MORE than 1,500 members of Girlguiding and Scouting joined together for a giant picnic to celebrate the King’s coronation.

Girlguiding Basingstoke Division, along with the two Scouting Districts, Basingstoke East and Basingstoke West, had organised the takeover of the main field of the park on Saturday, April 29 in War Memorial Park.

The event saw members of the uniformed organisations try their hands at traditional fairground attractions like a have-a-go coconut shy, adventurous pursuits including archery, to more modern activities such as Zorb football. 

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The young people and their leaders then all renewed their Guiding and Scouting promises, previously made to Her Late Majesty the Queen, this time promising to serve His Majesty the King, before singing the national anthem. 

The production team of the award-winning Basingstoke Gang Show also led everyone in singing “Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave”. 

Councillor Paul Miller, the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane and Guiding Ambassador and Basingstoke MP Dame Maria Miller also attended. 

District active support manager for Basingstoke West Scouts, Kirsty Holdsworth, said: “This event was a wonderful opportunity to join together to celebrate Guiding and Scouting’s shared history as brother and sister organisations and to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. 

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Division commissioner for Girlguiding Basingstoke, Jane Day, said: “Both organisations have a long history of royal involvement. Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a Guide, HRH The Countess of Wessex is Girlguding’s President, and HRH the Princess of Wales is Scouting’s President. 

"Scouts aim to achieve the King’s Scout Award, while Guides work to achieve the Queen’s Guide Award, which are the highest awards young people can obtain in each organisation.  Remaking our promises to serve the King is an important part of what Guiding and Scouting is about.”

Both Girlguiding and Scouting hope to hold shared events together again in the future, as well as welcome new members and adult volunteers.

Guides and Scouts across Basingstoke also pitched in with The Big Help Out on Monday, showcasing the difference uniformed organisations can make to communities from a stand in Festival Place.