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Our wilderness training and support benefits the child and the family

Our wilderness training and support benefits the child and the family

Your child’s long-term success depends greatly on family support, participation, education, and growth. This is why Trails involves the family every step of the way.

An adolescent who returns to an unchanged family is more likely to begin gravitating back to old habits and behaviors. By examining the family system and making positive changes, parents can dramatically increase the child’s likelihood of success. For this reason, family is an integral part of the Trails adventure wilderness program for kids and teens.

Involving the Family

No other wilderness program offers training and support for the entire family quite like Trails Carolina.  We involve the family in the following ways:

  • Family Therapist leads weekly Family Calls with other families in similar stages.
  • Weekly calls from Primary Therapist with just your family to understand progress and opportunities
  • Family Workshop a few weeks into your child’s stay to connect and better understand the program
  • Family Reunification or “graduation” weekends
  • Family Camp – 5-day extended stay option, called Family Camp for the entire family

You are not Alone: Family Calls & Support

While we are busy supporting your child’s success, we understand that families need support, too.  Our family focus offers unparalleled wilderness training and family support.  Trails has dedicated family therapists who involve the family throughout their child’s stay.
Often, parents feel alone and isolated when dealing with their child’s behaviors.  Our weekly Family Calls offer support from our family therapists along with other Trails families who have experienced similar emotions.  These calls also provide an opportunity to work through the Parent Handbook, which is an educational tool that parallels your child’s Trails experience.
With a family therapist and other families we will answer questions about your child’s process, challenge you to assess what you can do to help your child, and provide a picture of what change will look like as you move forward.
Families also communicate on an individual basis with their child’s Primary Therapist.  The Primary Therapist has a more specific understanding of the progress your child is making and the challenges that remain.  These weekly calls provide an additional opportunity for support, education, and growth for parents and siblings.
“I’ve learned that I really do care about my family.  I also think I learned that I should not only respect others, I should also respect myself.  I learned that my personality is actually really sweet and nice.  I learned that that can change with a little bit of help.” –Casey K

Moving Forward: Family Camp & Reunification

In our decades of experience helping teens and families, we have found that patterns of behavior within the family system lead to a repeating cycle of blame, guilt, and frustration.  The goal is not to determine where it all began but to help the student and the family break the cycle and begin the path towards healthier, happier relationships.
At Trails Carolina progress occurs in our base campus and in the wilderness—training, support, and education your child can’t get elsewhere.  Knowing the power of the Trails experience, we offer Family Workshops, Family Reunification, and Family Camp programs for families.
We believe working with the family “system” is a vital part of breaking the cycle in our student’s habits and behaviors. By examining this family system and making positive changes, parents can dramatically increase their child’s likelihood of success.
Family Workshop
A few months into their child’s stay families rejoin their child, experience the Trails wilderness training program and work to build skills for a healthier family system.  After completion of the Family Workshop, parents join a new set of parents on the weekly Family Calls for a different level of support.
Family Reunification
Your family will attend a two-day graduation experience led by staff and licensed therapists. Graduation allows both you and your child to practice and share the new skills that everyone has learned during their Trails Carolina experience.
Family Camp
An optional five-day family program for parents, siblings, and your Trails student.  For more information, please click here>>.

Wilderness Training Resource for Lasting Change

Family Resources
Parents have the ability to download audio/video files on topics that they find useful. These topics are available to help families better understand dynamics within the family, challenges that teens face today, and strategies for parents to lead/guide their teens after Trails.
Parent Resource Manual
This detailed family guidebook navigates parents through the process—explaining each of our six values and offers specific tasks and projects to undertake during each stage. Specific information/education topics we have found to be helpful to parents are also included in the manual.
To view our Parent Resource Manual click HERE. You will need a password, which can be obtained by calling our Admissions Department at 888-387-2457. Please allow some time for the manual to download.

Family Assessments

Trails wilderness training and therapy includes assessments which allow families to quickly and effectively target areas of strengths and growth opportunities. It’s been said that unless you know where you are you can’t truly know where you are heading. This can oftentimes be a crucial step in understanding the entire family dynamic and starting everyone down the road to success.




I’m more accepting of the road ahead of me.
Audrey T., Student