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.
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.
After spending time at base camp, students move on to adventure week. During Adventure Week, students participate in various adventure activities that provide opportunities for learning and growth. Students may work on rock climbing, canoeing or other adventurous activities that get them out of their comfort zones and learning new things.
The week concludes in a Peak Experience, where students are challenged to complete a larger task based on the skills they’ve worked on throughout the week. Adventure Week helps students practice healthy coping skills, advocate for their needs, and build confidence in themselves.
Once they’ve spent time practicing their newfound skills at base camp and in adventure programming, 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.