Girl Scout Traditions: Kapers and Campfire Cooking

Girl Scout Traditions: Kapers and Campfire Cooking

If you’re planning a spring camping trip, why not incorporate some time-tested Girl Scout traditions into your adventure? Girl Scouts and traditions go together as famously as Girl Scouts and the outdoors, so check out these two easy traditions to add to your trip!


It’s a duty or chore! These are the things that must happen at every meeting or on every trip to make it run smoothly. When divided up among all girls, the work gets done quickly – AND teaches girls how to take ownership and responsibility!

What’s a kaper?

You might have a set of kapers for your meetings, some for events/activities, and a different list for camping and travel.

Who is responsible for kapers?

Everyone! Create and use a kaper chart to divide girls and adults fairly into groups. Parents, troop volunteers, and girls are all encouraged to take a part in doing kapers.

How to decide on kapers?

How you set them up is up to your girls and your meeting/event structure. Think about…

What do you do that can be handed off to someone else?
What HAS to get done at every gathering?
Where could you use an extra set of hands?
What can girls do that will teach responsibility and give them a sense of ownership and pride in their meeting or event?

For example…

For a meeting, you might have kapers such as:

  • Lead pledge, Promise and Law
  • Pass out supplies
  • Volunteer’s assistant
  • Set-up crew/clean-up crew
  • Song leader
For an event or outing, you might have kapers such as:

  • Roll-taker
  • Lunch/snack passer-outer
  • Volunteer’s assistant
  • Set-up crew/clean-up crew
  • And more, depending on the outing or event.

For camp, you might have kapers such as:

  • Food prep
  • Cooks
  • Wood gatherers
  • Fire helpers
  • Clean up
You might recognize Summer Camp-specific kapers such as:

  • Hoppers
  • Earthkeepers
  • Joppers

You can Google ideas for kapers and kaper charts, or check out even more ideas on Pinterest!

Campfire Cooking

Now that you’ve made your kaper chart, and you know who is helping with meal prep… it’s probably time to figure out what you’ll be eating! Girls should obviously have a say in this decision, so make sure that menu-planning is a group activity. Keep in mind their previous experience with outdoor/campfire cooking and how old they are.

We borrowed some excellent cooking progression tips from our sisters over at Girl Scouts of Greater LA to help you know what to tackle on your next outdoor excursion!

PS: Make sure to check out Safety Activity Checkpoints for Outdoor Cooking before you get started!

No Cook

Start teaching cooking skills including knife handling and hygiene. Whole meals may be planned around sandwiches and salads. Open, assemble, and eat with very little prep. Simple recipes may be tried at meetings.
Some ideas:

  • Edible fire
    • A savory and sweet snack that teaches fire safety while also being tasty!
  • GORP / trail mix variations
    • There’s no way you’re a Girl Scout and haven’t heard of GORP. It’s a mix of Good Old Raisins and Peanuts that’s handy for a hike or a car ride. There are endless combinations to this basic formula, so let your tastebuds be your guide!
  • Walking salads
    • Google recipes for these easy-to-transport salads that are made in a cored apple! Savory or sweet – it’s up to you!
Heat and Eat

Boil water for tea, cocoa, and instant soup. Heat and eat items such as canned foods, soups, stews, and chilis!
Some ideas:

  • Canned chili with corn chips, cheese, sour cream, and whatever toppings you desire!
  • Soup with sandwiches and salads or crackers
  • Beef stew with hearty bread
One Pot Meals

A main dish that is cooked in a big pot, such as a stew, chili, or soup provides a tasty meal with minimum clean up! Add a salad, drink, and dessert – and you have an entire meal!
Some ideas:

  • Chili packed with meat, beans and veggies!
  • Vegetable soup
  • Tacos or burritos

Foil Pouches or Ember Cooking

For perfect meals with no pots or pans to scrub! Using individual foil packages is a clean and convenient way to prepare food at home, carry it, cook it, and eat it – all in a single container. It also allows each person to build their own customized meal!

Some ideas:

Dutch oven

A Dutch oven is a heavy, flat-bottomed kettle with a lid, legs, and a bail wire to lift and hang it. It can completely cook one-pot meals on an open fire. Dutch ovens may be used for baking, stews, roasting various meats, one-pot cooking, and some desserts. Set the oven on some hot coals, and put more coals on top of the lid. The temperature may be controlled by adding or subtracting coals.
Some ideas:

Stick cooking, griddle/skillet, buddy burner, and box ovens…

Feeling ambitious? Research other cooking options, including how to build your own buddy burner or box oven! What can you cook on a griddle or skillet – or even on a stick?

Recipe roundups

Once again, a quick Google or Pinterest search will lead you to TONS of ideas for recipes, but here are two good round-ups of campfire recipes for you to try! Happy trails!

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