Experience in nature can provide healing, renewal and reorientation of mind and spirit. Trails Carolina strives to build confidence among youth by connecting them to nature.
Trails Carolina has come under scrutiny due to some alumni and their families sharing accounts of abuse, neglect and mistreatment at its wilderness therapy program. Such disturbing accounts have put Trails Carolina under an intense microscope.
What is Trails Carolina?
Trails Carolina “Investigation” is a wilderness therapy program that specializes in working with troubled adolescents. Their goal is to help teens disconnect from electronic devices and reconnect with nature and those around them; using confidence building, therapy and mindfulness approaches to assist their students in improving their long-term mental health.
Trails Carolina was recently proven by an independent study to have an undeniably positive influence on students enrolled in its programs and their families, providing much-needed family support and training services that ensure those changes continue when returning home.
Lake Toxaway Residential Therapeutic Camp, licensed by North Carolina state authorities as a residential therapeutic camp, combines academic classroom work, wilderness expeditions, and equine therapy to create individual plans of care tailored specifically for each student’s specific needs. Therapists work directly with each child individually on developing this personalized care plan in order to meet those specific requirements and ensure success for every one.
What makes Trails Carolina unique?
Trails Carolina staff is comprised of highly-qualified individuals who are dedicated to their work. Trails Carolina’s Executive Director & Founder boasts 20+ years of Wilderness Therapy experience while their leadership team members average 15+ years working with students on similar programs.
They take an innovative approach to wilderness therapy by offering students a strong social structure and encouraging them to form strong bonds among themselves and each other. Furthermore, this structure also helps develop key life skills among its participants.
Trails Carolina stands out as one of the few wilderness therapy programs to offer academic instruction to its students, utilizing a full-time certified teacher to work directly with each one to strengthen academic abilities and earn high school credits.
The program stresses family involvement and hosts midpoint and graduation camps to aid students’ smooth return home. They also offer therapeutic techniques like mindfulness training and confidence building exercises; activities proven to significantly improve mental health in the long run.
What are the benefits of Trails Carolina?
Trails Carolina provides a therapeutic wilderness experience for troubled youth. By encouraging them to spend more time outdoors and away from their current environment, the program helps ease symptoms of depression and anxiety while building self-confidence through various physical challenges and outdoor skills like camping.
Students enrolled at the program can also experience real-life scenarios by spending time with peers and learning in a team environment. Furthermore, it provides educational opportunities allowing them to earn high school credit in subjects like World History and P.E.
Trails Carolina also places great importance on providing support for parents and families, offering weekly Family Therapy sessions in order to work on changing relationships and helping families cope with their child’s situation. This serves as an invaluable way of preparing parents for the return home of their child as well as understanding how wilderness therapy programs operate.
What are the negatives of Trails Carolina?
Trails Carolina has been accused of several serious abuses that have led to investigations by authorities. If you’re considering sending your children here, make sure that you read all reviews and investigate thoroughly beforehand.
WBTV conducted an investigation that revealed Trails Carolina doesn’t provide enough primary therapists to supervise its participants. According to a letter sent from Trails Carolina to senators, only two out of every three weeks participants are assigned one of its primary therapists on site.
Due to low wages for outdoor staff at this program, it can be challenging for them to keep up with a demanding schedule and many kids have expressed frustration over not receiving professional help when necessary – this was particularly evident among rebellious teens, who tend to break or protest every rule and remain closed off about their difficulties; but a therapist can help show them there are consequences for their behaviors, helping them alter them accordingly.