Girl Scout Kaper Chart Resources

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Leaders both old and new will need to create a Kaper Chart for their troop. In this blog post, I outlined the various jobs and why it is important to have such a chart. Girls need to be responsible for participating in the running of the meeting, no matter what age they are.

There are only four basic items you need for making a Girl Scout Kaper chart.

Photo from Ivorymix

Here are four basic things you need to make a Kaper chart.

A basic cardboard trifold is all you need to create the perfect Girl Scout Kaper chart.

Trifold Available on Amazon

You will also need Velcro circles.

Velcro circles for your Girl Scout Kaper chart.

Velcro Circles from Amazon

There are a variety of library pocket cards that you can use to adhere the Velcro.

Library pocket cards for Girl Scout kaper chart

These card holders and others are available on Amazon.

Last, you will need note cards for the name of each girl.

Keep it simple when you are making a Girl Scout kaper chart. While it is nice to have a pretty one, it is not necessary to spend your precious time and energy making it. Spend that on the actual meeting!

What jobs do you have on your Kaper chart?

What Are Your Girl Scout Troop Goals?

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In my last blog post, I shared with you six things that leaders need to do in order to get ready for Back to Troop (you can read it here if you missed it).

There is one more item that I want to add to the list-setting troop goals.

Troop leaders need to have goals for each year so that the girls know that they are working towards something.

When you start a Daisy troop, you probably have only one goal-surviving the year and learning how to be a good leader. As the girls get older, they have to take over more responsibilities, and they need to help set goals. Of course, you have to make sure they are realistic (a field trip to Disney is not an achievable goal, but one to Build-A-Bear is). With my troop entering eighth grade, they have a lot more say in the matter.

When our troop started in 2008, we did not sell cookies and it was not my job to be the camping leader, so we focused on earning badges and lots and lots of community service. I feel that if you teach children when they are young to give, they will continue to do so as they get older, as it is a natural part of their lives. I am proud of what we have accomplished and continue to accomplish.

When I stepped down as the main leader, the girls did sell cookies and went camping, yet we still continue to do service projects as a part of who we are. That is a central part of being in our troop and is always a part of our troop goals and mission.

Some leaders have goals of earning as many badges as possible-to the point where a vest or sash no longer has room for any more. Other focus on the quality of the experience before a fun patch is issued. Which one is your goal? Is a patch necessary for every single experience or should they revolve around what your troop’s main mission is? A Girl Scout vest or sash in many ways, tells a story. How many are service related, camping related, and field trip related?

Of course, there is always goal setting when girls are selling cookies. They want to earn money for a special trip, so they are motivated. But what about the rest of the scouting year?

Asking your girls what they want from Girl Scouts and talking about goals should be a part of your first meeting of the year, as it will shape all of your planning.  You can always check back to see if what you are doing is accomplishing you set out to do. Goals can be monitored and adjusted as needed. A clear vision of what your troop is about will help you create a smoother scouting year.

What are your troop goals for this year?

6 Tips for Getting Ready for Girl Scout Back to Troop

With the dog days of August upon us on the East Coast and the end of summer coming to an end in the West and in the South, it is time to start thinking about “Back to Troop”.  If you are a leader who does not meet over the summer, then it is time to wake up that part of your brain that has been relaxing and get it into gear for the upcoming troop year.

Here are 6 tips for getting back into the swing of things!

Getting ready for the new troop year? Here are 6 tips to make it start off on the right foot.

Photo from Pixabay

  1. Log into your Council troop account and see who has already registered for the new year. Remember that the girls are still officially a part of your troop until September 30th, so do not stress if girls have not renewed. Parents may still be waiting to see the dance/sports/cheer schedule and do not want to sign their girls up until they know the dates of all their daughter’s activities. We all know that for the vast majority of girls in our troop, Girl Scouts is not at the top of the activity list.

Send out a friendly email thanking the parents who have already registered and reminding parents that have not that they need to do so. Include that meetings will be starting on the date you have chosen and that it is necessary for you to know in advance to begin planning out the year. I always included a statement like the following:

I understand that schedules change and that some girls may not want to be a Girl Scout any longer. If your daughter is not planning on returning, please let me know. She is always welcome to return if she changes her mind.

Some parents are embarrassed or afraid to let you know that their daughter is no longer going to continue with Girl Scouts. My troop has always had an open door policy and some girls who did not come back in September returned in October as soon as they saw their classmates in uniform and all lined up in front of the Main Office after school waiting for our meetings to start.

Attach all important paperwork to this email and make sure you give a firm date as to when they are due.

2. Decide if you want to do the Fall QSP fundraiser.  Just like cookies, this is an optional fundraiser, but one that must be done with cookies if you wish to have your own girl run fundraiser later in the year. If you decide to do it, find a parent to run it for you.

Will you be doing the QSP Magazine and Nut fundraiser this year? You need to decide that at the beginning of the troop year.

Photo from Pixabay

3. Decide what, if any changes, you are making this year. Are you going to serve snack? Extend the meeting time? Increase dues? Require more parent participation? The changes need to be made from day one and not midstream. Remember you are a volunteer and that you are in charge of how to run the troop. Parents who disagree can find a new troop or start their own.

4. Meet with your co-leader. Do not assume that everything is the status quo regarding your co-leader’s role. An open and honest discussion about which things she is responsible for and which you are responsible for will avoid any confusion and conflict. Do you need her to do more? Is she trying to do less? Being on the same page avoids issues and helps keep the troop running smoothly. The girls will pick up on any animosity that the adults in charge have.

