Creating an Environment for Academic Success
When the student transitions from wilderness expedition to base camp, they will engage in several Academic programs that will allow them to practice their newly learned skills in a new environment and with different team members.
Unlike other wilderness programs where academics are only “in the field”, we believe in the value of a more traditional environment back at base camp. Academics is often where students struggle and where progress can be made. It is also part of the “real world” so at Trails we believe it is important to see gains here as well. This focus sets us apart from other wilderness therapy schools for children with behavior problems.
Trails has an AdvancEd (SACS) accredited academic curriculum enabling students to transfer credits back home. Plus, there is proven benefits to bringing students into a more traditional classroom setting while in the therapeutic environment. Adding a personalized classroom environment helps our students achieve success and practice their new skills in a school setting.
Our Academic curriculum are separate and integrated, where we provide each student with a chance to see learning with “new eyes” and to practice new therapeutic tools in a real world context. Many of our students have struggled with school refusal, school failure, or other disciplinary issues. Sometimes this is a reflection of other behavioral issues, poor effort, or other learning style issues. We work with each child to help create an environment of academic success.
“I’ve learned I care about my family. I also learned I should respect others and respect myself. I learned that that can change with a little bit of help.”
“I would say that Trails saved our daughter’s life. I saw changes in her at graduation that thrilled my heart.”
“I am full of admiration and gratitude for Trails and its staff.”
“I would highly recommend Trails to anyone who needs their services. It was an excellent program in every way.”
“I believe that Trails is a rite of passage. It’s stopping one stage in your life, and helps you to grow and prosper into a beautiful new grown up person.”
“Thank you! We are true believers in the power of the wilderness experience and can’t say enough about Trails!”
“Trails was the best thing I could have done, full of invaluable experiences. Thank you all! We will treasure our experience.”
“The process is about leaving as a new person who has found ways to stay away from problems. And by leaving here we will become a better and more mature human being.”
“Jake got so much from the program that he wants to move to North Carolina, study wilderness leadership and work on the staff at Trails.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You took a boy who was a bundle of rage and guided him to see there were other ways to handle the world.”
“If your child is in need and you feel you don’t have the skills alone to help them, Trails can! And they will!!”
“We can’t thank everyone enough for the kindness, compassion and great skills each and every one of you gifted us with on this journey.”
“I can honestly say that we are a closer family because of what we learned at Trails. I loved it all!”
“Equine therapy was a powerful experience. My daughter said that it calmed her. The lovely base camp grounds with horses roaming around set a peaceful tone.”
“The therapists and guides were very well trained. I was pleasantly surprised at how compassionate the program and the field guides were. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“The overall change in my daughter was so impressive.”
“Thank you for all your efforts to make a difference in my daughter’s life going forward.”
“It impressed me how totally committed each and every therapist is to helping the families. Their compassion and understanding are remarkable.”
“I am in awe of the staff here at Trails Carolina. All the staff we met were congenial, cordial, knowledgeable, thoughtful and kind.
“Trails is a wilderness program of excellence, with individuals throughout the organization who will bend over backwards to help your teen understand the importance of trust, responsibility and accountability.”
Working with Certified Teacher
At Trails, your child will work with Brian Johnson, our Director of Education and certified teacher. Brian has been an educator for several years, spanning outdoor experiential education to a conventional high school classroom. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a degree in secondary education, and is a licensed 6-12 teacher for pre-adolescents and adolescents. Brian’s goal is to provide an experiential classroom environment that rejuvenates students’ appreciation for education, renews students’ confidence in their ability to learn, and prepares them to reenter their ‘real world’ school classroom as functional and critical learners.
A typical day in the Trails classroom begins with some kind of physical activity (soccer, stretching, yoga, etc.). Daily lessons are focused on topics in personal wellness (nutrition, stress, sleep, etc.), earth science (weather, water, soil, etc.), and language arts. Literature selections correlate with broad themes at Trails Carolina (rites of passage and heroes’ quest/journey), and students are encouraged to make personal connections and critical reviews of diverse reading materials.
Earning School Credits
While enrolled at one of the best schools for children with behavior problems, all students complete an academic curriculum that is designed to enhance students’ overall understanding of their time at Trails and to keep their minds conditioned to return to school after completion of the program. For all students that are coming from high school and are enrolled at Trails for a minimum of 50 days, s/he will receive a transcript issued by Trails Carolina that recognizes work completed in the following subjects:
- Adventure Education (P.E.) = 1.0 credits
- Health & Wellness = 0.5 credits
- World Literature = 0.5 credits
- Appalachian History = 0.5 credits
- Environmental Studies = 0.5 credits
- TOTAL 3.0 credits
Trails Carolina is accredited by AdvancEd (SACS) and is a registered non-public high school with the State of North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction.
Working with Schools to Facilitate Course Work
At Trails, we have work with student’s previous school to facilitate course work that will help the student stay current on his/her academic curriculum. This has included home-bound coursework, capturing credit for class work completed at their school, finishing and receiving credit for uncompleted classes, and tying up loose ends in order to graduate high school. The best course of action is to start communication between Trails and the school as early as possible. Our certified teacher will work with you and the school to determine achievable academic goals and facilitate the process.
“If your child is in need and you feel you don’t have the skills alone to help them, Trails can! And they will!”
AJ S., Father