Organizing Girl Scouts with Kaper Charts
A kaper is a job or chore that must be done. In Girl Scouting, a kaper chart is prepared which indicates all the jobs available and who is responsible for each one. In other words, a kaper chart is a way of dividing the jobs so that each girl has a part. To make a kaper chart, first decide:
1. Which kapers should be divided (e.g. there are different capers for camp vs. meetings vs. field trips)
2. Whether the kapers should be handled by groups or individuals
3. If groups, group size
4. What type or style to use
5. How to rotate the girls
Keep in mind that kaper groups allow leaders to mix the girls in different ways. Typically, groups would stay together for a few times and then are mixed up again. Sometimes girls are rotated more often to give them an opportunity to meet lots of different girls. Sometimes groups use a combination of kaper charts for different functions: e.g. one for groups splitting major jobs, one for flag ceremony jobs.
Here is a handy kaper chart guide from Northern California Council!
Kaper (Task) Ideas - Meetings
Attendance (use smilie stickers)
Bring a book
Choose a game
Choose a song
Clean up captain
Clean up clean
Clean-up after snack (2)
Collect paperwork (permissions slips, badge work sheets)
Dues (we collect $1 each mtg.)
Friendship squeeze starter
Help set up tables
Help take down tables
Lead an activity
Lead flag salute
Lead good-bye game
Lead the girl scout promise
Lead the pledge
Pass out paper(s)
Pass out snack
Kaper (Task) Ideas - Camping
Kapers for Individuals
Kapers for Groups, e.g. rotate meals
Table Hoppers @ meals
Fire Wood/Fire Starters
Camp Clean Up (assign areas)
How do I make a Kaper Chart?
Below are Kaper Chart ideas from leaders. Pinterest may have some cute ideas!
"A Job for Everybody"
Daniele V., Troop 563, Rolling Hills Council
I put all the different jobs on a felt piece of material. We had a job for each girl. We have 10 girls so we had Meeting Starter, she rang a triangle to get order in the troop, flag holder, pledge starter, promise starter, picture taker, attendance taker, song starter, squeeze starter and 2 bridge leaders. I had each of the girls bring in a picture and we put it on a foam daisy since all of the girls couldn't read yet. Each week I just rotated the daisy's around the chart. The girls loved this they always came into the meeting and went to the chart to see their job. I didn't have a clean up because I felt they should all clean up and whoever was signed up for snack did the snack.
"Take a slip"
Laurie, Troop 271, Utah
We put all the jobs that needed doing for that specific meeting on a slip of paper and put the slips of paper in a big bowl next to the Roll/Sign-in sheet. As the girls came to the meeting, she would pick a slip of paper from the bowl and write her name on the sign-in sheet and the kaper next to her name. She kept the slip of paper in her pocket so that if she forgot what her job was, she could pull it out and look at it. The leaders could look at the sign-in sheet and see that everyone had a job to do.
Amanda H., Troop 115, Milwaukee, WI
Our troop has 11 Daisies, so I needed to figure out how to fit them all. So what I did was made a sunflower, with the petals being the tasks, and bumble bees, bees them! I attached them with velcro. so that way they can be removed and each one can take a turn. I also wanted something that we could use for many years. You need black beans for the center and yellow and orange florescent paper as the petals. I then glued them to a foam board with an sky background. The girls love it!! I pull their names out of a bag and let them pick there job for the day. No more arguing and frustration.
"The Ever Useful Coffee Can!"
Nicki, Troop 390, Middle Creek
We use a coffee can with the kapers listed around the outside of the can. Each girl put her name on a craft stick then glued them to the clip clothes pins. Then we attach the pin to the top of the can lined up with the kaper.
"Spin That Wheel!"
Kecia, Troop 1121, Orange County, CA
Pin Wheel We use a paper plate and clothes pin with each girls name on it. We then rotate the girls name to whatever job she will be responsible for.
Joanne, Troop 248, Morris Area
I found Post-it Notes in the shape of Daisies and printed one with each girl's name on it. I laminated these and put a velcro dot on the back. For the chart, I printed the jobs (enough for each girl in the troop) onto green construction paper strips to serve as the "stems" of the flowers and glued them to a large piece of foam board. I added "grass" made of construction paper to make a Daisy garden. I put the matching velcro dot at the top of each stem so the names could be changed each week. I ask one of the parent's helping out to pick one name out of a bag - this girl gets the "Set up Kaper Chart" job. Her job is to pick the rest of the names and put them on the chart. The last job is "Clean up Kaper Chart" and the girl with that job takes all the names off the chart and puts them back in the bag for the next meeting. Works great!!
