams included the highly intelligent ladies from LWRWC, there was great communication and a healthy dose of fun on all four teams. While the experience was not scary or claustrophobic, it was very challenging to solve the puzzles, uncover combinations, and timely open locks in a valiant attempt to unlock a door within 60 minutes to escape! The hour flew by! Although none of our teams solved the entire puzzle we all had a great time. The clues were tricky but with some hints and teamwork, our teams were able to almost make it through the whole thing! Most of us felt that it a great hour and wished we had another 30 minutes to finish!
Well, as the saying goes “when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”, or go to lunch. We all opted for the later and used our newly honed sleuthing skill to find Geckos Pub and Grill located across the parking lot across from the Escape Room. The teams of ladies enjoyed a delightful lunch with their teammates, filled with fun and friendship from which they had no desire to escape.
Overall, our “Great Escape Attempt” was a wonderful experience and many of us look forward to doing this again and trying a different mission.