Here at camp, we are always looking for new activities to provide for the kids. The number of activities is actually the limiting factor to how many campers we can accommodate during family camp. Right now, we are capped at 190, but if we found more activities for them to participate in during the week, we would be able to increase that number.
A maze was donated to camp last summer, and we were able to set it up this summer. We were all pretty excited about it, but we realized that it took about 90 seconds for somebody to figure out how to go through the whole thing, and after that, they were pretty much through with it.
We tried to brainstorm on ways that we could make the maze more appealing, and make it into an activity. Some of us staff had a few nerf guns, and we played a couple variations of laser tag type games in the maze.
Then, we had a sudden brainstorm: we could make the maze into an escape room. Mateja and I had a chance to participate in an escape room during our honeymoon, where we got locked in a room with clues and keys hidden in it that would let us into another room. Each room that we unlocked had yet more clues and keys to get into more rooms until we finished the final room of the challenge.
A couple of the other staff and I immediately set to adding a few doors in the maze to create some rooms, and we locked these rooms with combination locks. Then we added some clues into the maze. Some clues were straightforward, other clues told the combinations as an answer to math problems. We re-appropriated a refrigerator as a vault which held the final key to make it out of the maze. I wired up a car ignition switch through an arduino to a school bell we had in the shop, and set up the school bell near the exit of the maze.
So far we have had a lot of fun with the maze. Every week as the campers get older, we are able to add a little complexity to the maze. For 10-13 year olds, it took them 50 minutes to unlock 3 rooms and the vault, but we are considering adding clues written in jigsaw puzzles, glow in the dark/ultraviolet clues, and other fun activities to the maze for the weeks to come. We are looking for more ideas, so if you have any, feel free to send me a message.