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Robert Nelson

Watch Robert’s exclusive interview

How My Military Background And Native American Heritage Led Me To Escape Rooms

Like many other veterans and serving members, I joined the Armed Forces soon after high school and served 20 years.

Around 2017, with a year to go till retirement, I was struck with a question – what would I be doing once my service came to an end?
If there’s one thing that the military gives you, it’s a sense of purpose. It’s a force that drives you in everything that you do. But, what would my purpose be, after I retired?

Fast forward, my son took me to our second escape room. And that proved a real eye-opener.
My mind was simply blown at the endless possibilities for storytelling in an escape room.
Having grown up on a Navajo reservation – I am Native American – storytelling is in my blood, and it was fascinating to see stories not being told, but actually coming alive.
Instead of just listening to stories, I was actively taking part, and sort of creating a story of my own – and that was something I had never experienced before.

So I took to studying escape rooms, to see if they could give me the purpose I was looking for.
And it was then that my military training kicked in.
My time in the Army had given me a lot of insight into building and leading teams, and an escape room seemed the perfect way to pass that on to others.

A good leader has to step up when nobody else is willing, to think in a way nobody else is thinking, and to focus on creating a solution even if everybody’s dreading how tough the problem is.
I wanted The Escape Adventures to be a system for businesses to find and mould leaders with these qualities.

That is how my passion for storytelling as a Native American and the teambuilding skills acquired through my service in the Army drove me to create this escape room in Chester, Virginia.

And I look forward to meeting you here, soon.

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