Practice & Success in Multiple Settings to resemble The Real World
While at Trails, your child will transition from wilderness therapy to base camp and back again. Testing their newfound skills in healthy communication, stress management, and more in a mix of environments helps to prepare them for the dynamic nature of the real world. Too often students get into a rhythm with a specific environment and certain individuals but fail to maintain that progress when returning home. Our focus on transitions prevents this and helps to build resilience.
Our transition cycle includes wilderness expeditions where students work with our Wilderness Team for up to two weeks. During these expeditions, students hike through wilderness areas and learn valuable skills, such as how to set up basecamp, safely filter water, navigate with a map and compass, create fire and meet their immediate needs.
“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.”
Returning From the Wilderness to Structure
After the expedition is complete, students move to our Sky Valley base camp for a week of academics, health, and wellness. Our Trails to Wellness team provides classes in yoga, mindfulness, therapeutic art, wellness education, and culinary classes. In addition, students at Sky Valley work with our Science Specialist in the Nature Center to learn from the plants and wildlife surrounding us.
Following the week at Sky Valley, students rotate to our Winding Gap Base Camp where they benefit from traditional academics and equine work. Under the careful supervision of our Equine Specialist, students learn to connect with their emotions and become more confident by working with horses. Our Academic Specialist works with students to develop new skills to improve their academic performance.
Once they’ve spent two weeks practicing their newfound skills in a “real world” setting, students return to expedition.
Why We Focus on Transitions
Varied environments and staff across different parts of our curriculum are critical for students to practice, refine, and strengthen their skills so they can succeed at home. Transitions include both this practical change as well as a plan for tomorrow. Everything we do is meant to prepare students to graduate Trails with the confidence they will be able to transition their new skills toward a brighter future.
Planning For A Positive Future
After a thorough initial assessment and effective, research-based interventions have been completed, we continue to support your child by working with them to develop a practical and detailed plan for their transition home. It is not enough for your child to say they are going to do things better—we want to make sure there is a detailed plan that they’ve committed to, and that both you and your child have the tools needed for the plan to be successful.
“Staff bend over backwards to help your teen understand the importance of trust, responsibility and accountability while teaching communication skills to both parents and teens.”
Caleb B., Father