Boys Youth ages 10-13 years
We offer the only single-gender wilderness treatment center for middle schoolers in the country. Our focused groups help boys thrive by establishing an emotionally safe peer environment, and the programming is tailored to meet the needs of pre-teens while maximizing the benefits of the wilderness environment.
Middle school aged children need concrete experiences and teachable moments that help them to practice the critical thinking, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills they’ll need to thrive as they enter their teenage years and young adulthood. We have designed our programming to empower boys to exercise agency for their needs and accountability for their choices. This improves participation in their relationships with family, peers, and school.
We provide a blend of therapeutic approaches, including individual, group and experiential therapies designed to instill the skills and mindset for healthier and happier boys. Your son will work with other boys of similar ages who face similar challenges, which can impact how he sees himself in relationships. Group conversations focus on topics relevant to this age and steer clear of more mature topics inappropriate for this younger group.
Ultimately, the purpose of this program is to produce emotional growth and establish positive behavior patterns that will disrupt troubling behaviors. Students will learn to recognize and manage their needs and emotions, communicate in a healthy way, make thoughtful decisions, and resolve conflicts without aggression .
Curriculum Matches Current Abilities
Trails uses an experiential therapeutic approach to engage middle school boys with lessons about their emotions, self-identity, and relationships with family. Therapy is woven into moments of play, school, equine work, culinary workshops, and group activities, allowing our expert staff to work with your child during moments of strong emotion. Often pre-teens boys express their emotions by shutting down or showing anger. Our therapists and Trails team lean into this conflict to instill new skills in a way that produces lasting change.
Your child will also benefit from the rich experiences of immersion in nature by taking part in wilderness expeditions, learning primitive living skills, participating in individual and group therapy, experiential science classes, equine relational programming and more.
Our younger boys groups engage in developmentally appropriate activities that provide them with a sense of fun while they are experiencing personal growth. These activities include:
- Low ropes course activities
- Backcountry baking (apple crisps, campfire cookies, baked potatoes and with all the fixin’s)
During activities, therapists and staff help students set goals and stay on course, holding them accountable for their actions. Our staff is specially trained to let these students be kids while teaching them skills that will help them mature into their teenage years and emerging adulthood.