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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 01, 2017

Girl Scout Tree Ceremony in Little Silver

Back in February, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Region celebrated World Thinking Day.  They participated in activities with a global theme to honor their sister Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. The focus this year was to embrace all the ways the girls can Connect and Grow as Girl Scouts within our communities. The logo for the celebration was a tree, with leaves bearing verbs to  inspire the girls to action: Challenge, Build, Innovate, and Stretch among them.

The Little Silver Girl Scout and Brownie Troops took this to heart and began a community service project based on a pear tree, which they used in their February Thinking Day program.  The historic Parker Homestead – donated to the town in 1995 when Julia Parker, the last of eight generations of Parkers to own the house and farm, passed away – had, for many years, an apple orchard. The Parkers supplied apples to the Allies during World War II. As the apple trees died or became unproductive, they were replaced with peach trees, providing Little Silver with fresh peaches into the 1980s. There was also a small pear orchard, although pears are not well suited for the region . There were two pear trees still living when the borough took possession of the property, but one was old and gnarled and did not last much longer.

When the Girl Scouts learned there was only one pear tree left at the homestead, they planned their project: replacing the lost pear tree. On March 26, Little Silver Environment Day, the girls held a tree planting ceremony, planting their tree approximately where the old tree had been, thus insuring the continuation of pears at the homestead.

After a parade of the colors and flag salute, Bob Sickles, a Parker cousin, spoke about pears and Parker family traditions such as Julia’s home canned pears, often given a Christmas gifts to family and friends. Each girl  then gave a recitation as her fellow scout added a ceremonial shovel full of dirt around the tree. The ceremony ended with the traditional Girl Scout Friendship Circle, with scouts, parents, and community members participating.

Parker Homestead was open all afternoon for touring. Art students from Red Bank Regional High School sponsored an activity booth for the girls before the ceremony began, where they did tree crafts. Participating scouts received a fun patch for their participation in the event.