Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Caper Chart

Many years ago I was a Girl Scout and there I was introduced to the concept of the Caper Chart.  A caper is a a frivolous, carefree episode or activity.  I think some clever scout leader years ago used word play to work in the idea of the shoemaker's elves and make a chore sound fun.  The amazing thing is, it really works. [FYI, the Brownie Girl Scouts use this story as a theme.]

In a spontaneous fit of creativity yesterday, Pepper and I sat down to make the Caper Chart for our upcoming family camp-out.  We really had so much fun.  In case you have not used a Caper Chart yourself, here is ours followed by a full explanation.  It looks a little unfinished because I photographed it before laminating it.

You can see the days of the week are across the top, while the specific "capers" are along the left side.  This is a chart for adults and the adults spend a lot of time playing cards on campouts, so using old playing cards for the assignments seemed fun.

When we get together, each adult will draw a card from the selection in the bottom pocket.  We will write their name on the corresponding card on the sides of the chart, just in case anyone forgets.  They can hang on to the one they drew.

Each day, we check the chart for "our" number.  (In this example, suits don't matter -- I only had so many old playing cards!)  So, for example, if you drew the queen, you would be a "Sous Chef" on Tuesday.   If you drew the Ace, you'd be the fire chief on Monday.  See how that works?

There will be 19 of us at the gathering, 6 adult women, 6 adult men and 7 kids and teens.  Instead of all the women feeling as if they "should" help cook every evening, this way, they can help on their assigned days and relax on the others.  Same with the fellas and the fire building.  For this camp-out, we decided to eat on paper and let the men wash the pots and pans.  Those heavy pots we use for big groups seemed like "men's work" this time around.   So each of the men will be the fire chief on one day and a dishwasher one or two others.  Simple, eh?

My teens are good helpers and the younger kids like to cook, so we found a couple of fun "assembly" jobs for the kids.  The teens will organize and support the youngsters.  The paintbrush represents Pepper's crew and the Softball is Sunshine's.

Even if it weren't such a useful tool, we had a fun time making it!  It's a great project for a rainy day -- or in our case, for the 42nd day this year that the thermometer topped 100 degrees!

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