Tailored To Meet The Demanding Developmental Needs Of Pre-teens
Trailblazers is the only single gender program in the U.S. for students’ ages 10-13 years. It is specifically tailored to meet the demanding developmental needs of Pre-Teens in a safe wilderness camp environment filled with the strong routines, structure, and concrete experiences children this age need. However, the Trails Team provides this population more “hand-holding” and extra support to ensure the students feel safe and protected. For social reasons and brain development stages, we separate girls and boys and provide a therapeutic approach that addresses the specific gender needs of this age group.
Research has shown that pre-adolescents thrive in safe, predictable and structured environments like that of our youth wilderness therapy program. We have designed our Youth Program, at one of the best programs wilderness programs for troubled youth, to support specific developmental needs of 10-13 year old youth breaking the cycle of troubling behaviors and replacing them with more positive and mature decisions and relationships. We help students find internal motivation for change, which leads to long-term success when they rejoin their family.
Technology and social media are part of this age group’s every waking moment. Girls especially are exposed to media messages of how they are supposed to be within their gender. However, their brains haven’t yet developed the cognitive abilities to compartmentalize these messages. With so many unfiltered choices, girls at this age end up engaging in behavior of a much older teenager.
In the wilderness, girls don’t have access to technology, mirrors and makeup, which frees their minds from distractions and lets them be vulnerable and live in the moment. This is an ideal time for our team of field instructors and therapist to engage in more insight oriented conversations that help these girls build courage to be their own self.
Curriculum In Tune With Student’s Abilities
Girls are more comfortable expressing their emotions than boys and thrive in an environment that allows for connection and support from their peers. Trails curriculum, one of the best programs for troubled teens, promotes expressiveness and asks students to explore how certain situations make them feel, and consequently act. They participate in activities that require them to express their emotions through creative modalities that teach social skills including expressive art, story writing and improvisational skits. After each activity, the students discuss issues and how they reacted to and learned from them.
The young girls also participate in all fundamental program elements including wilderness expeditions, primitive living skills, individual and group therapy, traditional classroom academics, experiential science classes and equine therapy, tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. During activities, we help the student 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 and young adult years.