4 Benefits of Sending Your Teen to A Program for Troubled Youth This Summer

When school comes to a close and summer begins, many parents start to panic. Especially if your teen has been struggling, summer can seem like a nightmare. Most parents still have to work and can’t take off the entire summer to keep an eye on their children–this leads to less supervision and more recklessness.
For parents of struggling teens, typical summer programs may not be an option. If you’re worried about not being able to provide the level of supervision and care your teen needs for their struggles, a program for troubled youth could be your best option this summer.

Through comprehensive, evidence-based approaches to therapy, wilderness programs can offer your teen not only a safe summer, but a summer of growth and moving forward. Here are a few reasons why this type of program may be right for your family this summer.

Taking away daily distractions.

We live in a fast-paced society. With technological innovation, it can sometimes seem impossible to escape distractions even after you leave work or school. The pressures of social media and other technology can get in the way of your teen really moving past their challenges.
Wilderness programs remove these distractions, allowing for a clearer view of the self. By placing your teen in an environment that fosters personal reflection and growth, they’re able to take a moment and focus on making progress.

bow-drilling activity at Trails wilderness treatment center Understanding natural & logical consequences.

Most struggling teens have issues with taking responsibility for their actions. They choose to blame everyone around them and believe they did nothing wrong–this gets in the way of learning from mistakes and moving forward.
For example, it’s much easier for a student who just got suspended from school to blame the school administration for being “unfair” instead of taking a look at what they did to get themselves into that situation.
In a natural setting, the consequences of your actions are as clear as day. You can’t call the sun or rain “unfair.” For example, if they refuse to put on their raincoat when rain is predicted, they’ll get wet. Nature has a simple way of showing teens the gravity and possible effects of their actions.

Building self-confidence.

Many struggling teens have a very low level of self-confidence. They’ve experienced so much failure in school, at home, and in general that it feels as if they’re unable to succeed. Adventure activities help them rediscover that feeling of success.
Many teens that come to wilderness programs have never tried backpacking or building a fire from scratch or rafting. By trying something new, such as bow drilling, they learn that they’re more capable than they may have believed.   

Helping the entire family move forward.

Without a support system, it’s hard to accomplish anything–families are support systems. We have to maintain them to keep them strong. This is why wilderness programs don’t just treat the teen, but the entire family as well. The goal is to create lasting change, not just short-term change over the summer.
By including the family in components such as family therapy sessions, families get the chance to be integrated into the therapeutic process.

Trails is here to help.

If your teen is struggling and you’re worried about the upcoming summer months, it might be time to look into a wilderness therapy program like Trails Carolina.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 10 to 17, struggling with issues such as depression, defiance, anxiety, ADHD, and many others. We strive to create meaningful change within our students through the use of individual, group, family, equine, and wilderness therapy. We can help your family recover.
For more information about how we help at Trails, contact us today at 800-975-7303.

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Avatar of Jeremy Whitworth

Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.