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Sandy Springs family has four generations of Eagle Scouts
by Savannah Weeks
January 10, 2013 10:25 AM | 3098 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self
Four generations of Boy Scouts, from left, Sam Miller, Matt Miller, Will Miller, Bart Miller and John Miller, show the medals they received for earning the rank of Eagle Scout underneath the entrance to Troop 232 Lodge named after John W. Miller Sr., the first Boys Scout in the family.
Staff / Nathan Self Four generations of Boy Scouts, from left, Sam Miller, Matt Miller, Will Miller, Bart Miller and John Miller, show the medals they received for earning the rank of Eagle Scout underneath the entrance to Troop 232 Lodge named after John W. Miller Sr., the first Boys Scout in the family.
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Matt Miller, of Sandy Springs, shows the medal he received for becoming an Eagle Scout, a Miller family tradition.
Matt Miller, of Sandy Springs, shows the medal he received for becoming an Eagle Scout, a Miller family tradition.
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Will Miller shows off his Eagle Scout project.
Will Miller shows off his Eagle Scout project.
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 A photo of Bart Miller, of Sandy Springs, from 1971, hangs inside the Boy Scout Lodge 232.
A photo of Bart Miller, of Sandy Springs, from 1971, hangs inside the Boy Scout Lodge 232.
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A painting of John W. Miller, Sr. hangs on the back wall of the lodge of Boy Scout Troop 232. Miller was the first in a line of four generations of Boy Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
A painting of John W. Miller, Sr. hangs on the back wall of the lodge of Boy Scout Troop 232. Miller was the first in a line of four generations of Boy Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
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John W. Miller founded Boy Scout Troop 232 in Sandy Springs in 1964 after serving in World War II.

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.”
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