Teen Winter Camp

Helping Families Year Round

What Does Trails Look Like During the Winter Months?

We serve families at Trails Carolina 365 days a year. No one has the ability to plan when a crisis or challenge at home with students and families will show up. That is why we work with kids and teens year-round to support those in crisis with compassion and resources.

As the seasons start to change, one of the questions on many parents’ minds is “What does the program look like during the winter months?”

While North Carolina does get its share of cold nights, it is often relatively mild all things considered. Daytime temperatures often stay in the 40’s but we are prepared to adapt to inclement weather as needed in order to keep our students warm during the winter months.

Being a transitional program, Trails has several types of base camps to use when needed. We monitor weather patterns each day, so we can plan accordingly around long cold snaps and snow to get each of our groups to heated shelters to continue programming. That way we minimize losing skills and educational progress and can get teens back into the wilderness as soon as the weather permits.


86% of students showed improvement in Extremely Significant Symptoms of anxiety and depression 12 months after graduation


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.


We highly encourage you to discuss the program with our admissions staff to go over any concerns or fears you may have around the holidays and seasonal changes that might affect your child’s stay.

Celebrating the Holidays at Trails

When we think about holidays, it is usually with rose-colored glasses awash in nostalgia. Of course, we always want it to be a great time of joy together but that is not the case for many families. There is often an increase in anxiety, depression, and acting out that can cause quite a bit of stress for everyone involved.

When students are at Trails during the holidays, it is an opportunity to reset and to have gratitude. We do have a special meal for each holiday, play lots of games, and students receive special cards from family members back home.

It is natural for parents to get concerned about missing their teen during the holidays but we also want to help resolve underlying destructive behaviors that prevent that special time from being enjoyed in the future.

therapeutic wilderness program

Each Season Offers New Opportunities For Growth

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When we think about wilderness from a teaching perspective, the various times of the year present different opportunities. As the seasons change from Spring and Summer to Autumn and Winter, it starts to get dark sooner and can stay cold for longer.

Experiencing these seasonal changes at Trails helps students learn and develop skills around resilience, adaptability, and teamwork.

From these skills, all groups learn to work together to accommodate any necessary changes in order to adapt to the seasons. Sometimes this means working together to collect firewood and support each other in building a campfire.

As these values related to resilience, adaptability, and teamwork get internalized, they are reinforced in many aspects of the program giving our kids a better trajectory to continue practicing these skills even after their time at Trails.

86% of students showed improvement in Extremely Significant Symptoms of anxiety and depression 12 months after graduation

Family Education & Growth

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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