5. Plan an active and fun first meeting. If you did not meet over the summer, then there is a lot of catching up to do! Have a fun ice breaker activity to start things off. You can find a bunch here at Activity Village and at Icebreaker Ideas.

Once that activity is over, you will need to get down to business. How girl led your troop depends on your level and if the girls want to and are able to plan. While it is the goal for girls to take the reigns as they get older, there are leaders who find that the girls drop the ball due to lack of time or interest. If your troop is older, this would be the time to teach them how to plan the next meeting and what your expectations are. Get their contact information so you can check in between meetings.

Ask them what badges, activities and service projects they wish to do and plan accordingly. How much will the girls be doing and how much will you and your co-leader be doing? This will help you in planning in advance so that you are not flying by the seat of your pants the day before the meeting.

Conclude your meeting with a special treat or a fun game. Don’t forget to take a picture!

Plan a fun activity for your very first Girl Scout meeting of the year.

Photo from Pixabay

6. Change over your First Aid Kit. Medications expire, so be sure to buy new products or an entirely new kit.

These tips will help you get Back to Troop on the right foot!

Do you have any other tips to offer?

Amazon Prime Day for Back to School and Girl Scout Supplies Today Only!

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Back to School and Back to Scouts is still a long time away for those who live on the East Coast, but for my friends and family who live in other places, summer break will soon be drawing to a close. Stores everywhere have replaced grills and swim gear with notebooks and highlighters.

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm…and the deals! Today is the day to go to Amazon and try Prime for free for 30 days so you can get the deals and the free shipping that comes along with being a Prime Member.

Think of all the items you want to get for your troop and your own children (and hey, maybe even yourself!)in the upcoming months and get them all today.

Click on the banner and enjoy your shopping experience!

 

4 Things Girl Scout Leaders Needs to Do Over the Summer

Don’t be alarmed by the post title! This is all about YOU and finding ways to make next year’s troop meetings go even more smoothly. Whether you are a troop that has summer meetings or one that will get together again in September, here are some things to get yourself ready for your best and most productive year ever.

Before you end your troop year, you may want to survey your girls and ask them what they want to do. This will assist in your planning and give them a vested interest in next year’s activities. Also, they should not complain since you made the plans based on their suggestions!

Doing these 4 things over the summer should help Girl Scout leaders start the new scouting year on the right foot. Even if you do only one or two, you will be ahead of the game when your troop begins meeting again.

Photo from Pixabay

  1. Take a few weeks off and do not think about Girl Scouts!  As a teacher, I know firsthand the magic of summer break. Even though in my younger years I worked in the summer, it was a different job and it used my brain in a different way. Once mid-August came around, I was recharged and excited for a new school year to begin. I still feel this way and look forward to the start of September refreshed, relaxed and renewed.

Girl Scout leaders need to take time over the summer to relax. You deserve it!

Photo from Pixabay

You need time to not think about a meeting, planning an event, or pinning that perfect craft project. You deserve it!

2. When you are ready, start planning!  Maybe inspiration strikes you during the post July 4th sales that you see in craft stores. Perhaps there is a pin on Pinterest that you save to one of your boards. You will know when you are ready to think about your girls again.

Planning is essential to having a successful scouting year. Having a month to month outline and meeting plan will not leave you frazzled with last minute shopping and running around. You have a life outside of Girl Scouts, and if you are not stressing about how to combine the two, you will enjoy your meetings more.

PLanning your Girl Scout year will make everything easier for you. Pencil in dates, plan activities and trips and then fill it in with more details. No last minute running around is necessary!

Photo from Pixabay

Begin by looking at next year’s calendar and penciling in all of your meeting dates. You can plan badges, service projects and trips based on the season. For example, we already have our camping weekend planned for October and the girls are excited! That means our September meeting will be devoted to planning and preparing for our first two night trip. In December we do a service project, typically for the same organization.  January’s meeting centers around cookies. Four months done already!

Your first meeting should be devoted to troop building skills and “getting to know you” activities if you have new girls joining the other girls. Making them comfortable is key.

Then you need to see what direction you are heading. Are you planning the Bronze Award? Do you need to complete a Journey? (remember, they are not required until the girls are Juniors and IF they want to earn the Bronze).

What badges would work for your girls? Do you want to do one from the old program? Now would be the time to search for the badges on private Facebook groups. You know the interests of your girls, so plan your meetings around them.

3. Talk to your co-leader. Having a positive relationship with your co-leader is another essential element to having a great leader experience. Schedule a meeting with her to have her help you plan the year’s activities. Be sure to delegate tasks so that you are not responsible for doing everything. After your meeting, send an email to her reviewing what you both agreed to do.

4. Do Not Stress Over Registration  I am a firm believer that parents need to be the ones who register their daughters for Girl Scouts and pay for it. They pay for other things like dance costumes, cheer uniforms and cleats for sports, as well as the registration fees for these activities. Why do we enable them with Girl Scouts? While I realize that you want to know how many girls are returning, it really does not matter except for the first meeting or two whether you are planning for 10 girls or 12. The activities will be the same. Girls are still considered Scouts until September 30th.

Do not stress over whether girls register or not. It is their parents job to do that. If they want to return, they will.

Photo from Pixabay

In the past, I would send a reminder email at the end of summer along with our first meeting date. I also told parents the girls would not be able to join us after September 30th unless they were registered.

They all managed to register before the deadline.

These four key things that Girl Scout leaders should do over the summer will have you starting the new troop year on the right foot.