"Mickey to the Rescue!"
Christa, Troop 63, Falls Village
I went to my local hardware store and picked up Disney paint chips (mickey ears) and cut them out, printed each girls name on a different color and glued them to clothes pins. Then I made a large circle (aprox.9 inches) out of a cereal box and put white paper on the "ugly" side. Write Troop # in middle of circle and in a smaller circle around troop # write kapers. Just leave enough room for a clothes pin to fit in the space!
"Safety in Numbers!"
Becky, Troop 67, Lone Star
We have a basic chart with dates down the side and jobs on top. We have cards taped to a whiteboard that we can move around and change each month. We use four jobs - attendance/dues, opening, supplies, and closing. We rotate duties each week, but instead of having just one girl listed - we have our girls divided into groups - and have 3 or 4 girls for each job. If there are several supplies that I need help with - several girls can help - or if someone is not there - I still have someone to help.
"Keeping it Simple!"
Linda, JGS 834, Heart of Missouri
We just use a basic chart: Jobs down one side, blank for name of girl on the other. Girls get to pick their jobs -they differ each week because we have different activities each week. We have friendship squeeze prepicked.
"It, Already It"
Sue, Troop 81, GS of Bergen County
I cut shapes out of decorated paper and glued magnets on the back. I start them all off in the "it" bag and at the beginning of each meeting, depending on what needs to be done that time, I pull names out of bag and write job with chalk on the blackboard and put up magnet shapes. At end of meeting all names go into the "already it" bag and start all over again once "it" bag depleted.
"Do It, Next, Done-It"
Julie D., Troop 231, GS-Columbia River Council
We have used two types of kaper charts; one that failed, and one that works for us.
Failed: Our troop started with a more formal kaper chart, with a job each meeting for each girl, that rotated on a pre-set schedule. Jobs included opening flag ceremony, closing flag, clean up after snack, pass out materials, clean up after the meeting, etc. This didn't work all that well because some meetings (as an example) there were LOTS of things to pass out, and the girl felt like it was her "right" to pass them ALL out, which took too long. Other meetings there was nothing to pass out, or no flag because of a field trip, so the girl felt she was "cheated". In addition, since clean-up was an item, the other girls felt like they didn't have to do ANY clean-up; the girl that dumped all of the beads over the table and the floor announced she would not help pick up because that was not her kaper.
Worked: We went to a very simple kaper chart.
We have 3 cups:
There are 4 jobs:
We have 4 sets of popsicle sticks (ours have a different shape glue-gunned on the end, but they could be different colors or whatever). Each set of popsicle sticks has one girl's name on each stick. All of the sticks started in the "Do-it" cup. The Snack is pre-determined by the date that the parent signed up for the week, but the girl gets to pass out her snack. So the snackers name is put in the "Next" cup. A Song, Picture, and Leader's Choice stick are randomly drawn and put in the "Next" cup. Every time we need or want a song, it is the Song girl's job to pick a song. After that, her stick is put in the "Done-It" cup, and a new girl's name is drawn. Having the "Next" cup helped the new girl have time to come up with a song. The Picture girl takes 2 pictures per meeting, anytime she chooses. The Leader's Choice is for anything else that needs to be done: pass out stuff, collect trash, be the helper, etc. It's potluck. Some meetings we use a lot of Leader's Choice girls, and sometimes we don't have any. But nobody feels picked on or favored. When all of one type of stick make it to the "Done-It" cup, they all get put back in the "Do-It" cup, and we start over. (And everyone cleans up their own mess!)
"Do It, Done-It"
Liz R., Troop 81, GS-Columbia River Council
I took Julie's idea and simplified it for my tired brain and for our Daisy Troop! We only had 2 cans, "Do It" and "Done It". Each girl had a clothespin that she decorated. All pins start out in the "Do It" can. I draw a pin out and that person will draw a pin for the first job that we leaders need. The person who is drawn, draws for the next job. Her pin goes into the "Done It" can, etc. When all pins have been selected, they get dumped back in the "Do It" can and we start over! The girls absolutely loved it!! Doing it this way minimized the disappointment when having set jobs that you didn't always need at each meeting - more flexibility!