Renwick confirmed for 'tent city' jamboree

Jamboree director Guy Beatson at the Giesen Sports Centre in Renwick.

Jamboree director Guy Beatson at the Giesen Sports Centre in Renwick.

Renwick has been finalised as the host of next year's National Scout Jamboree, which will more than double the town's population. 

Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman signed an agreement with Scouts New Zealand on Friday, confirming the 10-day gathering in Renwick from December 29. 

Organisers expect 4000 youth members, aged between 10 and 14, and about 1500 adults to attend.

Scouts will come from across New Zealand and from other countries including the Cook Islands, Samoa and Australia. 

Jamboree director Guy Beatson said a public meeting on Friday to update the Renwick community went well.

About 15 people, as well as council representatives, attended the Giesen Sports Centre in Renwick.

"The level of enthusiasm from the wider Marlborough community and Renwick was just stunning," Beatson said. 

"We're wanting to engage with the residents and keep them informed."

Jamboree spokeswoman Jane Hansen said the scouts would be putting up a "tent city" at the Giesen Centre.

Beatson said a major issue was the amount of water the scouts would use, more than a million litres a day.

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Drinking water would come from Renwick's main water supply, as it would take less than 1 per cent of the town's total supply.

Water for washing and cleaning would come from a separate aquifer beneath the Giesen Centre, Beatson said.

Thirty-five people from the jamboree management team were in Blenheim at the weekend. 

Beatson said the jamboree was "for scouts, by scouts". 

"The scouts are doing as much as possible for themselves, with our help," he said. 

Jamboree youth services director Helen Warriner said the jamboree programme would be split into six lots of activities, including the "water pod" in Picton where they would go sailing, rowing, rafting and swimming, and a "bush pod" at Pine Valley, in the Mount Richmond Forest Park, which would include orienteering, a confidence course, night hikes, shooting and archery. 

Warriner said there would be a set of activities at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, near Blenheim, and hopefully all of the scouts would get up in the air. 

She thought this jamboree would be the "best ever". 

The venue, the activities and the community support gave it the "wow factor", she said. 

A jamboree patrol of 12 scouts had been picked to suggest ideas for the organisers to consider.

Patrol member and Renwick School pupil Jono Poswillo, 13, said it was great having a say in what the scouts would be doing at the jamboree.

"It's really fun, and I'm really pleased I got into this patrol," he said.

Beatson said the next stage would be getting the plans and the budget finalised. 

Sowman said it was a "very exciting" opportunity for Renwick, and an opportunity to market Marlborough. 

 - The Marlborough Express


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