Hi everyone! I just wanted to pop on here to state the good news, as of Spring 2022 I have finally finished my Girl Scout Silver Award and received it! (If you don’t know what this is, check my FAQ page.) This is a huge deal for me, and I am super excited about this.
I could not have done this without my supporters world wide, to whom I owe a HUGE thank you too. To the 250,000+ players of my escape rooms since Fall 2020, (yes, I’ve actually had over 250k players 🤯,) thank you for playing, supporting, sharing, and leaving feedback and comments on my escape rooms. I couldn’t have earned this award without all of my valuable players, and I’m really glad I got to make a difference in the world, no matter how big or small it is to everyone.
I wanted to share more about my actual Silver Award, so I’m including a part of my final application that I turned it for you all to read. It goes into depth about why I’ve done what I’ve done over the past 1.5 ish years.
Hi, I’m a third-year Girl Scout Cadette, and the founder, virtual-escape-room creator, and head of VirtualEscapeRoomsForKids.com. What started as a quarantine activity for my sister’s Girl Scout Troop turned into an ongoing project that has reached more than 250,000 teachers, parents, and students around the world in less than two years.
I created my first virtual escape room, “The Mermaid Escape Room,” to help my sister’s Girl Scout Troop earn a badge. (A virtual escape room is a series of puzzles, which must be solved in order to get to the next level. All of my virtual escape rooms are made using Google Forms.) My mom knew other Girl Scout leaders were struggling with online activities, so she shared my virtual escape room with a group of leaders to use with their Troops. The response amazed me. Soon I had hundreds of responses from leaders from across the country who played with their Troops telling me how it helped them plan their meetings and how much fun the girls had.
Encouraged by the responses, I made a Thanksgiving-themed virtual escape room. Released a few weeks before the holiday, I was blown away by the more than 36,000 plays it received. (Plus more afterwards!) Positive feedback from Scout Leaders who were burnt out trying to come up with engaging activities that kids could do together virtually during the pandemic continued to pour in.
“Thank you. I have been a GS Leader for around 25 years and since I had Covid, my brain just doesn’t think like it used to. I used to be able to think of an activity given any situation lickety split. Everything is so uncertain for all of us and I am preparing virtual activities for my girls during the 2nd lock down. Again thank you!” Annette T.
Following the success of the Thanksgiving virtual escape room, I created a Christmas-themed virtual escape room. This virtual escape room received a mindblowing 68,000 responses to date. (The thing about Google Forms is that in order for a response to be counted, every page, including the last, must be submitted. This means that at the end of each virtual escape room, players must hit submit, otherwise, it’s as if the virtual escape room was never played.) Due to the nature of Google Forms and the fact that many players complete my virtual escape rooms in groups, I believe it is likely that the number of individuals who have played my virtual escape rooms is more than double the number of completed responses.
Although the original audience was Girl Scouts, it didn’t take long for teachers to discover my virtual escape rooms. Responses were not limited to the US either, I received feedback like the message below from teachers in South Korea, Israel, Italy, Asia, Australia, Brazil, and more countries all over the globe.
“I am an English teacher from Croatia. I have found your Santa Journey Escape Room activity, loved it and decided to share it with my students. Thankfully, Mirela P.”
In order to make my virtual escape rooms more valuable to teachers, I continued to add an education component to most of my virtual escape rooms. For example, the Hanukkah virtual escape room is a series of eight puzzles that teach players about the holiday.
Given the popularity of my virtual escape rooms, I decided to create a website dedicated to housing all of them in one place to make it easier for players to find. This website became my Girl Scout Silver Award Project. Early on, one of the most common questions I received was how I made the virtual escape rooms. My response was to create a free tutorial that teaches people how to create their own virtual escape room.
To date, I have created 13 virtual escape rooms with plans to create more.
- Mermaid (water conservation for WOW Girl Scout Journey)
- New Year’s Eve
- Girl Scout Cookies (ABC and LBB versions)
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Virtual Escape Room Tutorial
- Summer Vacation
The virtual escape rooms I’ve created have received more than 338,000 submitted plays, and I have committed more than 80 hours to the project. Scout leaders, teachers, parents, and kids around the world have been able to complete my rooms as a fun, educational, virtual activity that can be completed individually or with a group. VirtualEscapeRoomsForKids.com has been a resource for thousands of people in this unexpected virtual time and has made a positive impact on kids by providing a much-needed break from online learning.
Thank you again to everyone who has helped me to earn this award and turn a small hobby into a huge project that impacted all around the world.
– Girl Scout Cadette, founder of VirtualEscapeRoomsForKids.com