June 8, 2018 -- Students at Noble Elementary School can walk along the California coastline during recess. They can run from Maine to Washington State. And hop from the islands of Hawaii all the way up north to Alaska.
All thanks to 2018 Heights High graduate and Noble alumnus Dylan Polley, who painted a map of the United States on the Noble playground for his Eagle Scout project this spring.
Working over the course of several days in April, Dylan organized a team of family and friends to help with the project, which was designed to show his leadership skills. Eagle Scout is the highest rank of scouting, with only 6% of those involved in Boy Scouts ever achieving that honor. The final project requires a Scout to “plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school or your community,” according to the Boy Scouts of America website.
Dylan was partly inspired to paint the map by his youngest brother, Nicolas, who just finished his 1st grade year at Noble. “This is my community, and I know Principal Coleman from when I went here,” said Dylan. “Plus I want these kids to be able to learn the states without just sitting behind a desk. Now they can run across the country on a nice day.”
Finding that nice day to complete this project proved a bit of a challenge for Dylan and his team. Because he had to finish before his 18th birthday the first week in May, and because spring was cold and wet, he only had three days to actually work. But he rounded up family and friends, including his mother Adele and brother Jared, who recently finished his sophomore year at Heights and will work towards his own Eagle Scout honor in the next few years.
“Between baseball season, finals, Prom and graduation, I’m honestly just glad I got it done,” said Dylan, who plans to study computer science at Kent State University in the fall.
He received some donated materials from Home Depot and relied on contributions for the rest of his purchases, which included 37 giant stencils that had to be carefully placed side by side on the playground. The final product is bright and colorful and can’t be missed by playing students.
“It was like a trip down memory lane to come back here,” said Dylan. “I walked in the building and saw Noble Knights painted on the wall, which used to be our mascot before we all became Tigers.”
Dylan has participated in Boy Scouts for years, working his way up through the ranks of Troop 585. “I want to become an Eagle Scout to show people what I’m capable of. If anyone ever doubts my work ethic, I can point to this.”
His parents are both immensely proud of the commitment their son has shown to scouting through the years. His mother Adele, who put in a lot of hours helping her son finish the project, “was amazed at his determination to do this for Noble School. I see the kids and parents loving it. And I see how proud Dylan is whenever we visit it or speak about it.”
His little brother Nicolas is proud too. “I think it’s amazing that my brother did this,” he said pointing the map out to his nearby classmates. While the 7-year-old struggled to identify specific states, he knew exactly who to thank for leaving such a colorful and lasting mark on his school: his big brother, Heights High graduate and Eagle Scout Dylan Polley.