Building Healthy Living Skills: Highlighting Trails To Wellness Programming

At Trails Carolina, we believe that lasting success and happiness comes from healing the entire individual, not just one specific “problem area”. To help instill healthy habits into a student’s everyday life, we have developed a week full of classes and experiential activities focusing on overall wellness. This program, known as “Trails to Wellness”, helps teach students skills that they can use to practice self care in their everyday lives after leaving the program.

Trails To Wellness Class Schedule

During the Trails to Wellness week of programming, students cycle through afternoon classes that focus on specific topics within wellness. The schedule is as follows:

Monday – Mindfulness

Monday mindfulness classes help students build their own mindfulness practice. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety within teens and adolescents. It can provide instant relief for students who struggle with anxiety throughout the day.  mindfulness   

Tuesday – Expressive arts

On Tuesday, students have the opportunity to explore the mind-body connection through a variety of art mediums such as visual arts, movement, drama and writing.  

Wednesday – Yoga

Guided by a trained yoga instructor, students engage in a gentle yoga class that also incorporates mindfulness practices.  Yoga is a relaxing, low-impact activity that provides a chance for students to reconnect with their bodies.

Thursday – Experiential Self Care

Students take a wellness class where they learn about different modalities and activities that help promote self care. For example, they learn about soothing ways to take care of their hands, feet, and skin.  They learn about the benefits of aromatherapy and its impact on the limbic system and emotional function. 

Friday – Group Wellness Discussion

During Friday’s wellness activities, students take part in a therapist led discussion centered around the connection between emotional and mental wellness with physical wellness. Students are introduced to healthy transitional living and grooming habits and how to care for their growing and changing body and brain.dan gold 298710 unsplash

Saturday – Culinary Arts

During their culinary arts lessons, student learn how to make healthy snacks and meals with a trained chef in a commercial kitchen.  Students incorporate practical math, learn to follow recipes and create healthy food that tastes good!
Students also cook healthy breakfasts and family style dinners at their campsite. They learn new recipes that they can take with them after they graduate from Trails.

Typical School Week Feel Helps Build Executive Functioning Skills

Students transition to the Trails to Wellness program after their time on expedition. During Trails to Wellness, students are staying at Trails Carolina’s Sky Valley campus. This base camp feels very much like front country camping. Students sleep in yurts which are heated during the winter time and have access to bathroom facilities. They start each morning by cooking breakfast in the outdoor kitchen. When breakfast is finished, they head over to science classes with Science Steve. After their lunch break, they take part in their Trails to Wellness classes.
This week full of classes and camping at base camp helps simulate what a school week might feel like back in the “real world”. Students have to make sure they are doing everyday tasks like:

  • Making sure they are waking up in time for school and breakfast
  • Deciding what to cook for breakfast each day
  • Preparing supplies for the day such as water bottles, notebooks, and pencils.
  • Engaging with peers in a family style setting each day during breakfast and dinner
  • Cooking meals and cleaning up dishes

By planning and executing everyday tasks each day, students practice executive functioning skills that will be very useful to them long after they’ve completed the program.

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: 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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