Thank You For Contacting Us!
My name is Dottie Lank. I have witnessed firsthand the impact a struggling child can have on themselves and their family as a whole and can assure you that Trails Carolina has been the answer for hundreds of families.
A welcome team member will be in touch with you to learn more about your situation and help you assess if Trails Carolina is the right place for your family. We look forward to speaking with you. Until that point feel free to reach out to our team directly at 800-975-7303
Reviews From Parents & Students
“I feel a lot more at peace with myself, less guilty about the mistakes I’ve made, and more accepting of the road ahead of me.”
Audrey T., Alumni Student
“Your staff is incredibly caring and sensitive. The way that they connect with each student, and their ability to see the good inside is amazing to witness. They clearly love what they do.”
Shari L., Alumni Mother
“Amazing organization with employees that are highly skilled and devoted to the kids.”
Hunter K., Alumni Father
Being immersed in nature and away from all distractions allows for teens to have the opportunity to disconnect from the world and reconnect with themselves.
They can grow, learn, and not just survive, but thrive in the real world. Trails Carolina offers many benefits of wilderness therapy, including:
Personal, reflective growth: While at Trail Carolina, teens have the opportunity to better understand themselves.
This transformation, which takes place in the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains can help them to be better about knowing themselves, understanding others and how their actions, words, and lives can impact others.
In the wilderness, these teens are allowed to take a step back, reflect and see the world from another’s point of view without any distractions.
Transferable life skills: Not only do teens learn hard such as how to pitch a tent, how to build and keep a fire going, as well as how to navigate through the wilderness, they also learn valuable life lessons which are transferable to the real world. Some of these include leadership, teamwork, respect, responsibility, and self-awareness.
Individualized therapeutic and academic programming: Individualized therapeutic programming is the crux of why Trails Carolina works so well. When the academics and therapy are specific to an individual, it creates an environment that is personalized which enhances learning.
Teens struggling with defiance may have different therapeutic methods for dealing with this than other teens who may be struggling with different problems such as anxiety.
Family-focused programming: One of the ultimate goals of Trails Carolina is helping to repair the family unit. While their son or daughter is away in the wilderness, some programs offer family therapy sessions that help both the parents and the siblings work through problems which the family has been struggling with.
When the focus is brought back to the family, it can ensure lasting change when the child transitions home from a therapeutic program.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt
If your son or daughter is struggling with behavioral, emotional, or mental health issues like defiance, anxiety, or depression and it has started to impact their day to day lives, now is the time to examine possible options for treatment for your teen.
Wilderness therapy programs, which are inpatient mental health treatment programs, can help child or teen explore what is troubling them, why they are acting out, and how they can better relate to their family and friends.
Removing teens from their hectic lives, technology, peers, bad habits, distractions, and influences is one of the many reasons why wilderness therapy programs work.
The best wilderness therapy programs offer an array of therapeutic techniques including, but not limited to equine relational programming, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, and mindfulness techniques.
Wilderness therapy programs accept students on a case by case basis. The selection usually depends upon the clinical programing of wilderness therapy programs and the behaviors exhibited by a potential student.
Some programs may accept teens dealing with more clinically complex issues while others chose to focus on students with more easily managed difficulties.
That being said, most all wilderness therapy programs provide therapeutic programming for struggling teens with behavior problems and emotional difficulties including:
Neurodevelopmental Disorders- These include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Nonverbal Learning Disorder, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
School refusal- Many teens entering wilderness therapy programs are struggling with school refusal problems. Which is why wilderness therapy programs are great for treating teens who refuse school, who are frequently truant, or even suspended.
Substance experimentation or use– While most wilderness therapy programs deal with substance abuse in some degree, there are some wilderness therapy programs which are specified to help treat teens who are struggling with substance use issues, whether that be alcohol or marijuana use.
Defiance– Whether this is disruptive behavior in school and at home, wilderness therapy programs can help get to the root of these problems and address these issues in teens. This may also include Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
Anxiety– Social anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder can be crippling for teens. It inhibits their functionality around peers, in the classroom, at work and with their family. Many wilderness programs provide help for teens struggling with some form of anxiety.
Depression– Depression can be tough, especially with teens which is why wilderness therapy programs offer therapeutic help to teens who are struggling with this.
We offer programs designed for pre-teens ages 10-13 and adolescents ages 13-17. Our clinically proven methods work exceptionally well with:
- Family conflict
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
- Suicide ideation
- Defiant behavior/Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Gaming and technology obsession
- Substance abuse
- Attachment issues
- Manipulative behavior
- Poor academic achievement
- Learning differences
- School refusal
- Mood dysregulation
- Autism (high functioning)
We are passionate about helping students overcome challenges and reach their full potential, and committed to creating the most effective wilderness therapy program possible for students and their families. Our entire team is honored to dedicate their professional lives to changing the lives of troubled teens.
The average stay at our wilderness therapy program is 70-90 days.
Trails Carolina is not a traditional summer camp. Instead, it is a wilderness therapy program that is designed to help at-risk youth overcome challenges and build the skills needed to achieve long-term success.
The program combines traditional therapeutic interventions with outdoor activities and wilderness experiences, such as hiking, camping, and team-building exercises, to create a unique and immersive experience.
Students at Trails Carolina receive individualized care and attention, with small group sizes and personalized treatment plans.
Our program is offered year-round! The program is typically longer than a summer camp and can last from several weeks to several months, depending on the needs and progress of each student and family.
While participants in Trails Carolina can benefit from the same sense of adventure and connection to nature that is often associated with summer camps, the program is specifically designed to provide therapeutic interventions and support for at-risk youth.
After graduating from our wilderness treatment center, students will typically transition back home or to a step down type residential program (Therapeutic Boarding School or Residential Treatment Center, as examples).
Parents have multiple weekly touchpoints at the program. There is a separate program specifically designed for the involvement of the family.
We also provide in-person opportunities during a student’s time at trails for families to get on campus and do work with their child. We have some of the highest-rated family services within the industry.
91% of students showed improvement in extremely significant symptoms of depression, 12 months after graduation.
Learn more: Does wilderness therapy work?
91% of students showed improvement in extremely significant symptoms of anxiety, 12 months after graduation.
79% of students reported experiencing a decrease in suicidal thoughts, 12 months after graduation.