Paying it Forward

Photo provided by Rob TYLER
Among the items included in the care packages were snacks, cards, photos, Scout trinkets and copies of CV Weekly.


In the “before time” – before the spread of COVID-19 when people were free to roam and play throughout the Crescenta Valley – Rob Tyler would spend his free time playing disc golf. He and his friend would head out to Oak Grove Park to play the course and get some peaceful time in the fresh air. Over time they would meet and chat with dog walkers and mountain bikers; this is how Tyler met Barbara.

One day while walking her dog, Barbara asked Tyler and his friend how much the discs cost that they played with. She said she had received a “wish list” from her nephew, Lt. Connor Doherty, who is an Apache helicopter pilot serving in Saudi Arabia. This was the moment that Tyler decided he wanted to help and he knew just where to turn.

“[I told Barbara that] I am an ASM (assistant Scout master) to a local Boy Scout troop [319], and it would be our honor to put together a care package for him. The next day she sent me his list and told me he is an Eagle Scout. That only made our project that much sweeter,” said Tyler of wanting to help.

At the next troop meeting, Tyler asked the Scouts and their parents, “What happens after you achieve Eagle and move on with life?”

“I said this is our opportunity to show our appreciation to a fellow Scout, one who we may never meet, but still a member of our scouting family,” Tyler recalled.

Tyler has been involved with Troop 319 for over 10 years, but this was the first time that the Troop had ever put together care packages for military personnel. Listening to Barbara’s story about Lt. Doherty ignited an instant response in Tyler. Troop 319 quickly set about filling boxes with goodies ¬– snacks, cards, photos, Scout trinkets and, of course, some golf discs. In early March, the Scouts had packed and shipped nine boxes to Lt. Doherty.

Tyler said that several new Scouts recently bridged into Troop 319, so this was the perfect opportunity for newer Scouts and their parents to see what kind of service can be provided to the community.

“It’s not all about ranking up and earning merit badges,” he said. “Sometimes life offers you an opportunity to do nice things for absolute strangers and I think that’s when we really shine.”

Just because Lt. Doherty is an Eagle Scout and a member of the armed forces doesn’t mean that Troop 319 prioritized his needs over others. During one of CV’s many brush fires, Troop 319 was at CV Park flipping burgers for firefighters. The Scouts always find a way to be helpful in times of need.

“But,” Tyler added, “because [Lt. Doherty] is an Eagle Scout it gave the younger Scouts a broader picture of life and Scouts, what it all means. We thoroughly enjoy helping out in the community … but this was a bit different, sending off a bunch of boxes to a soldier, anticipating the look on his face and not even knowing him. We thought it was pretty cool.”