Procedure: Dig hole in advance; any digging done during the ceremony is only for symbolism. Assemble the group in a circle around the hole with the tree placed next to the hole.
LEADER: Good friends, Troop # _____ will plant a tree that each year will say that those who walked these paths today have left a growing memory here to bring new loveliness each year.
#1 GS: And so I dig the soilWherein to plant this tree. That it may grow and ever say To others who may pass this way, "Behold a living glory here, Beauty's gift of yesteryear." (digs dirt)
#2 GS: Trees must have air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink and sunlight to keep them healthy. The oldest living things of any kind on earth are trees.
#3 GS: Trees have enemies on every side - storms, drought, insects, animals, disease and old age. The most dangerous are people with careless fires and destructive axes.
#4 GS: Each of us carried a packet of soil from our home garden or a spot we love. We will step up and add our soil around this tree while making a silent wish for its good health and long future. (Each girl steps up and shakes her soil into the hole.)
#5 GS: May this (type) tree grow tall and beautiful.
#6 GS: May the sunshine and rain be kind to it and may the Girl Scouts guard and cherish it.
#7 GS: May it, in turn, furnish cool shade for people and shelter for birds.
#8 GS: And make this (name of place) a more pleasant place for everyone who comes here.
(At this time it would be appropriate to sing a song such as "America the Beautiful.")
Note: Prior to planting the tree, the group should research the proper technique for preparing the ground to receive the tree and create a plan to ensure its future growth. Go to http://www.kidsface.org/pages/plant.html for more information on how to plant a tree