Wilderness Therapy Transitions

Change Is Hard, So We Practice It On Purpose

Our Transition Model: 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.


Wilderness Therapy

We believe that a wilderness setting enhances the benefits of therapy.


Lasting Change

We believe that practicing and applying the lessons learned in the wilderness to everyday situations promotes lasting change.


Family Involvement

We believe that families benefit from being involved in their child's process.

Wilderness Therapy Transitions: 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 time practicing their newfound skills at base camp and in adventure programming, students return to expedition.

Family Education & Growth
Comprehensive wilderness therapy program combined with a residential treatment base camp and accredited academics

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.

wilderness therapy transitions
Trails Carolina Reviews

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.

Our team of therapists will support you with resources, templates, and tools that will allow your family to build on the progress made while your child attended Trails Carolina.

Trails Carolina’s wilderness therpay programs are dedicated to helping adolescents and teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.

Rebuilding Family Connections


Family Involvement Improves Student Outcomes

Your child’s long-term success is predicated on the support, participation, and growth of the most important people in their life – family. A child that returns home to an unchanged family who hasn’t developed the skills to support their progress is far more likely to slip into well-worn, negative patterns of behavior. For this reason, we’ve developed a comprehensive wilderness therapy program for the entire family.

Weekly Calls With A Family Coach

For healing to occur and positive change to last, there need to be changes made at the family level. You’ll work with our family coach to set “big picture” goals, understand your child’s behavior, and build healthy strategies for communication.

Parent Skills Workshop

We want to provide you with the toolkit necessary to sustain positive change, which is why we hold a parent workshop to teach you new skills to improve your relationship with your child.

Weekly Zoom Classes For Parents

Each week via Zoom, we host a meditation/yoga class and a mindfulness class for current families. Our meditation and yoga class provides an opportunity for parents to learn meditation and yoga techniques while setting grounding intentions each week. The weekly mindfulness class is a wonderful opportunity for parents to exercise self-care and learn some of the skills their children will be practicing throughout the program.

Common Ground

We also offer an optional four-day extended stay option for the entire family, called Common Ground. Families stay in a lovely home and benefit from extended time together in a supported environment to begin using your new ways of communicating. It’s highly effective in helping students slowly and purposefully transition out of the environment of our Trails program and back into everyday life.

Family Calls & Support

One of the core components of how we keep the family involved is the weekly call you’ll receive from your child’s Primary Therapist. This therapist will be able to share a more specific understanding of the progress your child is making, and what challenges still remain to be overcome.

We also believe that the weekly Family Support Calls are incredibly valuable, allowing you to connect with other Trails families who are facing similar challenges. Struggling with your child’s behavior can feel isolating, but you aren’t alone. Becoming connected with other families who have experienced similar emotions can provide tremendous relief, honest perspective, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Parent Workshop

A few weeks into your child’s stay, you’ll be able to attend a workshop that will help you learn the skills needed to support your child’s continued growth. After completion of the Workshop, you’ll be able to implement new tools to create a healthier family system.

Family Reunification

Your family will attend a family reunification/graduation experience led by our expert staff and licensed therapists. This is an opportunity to practice the new skills both you and your child have learned during their Trails Carolina experience and set the foundation for a healthier, more peaceful family dynamic.

Common Ground

Common Ground is our optional four-day family program. This allows for bonding time and an intentional return to home life. Families who participate in Common Ground are supported through activities designed to practice communication skills, conflict resolution and strengthen communication.

Student Alumni Mentorship Program For Transition Support


Our innovative Student Alumni Mentorship Program serves as a pivotal bridge, helping both current and alumni students seamlessly transition from the wilderness program to their everyday lives.

Nurturing Connection and Resilience:

The Student Alumni Mentorship Program pairs experienced alumni with newcomers, creating a supportive community where shared experiences foster growth.

Student alumni mentors, having faced and overcome similar challenges, provide invaluable guidance, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. This connection promotes resilience and eases the transition process.


Get started today

Contact us today to learn how Trails Carolina can help your family

Contact Us LP

Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022