Posted in Just for Fun

Houston, we had some problems

This past weekend, the town of Pipestone filled with intergalactic travelers on a mission to escape from a toxic planet. In all, ten brave expeditions attempted the Launched: Escape Room at Meinders Library.

Rocket Bones
Best Quote: “Guys, we have a dead comrade over here!”

Just for fun, we’ll share some of our favorite moments from the weekend.

  • Observing the space shenanigans on the big screen in the library. If extraterrestrials exist and have front row seats to our daily lives, I imagine them belly laughing at all our secret moments in much the same way we giggled at our wannabe-astronauts.
  • Listening to the screams emanating from the far side of the planet when Dr. Bones was found in a crashed rocket.
  • Watching the crews (and Emily-yes, we saw you!) singing and dancing to our Launched soundtrack! Creating auditory clues for this escape room was by far our best decision ever.
  • Hearing the many names given to our feathered friend constellation. Cygnus, aka the Swan, is a cluster of stars otherwise known as the Northern Cross. Our crews called it by names of their own choosing such as goose, crow, duck and pigeon. Unfortunately, none of those imaginative names opened a lock. (To learn more about the stars, stop out on Friday night and view the heavenly bodies with meteorologist Mike Lynch.)
  • Realizing that time math is more difficult than algebra is for most people.
  • Seeing the smiles on all the faces when the crews returned to Earth and took their victory photos!

The Celestial Countdown

  • Popma’s Astronauts: test group
  • Star Troopers: completed 5 locks
  • 4H-ers of the Galaxy: completed 7 locks in 77 minutes
  • After School Crew: completed 8 locks
  • The Pinheads: Mission Completed with 10 locks in 80 minutes
  • Da Bears: Mission Completed with 10 locks in 74 minutes
  • To Infinity and Beyond: Mission Completed with 8 locks in 64 minutes (not pictured due to a glitch in the Meinders Mission Control video satellite feed. Sorry, Wagners, Nelsons, Winters and Juhls.)

Not surprisingly, there is a bit of contention among the top three expeditions as to who really won! Is the key to success completing your mission and finding an alternate fuel source in the least amount of time even if (or because) you bypass solving 1/5 of the puzzles? Or does victory go to the team who received the fewest clues? What about finishing this complicated mission despite a lock malfunction and a few bugs on behalf of the Meinders Mission Control?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Lunar Rovers: Mission Completed with 10 locks in 62 minutes
  • Super Locky: Mission Completed with 8 locks in 52 minutes
  • Team Minnesota: Mission Completed with 9 locks in 52 minutes

You decide who gets to claim the ultimate victory in Launched, because to us, every last soul who boarded the rocket ship is a winner in our hearts.

Lastly, a big shout out to Mrs. Popma and her astronomy class. Without Stacy, we might never have considered a space theme even though it fit perfectly with Mike Lynch’s visit. In addition, our very tricky constellation of the Swan was created by a talented PAS student, while the astronomy class dedicated its time and talents to test-driving our escape room before we went public.


Thanks so much for the amazing partnership and the opportunity to bring a little fun to our community!

happy reading~ jody


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.