July 31, 2008 2 Comments
Kaper is the word Girl Scouts use for any of the little tasks that make a meeting or activity possible. As a Junior leader, I use the patrol system and give each patrol a responsibility, but when I was an assistant Brownie leader one of my roles in the troop was to make the kaper chart every week.
There are many ways to do kaper charts. Some troops make a permanent chart and put the girls’ names on Velcro or something so they can move them around each week. Some troops don’t have a chart and just draw a name whenever something needs to be done.
What I found simplest and most effective was to write the kapers and the names of the girls assigned to them on a sheet of paper (just scratch paper with something printed on the other side) with a marker, in letters about 3/4″ high. I posted it in a visible place on the wall of the meeting room so that anyone could glance over at it when needed. I made the chart in advance, usually the night before the meeting. I used a spreadsheet to show who had which kaper at which meeting so that I could make sure everyone got a turn at every kaper. Elementary school kids are very strict about fairness!
Kids like to see their own names and know what their role will be, so it’s important to have everybody’s name on the chart. After filling all the slots, I’d list all remaining girls as Ready Helpers. If somebody was absent, a Ready Helper was assigned to that kaper.
These are the kapers we had for a typical Brownie meeting:
- Quiet Bringer monitors the noise level and starts the Quiet Sign when we get too loud. Anyone can decide that we’re too loud and ask for the Quiet Bringer’s help.
- Promise Leader officially starts the meeting by leading us in reciting the Girl Scout Promise.
- Treasurer collects the dues and marks the dues sheet. (Some girls needed help from a leader.)
- Hostess serves the snack.
- Assistant Hostess passes out the napkins and any dishes needed.
- Cup Collector takes the cups or other dishes into the kitchen and pours out any leftovers.
- Scavenger picks up the trash–both after snack and after any messy activity. When we planned something really messy, I assigned 2 Scavengers.
- Bubblers (2) wash dishes and rinse them and put them in the drainer. (Leaders dry and put away dishes after the meeting–we found that some girls did not dry cups well enough and they’d stick together.) Bubblers get to decide together who will wash and who will rinse.
- Sweepers (2) sweep the floor at the end of the meeting.
- Squeezer starts the Friendship Squeeze.
- Ready Helpers are on call for any task that wasn’t anticipated, i.e. “The juice spilled! I need two Ready Helpers to get some towels and clean it up.”