Forty-nine years later, the Miller family is celebrating its fourth generation of Eagle Scouts with Will Miller, John’s great-grandson and the son of assistant scoutmaster John W. Miller III.
The 13-year-old troop guide and Westminster Schools student will be the 180th Boy Scout to receive his Eagle Scout commendation since the troop’s inception. He is expected to earn it in May.
Only about 1 percent of Boy Scouts are awarded the title of Eagle Scout nationally, according to Kathy Miller, Scoutmaster Sam’s wife (Will’s uncle), but about 3 percent of Troop 232 Boy Scouts earn the title.
Sam has been scoutmaster for 25 years and is a second-generation Eagle Scout, along with this brother Bart.
The family has three third-generation Eagle Scouts, with Will being the first Eagle Scout in the fourth generation.
“Being an Eagle Scout is the only thing you can do that carries into adulthood. If I see that someone was an Eagle Scout on their resume, or Girl Scout Gold, that’s meaningful,” said Bart, who is principal of Sterling Risk Advisors in Marietta, along with his son John.
“In both the first and second world war[s], to go through officer training, you had to be either a college graduate or Eagle Scout,” said Bart.
Bart said his father, the founder of Troop 232, saw that the young men who led the effort during WWII were Eagle Scouts.
“The basis of it is because it is boy-run, not scoutmaster-run,” he said. “It’s inherently chaotic and inefficient. They’re trying their management skills out. It’s the first thing these boys do apart from their parents.”
Kathy added, “On the other side of that, though, the Boy Scouts offer a great deal of training for the boys and the scoutmasters.”
Twelve of the troop’s 16 assistant scoutmasters belonged to Troop 232 growing up.
“It really is a safe haven for kids,” said John. “This is a place they can always call home.”
For his Eagle Scout project, Will built a bench at the Schenk School in Sandy Springs. On the bench is a plaque for each teacher who has taught a minimum of 25 years at the school.
“That’s one of the things you learn in the leadership piece of it,” said John. “You want all the kids to embody a service mentality as they go throughout their lives.”