Trust fixes tent problem for scouts

17:59, Nov 13 2012

Some good old Kiwi logical thinking and a $1800 grant have seen the Nativity Scouts in Blenheim solve a long-running equipment problem with their tents.

The scouts received the grant from the Canterbury Community Trust to go towards upgrading their equipment, and with the help of a Marlborough business have ensured that their tents will always arrive at a campsite with all their parts accounted for.

"We have eight large framed tents that had the eight tent bags all ripped and damaged from wear and the constant struggle to fit the tent back inside the bag," explained Nativity Scouts leader, Bruce Petrie.

The scouts have long struggled with this problem, and in some instances various parts of the tents have failed to arrive at the campsite. Scout groups in Marlborough have purchased 20 tents over the last eight years and it has been their experience that the tent bags perish in New Zealand conditions, said Bruce.

"All tents are made in China to NZ requirements, but the bags supplied are pretty poor quality. The packaging is very compressed on arrival and when the tent is opened there appears to be an explosion of size," explained Bruce.

Donald Soper from Blenheim Canvas Goods came up with a NZ solution to the product, with the eight new bags being larger and therefore easily able to house the tent, fly sheet, sun-room, pegs, ropes and hammer. The bags cost $1200, with $100 spent on eight new hammers plus tent instructions, with the remaining $500 going to the Nativity Scout den repairs.


The eight tents, costing $2000 each, are tricky to put up, but a simple yet effective solution was devised, with Blenheim Canvas Goods building special large pockets to store the laminated instructions in.

"There will be no excuse now for incorrect equipment to arrive on the camp site," said Bruce.

"We very much appreciate their (Canterbury Community Trust's) level of support."

The Nativity Scouts are part of the Marlborough Scouting Group, attached to the NZ Scout Association, and have about 150 members and 25 leaders. Girls and boys are welcome to join from ages six to 18.

For more information contact Bruce Petrie on 03 577 5331 or email

The Marlborough Express