What was your biggest childhood fear?

I am startled by a loud howling. No whining, but really such a cry that you as a parent know that you have to come right now. I run to the hall and see one of the mini-bandits in tears. He is inconsolable. All he can do is point at the washing machine. Between the clothes, a small head of a lion is visible. The mini-bandit is convinced this is the end of his close friendship with the lion. He's not going to survive...

Scared in the dark. Afraid of being abandoned. These answers regularly appear in response to the question: what was your biggest fear of childhood? It’s one of the questions that Team Breakout players need to answer beforehand so we can use it in a custom GPS game. “I used to be afraid there was a snake in the toilet that would bite my butt. Even now I’m still afraid.”

Next week we will organize another Team Breakout with Breakout Bandits. This time the group is a team of volunteers who go on a summer camp. I also participate as a volunteer. So I also have to fill in my childhood fear. I immediately think of Carnival at school. I remember well that I hid in the toilet in the hope that no one would miss me. In the background I heard my classmates dancing the polonaise. My wig itched and the makeup stung my eyes. I still get a stomachache just thinking about it.

The questions that come up are very diverse. Childhood anxiety comes up, what you would do if zombies were attacking or whether you’re a folder or a propper: “Most of the people on your team fold their toilet paper neatly when they go to the toilet. There is one that makes a wad. Who is that?” The questions are a hilarious way to get to know your team better during the game. Afterwards you can of course discuss it over a drink or during dinner.

In my case, a short therapy session might be more appropriate. “Because why was I so afraid of carnival?” Such childhood fear says something about me, even now. I am shy and quite introverted. I don’t like to be in the spotlight. I quickly think that people think I’m weird, even if everyone is dressed up. And I run when I find something scary.

The Team Breakout is the perfect way for me as a team leader to get to know my team better and for them to get to know me. And… if the conversation stops during lunch, I always have a nice opening question: are you a “propper” or a “folder”?

Wouter van der Zeijden
Creative Director at Breakout Bandits

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