Full Circle- Rebuilding TRUST

  • April 20th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Bob Swisher was a beloved Pathway Caring for Children Board Member offering an important perspective and this excerpt is shared in his memory. Pathway Co-Founder, Velma Bridges wrote the following:

Bob Swisher was the fifth boy we welcomed into the first Pathway Group Home.  We were grateful to be able to provide a home for Bob and the other teen boys in that home. We soon realized that Bob was a strong-willed teen. So we helped Bob re-direct his determination so that he could experience success in constructive activities. Bob wanted to work, so we helped him get a job working in a local body shop. We encouraged him to save his money.  He began to think and plan for his future.  

Eventually, Bob went to live with the owners of the body shop. We lost track of him when they moved to another state. Then one day years later, we had a problem with the sewer drain in our home.  We called a drain cleaning company, Swisher Drain and Sewer.  When Bob got out of the truck, we were surprised and pleased to see him again.  It was great to see how Bob had used his determination to establish his own successful business.  We spent time that day reminiscing and learning about his family.  It was even greater to hear about how he cared for his wife and children.   

Several years later Bob became a contributing member of the Pathway Board of Directors in 2004.  Then when Bob learned about the first Pathway TRUST (Teens Realizing and Understanding Selves Together) Adventure Therapy Camp, he decided he wanted to become a volunteer for the camp.  

For several years Bob assisted therapists and mental health case managers who were guiding campers in building social and problem-solving skills.  Bob was able to relate well to teens who had endured abandonment, neglect, and abuse because of his own life experiences.  Bob helped teens navigate high and low rope courses and work as a team during scavenger hunts. He went horseback riding, hiking, and kayaking with them.  He witnessed campers learning about themselves, making new friends, and accomplishing things they never thought possible.  He told me that these experiences were some of the highlights of his life.