SHAMOKIN — A Boy Scout on track to earn the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America has brightened a recreational area at the Shamokin Annex.
Sixteen-year-old Jameson Kramer, of Troop 254, Shamokin, recently completed a project to paint a colorful map of the United States on the macadam of the school as part of his Eagle Scout requirements.
It took 10 to 12 hours for Kramer, his parents, Scoutmaster Jason Kramer and Cubmaster Megan Baumgartner, and about eight fellow scouts to mark and then paint the map, which is about 25 feet at its greatest length.
The senior at Shamokin Area said the idea originated from his mother, a former history teacher at Shamokin Area Middle/High School, who suggested a large map be painted for children to enjoy.
Kramer approached Superintendent Chris Venna about the project, who advised him that the Annex would be an ideal location. Once approval was obtained, Kramer purchased a pattern of the map that consisted of multiple large pieces of paper with dots outlining the state borders.
Kramer and his group of volunteers went over the dots with spray paint, then removed the paper and connected the dots with chalk. They then painted the states in red, green, orange, blue and yellow and chose white for the borders.
“We had to strategize from the beginning. For instance, we couldn’t paint the border states first, because you have to walk to the inside,” he said. “We had to go over a few states more than once with the paint. The cracks (in the asphalt) were difficult. We had to slap a lot of paint in them.”
Wendi Schleig, kindergarten grade-level coordinator at the Annex, said the timing of the project meshed well because students were involved in a Reading Wonders curriculum, which centered around objects, such as monuments, in the United States.
“It kind of worked out well, because they could see the map of the United States,” she said. “It was nice to see that huge map.”
She added that students often see the map during recess and have taken a liking to it.
Students, Kramer said, have already started to point out various states, such as Texas and Florida, where “Walt Disney World is” located. He hopes teachers continue to use the map to teach geography.
Kramer said he expects to achieve at least two more merit badges before appearing in front of an Eagle Scout review board, noting he will be the first Eagle Scout from Troop 254 in several years.