Avoid a Bummer Summer: Summer Options For A Struggling Teen

Summertime is here! This means the teens are out of school. Unfortunately, with less supervision, summertime invites some to see what kinds of shenanigans they can get in to. If you have an at-risk or troubled teen living in your home, don’t worry. Come up with a plan and explore your options for keeping your teen away from the stormy weather this summer. Here are some great places to start:

  • Summer Jobs. Employment may be a great option for your teen. We advise that they engage in some sort of meaningful work that they enjoy. Washing dishes at a local restaurant is probably going to feel more like punishment. Help your teen search for jobs and find something they would enjoy devoting their time to.
  • Volunteer. Helping others can benefit teens for many reasons. They will gain a greater perspective and appreciation for the things they have in their life.  It is a great way to put their social skills to good use. They will also feel accomplished and proud of being a part of something greater. Ask them what they’re passionate about and help them find the right resources in the community to volunteer with.
  • A little Vacay or Getaway. Getting away from the environment that may be tempting your child’s misbehavior is a great idea. Even if it is just for a long weekend. Plan a getaway, where your teen and your family can relax and enjoy each other. Plan engaging activities on the trip so that your teen isn’t tempted to go find their own idea of “fun”.
  • Substance Abuse or Mental Health Treatment Programs. If you feel like your teen needs a level of intervention that you cannot offer, you should seek professional help. You should have them properly assessed and then explore treatment programs that accommodate their needs. Some treatment programs include:
    • Outpatient Programs (OP)This typically entails weekly therapy sessions to dissect the problems at hand and where they are stemming from. The therapist will introduce the teen to healthy coping strategies and activities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs. This is usually a “first-step” therapeutic strategy.
    • Residential Treatment Programs (RTC). RTC programs offer individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and other activities. Teens move into the treatment center where they are fully supervised at all times. This option is the most extreme. Parents usually resort to this option after failed attempts with other types of treatment.
    • Wilderness Therapy. Wilderness Therapy uses an adventure-based approach to help teens heal and recover from mental health issues. The idea is to get them away from real-world distractions and teach them useful skills for functioning. Wilderness Therapy gives students a greater appreciation, improves their self-reliance, self-confidence, communication skills and gives them a new sense of independence.

Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for boys and girls ages 10-17. This program model is designed to take students out of their fast-paced lives and give them the opportunity to regain their self-awareness. Trails Carolina teaches students useful skills that they can apply to the real world. Students learn how to better navigate their emotions, practice healthy coping methods, and communicate effectively with others. Trails Carolina provides a serene and supportive environment for your child to heal and reconnect with themselves. Let us help your family today!
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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.