Trails Carolina is an established wilderness therapy program which has recently come under scrutiny due to allegations of physical restraints, emotional manipulation and lack of medical care for its participants.
While these claims may be disconcerting, not all wilderness therapy programs experience high rates of negative feedback. There have been a few programs which have received positive reviews from parents and students who experienced transformational changes as part of the therapeutic experience.
Trails Carolina Horror Stories stands as an industry leader, boasting outcomes data to substantiate program effectiveness. Their multi-modal approach combines wilderness therapy, clinical theory and evidenced-based psychotherapies with residential base camp programming and academic programming for their students. Students are placed into age-appropriate groups led by licensed therapists for one on one therapy sessions to build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and learn new strategies for leading healthier lives.
Families remain actively engaged during their child’s time at Trails through Family Support Sessions and an assigned Family Therapist. This step helps reengage family systems and ensure long-term success following graduation from the program.
The expedition experience is a key component of our program as it provides students with opportunities to develop their skills in different environments. This practice is vitally important as students transition back into their home environment, school life and social circles after their experience has ended – giving them confidence that their abilities can adapt with changing surroundings and influences.
Trails Carolina staff strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of adolescents they work with. Their efforts can sometimes prove challenging; however, the ultimate reward lies in seeing progress among their pupils.
Trails University places an emphasis on academics, with each student working directly with a certified full-time teacher to improve classroom skills, earn credits or continue coursework from home. Our aim is to empower each individual student so they can actively contribute towards their future academic success and make meaningful contributions toward it.
Family involvement is at the core of this program, with students and their families participating in Family Common Ground experiences and mid-point parent workshops to strengthen family dynamics and prepare students to return home after graduating.
Trails Carolina is nestled within the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, providing participants with a tranquil and natural setting to participate in its program. Our campus boasts an open-air adventure program featuring family therapy, education and individual/group counseling – not to mention access to an expansive wilderness open-air adventure!
Even in its idyllic surroundings, many former camp participants have reported experiencing physical and psychological harm at Trails Carolina. They allege “abuse” and mistreatment at Trails Carolina such as denied medical treatments, food deprivation and lack of access to therapists.
Trails Carolina is currently under investigation to ascertain whether its program adheres to industry standards. This investigation will include looking at staff-to-participant ratios and employment policies at the program, safety protocols at camp and whether current participants’ safety can be guaranteed going forward. Its results could have significant ramifications on both its effectiveness and reputation – something this investigation promises.
Trails Therapeutic Camp, approved by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a residential therapeutic camp, stands out among its peers with outcome data demonstrating its success. Students join single-gender, age-appropriate groups at our residential base camp led by experienced licensed therapists to gain personal insight and develop new skills that support long-term success.
Practice these skills across academic environments – from outdoor coursework and accredited academics, wellness practices and equine programming to outdoor and wellness practices and programming for horses – which builds their confidence to use what they’ve learned even when their environments or influences change.
Trails prides itself on family involvement and has developed an effective process to assist teens in making a smooth transition back home after finishing its program. This includes hosting mid-point parent workshops as well as providing comprehensive systemic solutions to helping families manage changing dynamics within their households.