So the voucher scheme has ended and we all have about 6 weeks to get our vouchers banked, orders in before the summer holidays in England begin.
Our aim this year was to collect 1,500 vouchers. I’m not sure if we’ve managed to do that yet or not…I still have vouchers arriving through the post and to collect from the girls and other leaders. Once we’ve done that we’ll count them up to see what we have to spend.
Because the catalogue is only available online (which is not particularly helpful when you have no internet access in your meeting place), I go through the catalogue and everything that is within our voucher budget and could be used by our unit I write down on a list, along with how much vouchers they cost.
I will miss out anything that is stuff our unit has already or has access to (like cups – we don’t need cups!) or won’t likely ever use (like flags that need to be put in the ground or basketballs). Everything else – measuring spoons to compasses to torches to footballs to pom poms goes on the list.
I then give this to the girls and ask them to consider what they’d like to get, as long as it’s something the whole unit can use. So when we got hurdles for using in relay races (they like to set up obstacle course relay races) – we got more than one so that there was at least one per patrol. Last year we discouraged them from cooking equipment because we figured we can get things pretty cheaply anyway, but as the kitchen in our church hall we use for Guides is so ill equipped and they bake and make food every chance the get, we may do that. We don’t really have the money in our budget to pay for much just now, so if we can get it for ‘free’ with Active Kids vouchers and they want to get it – that’s fine with me!
So in the next two weeks this list will go to the girls and they’ll hopefully agree on a shopping list, give it back to me so I can put in our order. This year I’m more clued up on the process and the fact I need to arrange for a free postal collection to send the vouchers in.
That’s how we do it in our unit. How do you decide what to spend your vouchers on in yours?