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Fond Memories of Map Tag Resurrect New Mural

17-year-old Eagle Scout candidate Isaac Nemzer repaints a gigantic 48-foot by 32-foot map of the United States at Grant Elementary School.

Editor's Note: the following was re-written with information provided by Isaac's father, Steve Nemzer.

Isaac Nemzer, 17, has fond childhood memories of chasing classmates in games of map tag on gigantic mural of the United States painted on the campus of Grant Elementary School.

As he grew older, so aged the mural.

"The original map had become cracked and faded over time, and finally the district paved it over this summer," he said.

Repainting the huge map would become his Eagle Scout project, and with the help of some 50 volunteers, he completed it over the weekend.

Because no templates for a U.S. map of the size—48 feet by 32 feet—exist, he sought the help of Peter Tigler, a local muralist who had originally painted the map about 20 years ago. 

Using a conventional 4-foot wall map, Nemzer first traced the state outlines, and then overlaid a grid of 384 two-inch squares, carefully numbering each one before cutting out the squares. The individual template squares were then slightly enlarged to about a 4 inch by 4 inch dimension.

A corresponding grid of 2-foot squares was then chalked over the playground. 

On Saturday morning, volunteers from Grant school and Troop 2 were each given the  small 4-inch square templates as a guide and, by hand, scaled them to the 2-foot dimension. 

"It requires a bit of coordination and attention to detail, but we found that volunteers as young as 10 were able to do a good job,” Nemzer said.

Once the state outlines were chalked, then the painting could begin.  It took two days to finish, and by 8 p.m. Sunday, Nemzer was putting the final touches on.
 
"The results really exceeded my expectations—the mural looks great," he said. "Painting this mural was a big challenge. But the support I got from principal Shirley Compton, Peter Tigler, and my Troop 2 advisors gave me the confidence to take on a project like this."
 

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