Involving the Family Leads to Better Student Success

    Your child’s long-term success depends greatly on family support, participation, education, and growth. We know that an adolescent who returns to an unchanged family is more likely to begin gravitating back to old habits and behaviors. For this reason, we have a comprehensive family-based program that is an integral part of the Trails wilderness program.

    Involving the Family

    No other wilderness program offers training and support for the entire family quite like Trails Carolina. We involve the family in the following ways:

    • Family Therapist – other families in similar stages of the Trails experience are led by the Family Therapist on weekly calls, an incredibly powerful opportunity for families to not “feel alone”.
    • Weekly calls from Primary Therapist – with just your family to understand progress and opportunities for continued growth.
    • Parent Workshop – a few weeks into your child’s stay to connect and better understand the program
    • Family Reunification – or “graduation” weekends
    • Common Ground – 5-day extended stay option, called Common Ground for the entire family

    Family Calls & Support

    One critical way in which we involve the entire family is with weekly calls from Primary Therapist. The Primary Therapist has a more specific understanding of the progress your child is making and the challenges that remain.

    Next, we offer weekly Family Calls that connect families to our family therapist as well as other Trails families who are experiencing similar challenges. We recognize that parents often feel alone and isolated when dealing with their child’s behaviors. Being connected with other families who have experienced similar emotions provides tremendous relief and an honest perspective on your family’s situation through the therapeutic wilderness programs experience.


    Read More About Family Camp

    Moving Forward: Common Ground & Reunification

    In our decades of experience helping teens, young adults and families through our therapeutic wilderness programs, we have found that patterns of behavior within the family system lead to a repeating cycle of blame, guilt, and frustration. The goal is not to determine where it all began but to help the student and the family break the cycle and begin the path towards healthier, happier relationships.

    We believe working with the family “system” is a vital part of breaking the cycle in our student’s habits and behaviors. We offer many programs for Trails families including Family Workshops, Family Reunification, and Common Ground programs.

    Parent Workshop
    A few weeks into their child’s stay, parents experience the Trails wilderness program and work to build skills for a healthier family system. After completion of the Workshop, parents join a new set of parents on the weekly Family Calls for a different level of support.

    Family Reunification
    Your family will attend a two-day graduation experience led by staff and licensed therapists. Graduation allows both you and your child to practice and share the new skills that everyone has learned during their Trails Carolina experience.

    Common Ground
    Common Ground is an optional five-day family program for parents, siblings, and your Trails student.

    Learn more about Common Ground here>>

    Take a virtual tour of our Common Ground house:

    Family Assessments

    Trails wilderness training and therapy includes assessments, which allow families to quickly and effectively target areas of strengths and growth opportunities. It’s been said that unless you know where you are, you can’t truly know where you are heading. This can oftentimes be a crucial step in understanding the entire family dynamic and starting everyone down the road to success.

    Wilderness Training Resource for Lasting Change

    Family Resources
    Parents have the ability to download audio/video files on topics that they find useful. These topics are available to help families better understand dynamics within the family, challenges that teens face today, and strategies for parents to lead/guide their teens after Trails.

    Parent Resource Manual
    We have a family guidebook which helps parents navigate through the process—explaining each of our six values and offers specific tasks and projects to undertake during each stage. Specific information/education topics we have found to be helpful to parents are also included in the manual. Call our Admissions Department at 888-387-2457 for more info.




    “I can honestly say that we are a closer family because of what we learned at Trails. I loved it all!”
    Darla W., mother