From taking attendance to cleaning up after the meeting, there are a lot of logistics that need to happen during a troop meeting. Some people may call these “chores”, “tasks”, or maybe even “agenda items”, but at Girl Scouts, we like to use the term “kapers”.
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Things like wiping down tables and taking out the trash don’t sound fun, especially when adults call them “chores”. But the term “kapers” and a cute kaper chart help troops stay organized, get things done, and avoid unnecessary drama over the timeless issue of “but it’s my turn”, all while keeping meeting activities girl-led!
So… What’s a kaper chart?
This is where a kaper chart comes in. A kaper chart is a classic Girl Scout tradition—a creative chart or board that has been saving troop leaders from the unavoidable bickering of Girl Scouts for decades (and helps girls learn about taking turns).
By documenting, delegating, and displaying the various jobs in your troop, you set expectations early on and eliminate the little disputes that will likely arise at some point over a “not so fun” task. With the kaper chart, your girls can watch the roles and responsibilities rotate as every girl gets a chance to do the “fun” tasks, like starting the friendship squeeze, as well as the “not so fun” tasks, like post-meeting clean-up.
Tips for Awesome Kaper Management
In the world of Girl Scouting, kaper charts are a tried-and-true troop management tool. And even though there aren’t any concrete rules to them, here are a couple of helpful tips to keep in mind when creating your troop’s kaper chart:
- Regardless of the kaper, try to create roles that make the duties sound more fun, like “Promise and Law Leaders” or “Clean-Up Crew”—these clear roles and titles give them a sense of responsibility and ownership over their assigned task.
- Think about the structure of your Girl Scout meetings and size of your group before coming up with the roles you want your girls to be responsible for. For example, when opening the meeting, you should decide whether you want one girl to be in charge of both the Promise and Law, or if it would be better to assign two girls where one gets to start the Promise and the other gets to start the Law.
- Just because a girl is in charge of a certain kaper doesn’t mean she has to handle it along! Make sure your girls know that they can delegate and recruit friends to help them complete their kapers in a more manageable way.
- Don’t forget to involve your girls in the design and creation process of your troop’s kaper chart (since they’ll be looking at the chart a lot too!)
If you need more help getting started, our sisters at Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana have an awesome PDF on kaper charts that breaks down everything from suggested kapers to how to make a kaper chart. But remember, there’s no right or wrong way to make a kaper chart.
Kaper Chart Inspiration
A couple of months ago, Marissa did a call on the Girl Scout GAB Facebook group, so we could share some real-life inspiration on The Trailhead. Here were some of our favorites:
What to do next:
- If you haven’t joined the Girl Scouts GAB Facebook group yet, you should because it’s pretty awesome! The Facebook group is for leaders near and far looking to trade ideas, stories, tips, and other helpful resources.
- Find more inspiration with a simple search of the term “kaper chart” on Google or Pinterest.
- Looking for a related read? Check out Girl Scout Leader 101 for more on information on kapers.
Leah Takahashi—Leah is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she creates content, plans blog posts, and promotes all things Girl Scouts in all formats digital. Leah joined Girl Scouts at the age of 5 and has been a part of the organization ever since (shout out to Troop 31213 – woot woot). During her younger Girl Scout days, Leah did everything from selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies to serving as a National Delegate at the 2011 Convention and even earning her Gold Award in 2012. She may be young, but she’s got plenty of Girl Scout experience under her belt and is excited to share it with you