Director of Trails Family Programming Discusses Holiday Traditions On Campus

134720160901 TrailsCarolina 2One of the most powerful things about being out in the wilderness is its ability to bring us back to our roots. During the holiday season, being out in nature helps students look at the value or intention behind the holidays and traditions their families celebrate.
In many ways, wilderness therapy can be a great way to reconnect with the heart of family traditions and holidays. During the holiday season at Trails, we encourage students to focus on spending time practicing gratitude. Taking a moment to be present and looking at the bright side of life can be very powerful for students.
The holidays can be a whirlwind of parties, family outings, and other festive activities. Within that hectic environment, it can be easy for families to lose track of the true meaning of the holiday season. At Trails, students  often share their gratitude towards family members and their good health. Wilderness therapy provides teens with this perspective check which they would not have had without the therapeutic assistance of Trails.

Trails Students Create Their Own Holiday Traditions

At Trails, we are very respectful of each family’s traditions. Within their groups, students participate in a variety of activities based on their own traditions. For example, students may take part in gift exchanges with other students. During these exchanges, students draw names to determine who each gift is for. Students create gifts out of natural objects which requires a great deal of creativity and intention. This can be very meaningful to students and a great way to show appreciation for their peers.
Out in the wilderness, students are removed from the materialistic side of the holiday season. They are given the opportunity to look inwards and come up with their own unique and powerful holiday traditions.

Holiday Celebrations at Trails

During the holidays, we often celebrate with a surprise feast for students. During this feast, there are a variety of foods students don’t normally experience during their time at Trails such as pies and freshly baked bread.
This feast serves as a positive surprise, which is a welcome change for many students who are used to the surprises in their lives carrying a negative connotation.
After the feast, students participate in a fun activities within their groups. Students come up with creative games and sing songs with their peers. The holiday celebrations at Trails, such as the feast and other activities, are something students remember long after they graduate. Many times over the years,  former students have shared that the holiday season they spent at Trails was among the most meaningful.

Trails Carolina can help

Many of our students have struggled with behavioral or emotional challenges in the past. Trails Carolina wilderness therapy has helped hundreds of struggling young people and their families  move forward on a path towards success.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please visit:

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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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