Oceanside teens host thrilling Escape Room event


In a collaborative effort between students from Oceanside High School and the Oceanside Library, a thrilling escape room event was recently held, captivating participants with intricate puzzles and mysteries on March 7. The True Crime Club at Oceanside High School organized the event to engage the community while showcasing the students’ passion for solving mysteries and exploring true crime cases.

An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues and strategy to complete objectives and “escape” from a locked room or scenario within a set time limit. Escape rooms typically involve immersive storylines and themed settings that add to the overall experience. The idea for the escape room emerged during a brainstorming session between Oceanside student Aleena Zeejah, president of the True Crime club, and Gabriella Trinchetta, the Oceanside Library teen librarian.

“We collectively decided that that was a great idea and that would be a huge event for our club,” Zeejah said. Since this club is fairly new we haven’t had any big community events so we thought it was a really good idea and we were working very closely with Gabriella and Ms.Caponegro to come up with all the clues that we came up with and I think everyone really enjoyed it.”

Over several weeks, club members, along with club advisor and English teacher, Zoe Caponegro collaborated to design and create the escape room experience. Meetings were held regularly to brainstorm ideas, craft clues, and design the layout of the escape room, utilizing resources provided by the library and the breakout EDU kits. The club transformed the Oceanside library into an immersive setting filled with clues and challenges.

“It was really fun and we all bounced off each other,” Caponegro said. “Gabriella gave us all the resources. She gave us newspapers and guidebooks and old books the library didn’t use anymore. They were all there to support the experience when the kids actually did the escape room too, which was really nice to see.”

The escape room event,drew participation from both club members and other teens from the community. Participants worked together to decipher clues, unlock locks, and ultimately escape the room within the allotted time frame. In addition to the escape room event, the True Crime club engages in various activities during their weekly meetings, including discussions on true crime cases, mock trials, quizzes, and fundraisers such as bake sales and candy grams. The club provides a platform for students to explore their interests in criminal justice, profiling, and law terms.

The club’s dedication to creating engaging and educational experiences for its members and the community underscores the importance of fostering curiosity and learning beyond the classroom.

Reflecting on the success of the event, Trinchetta says there are plans for future after-hours programming at the library, possibly even after the library’s reopening in its newly renovated space. The True Crime club members also expressed their eagerness to organize more events, potentially including another escape room experience in the future.

“I thought everybody in the club did a really awesome job of putting all the clues and the locks together. It was honestly really impressive to see their creativity and their dedication to putting this event together,” Trinchetta said. “Some of the younger teens that wanted to participate asked if we would do this again on a Friday night or even a Saturday night in the future.”