Time spent in nature provides healing, rejuvenation, and reframes the mind. These ideas are central to Trails Carolina’s wilderness program. The program instills confidence and improves the mental health of youth, all while surrounded by beautiful woods.
American Biologist E.O. Wilson once said, “Just being surrounded by bountiful nature rejuvenates and inspires us.” At Trails Carolina, teens and young adults discover this healing effect through hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, mindfulness, confidence-building exercises, and therapy.
Focusing On Building Confidence
Confidence and resilience are essential to youth handling the challenges life throws at them. The National Health Service notes that lack of confidence can lead to detrimental health problems and that the problem usually begins in adolescence.
Trails Carolina stands by their dedication to helping youth find more meaning and confidence in their life. Their outdoor lessons focus on creating skills of resilience and adaptability in their students and counteracts low self-esteem.
Students experience a full range of physical challenges and mental exercise to promote the development of self-confidence. Wilderness expeditions do more than expose youth to gorgeous scenery, and they’ll also learn camping skills like water filtration and how to start a fire.
But what do outdoor skills have to do with building confidence? Unfortunately, many students come to Trails Carolina from repetitive environments that perpetuate their lack of confidence. In the changing, adaptive environment of Trails Carolina, they must learn and change to succeed.
The social structure Trails Carolina focuses on helps students develop strong ties to their fellow students. Teamwork is essential to real life, and after spending time camping, studying, and learning with their peers, students prepare and conquer engaging in a team setting.
Additionally, after their time on expeditions, students return to Trails Carolina’s basecamp, Winding Gap. There, youth develop real-world lifestyle and social skills while having the ability to learn in a classroom setting.
Parents don’t have to worry about their children losing academic skills, either. Trails Carolina provides educational opportunities for students to gain high school credits in World History, P.E., Environmental Studies, and more. Not all wilderness therapy programs can say the same.
Teaching Mindfulness and Stress Management
Kids today seem constantly plugged into electronics, surrounded by news, influencers, and social media that bogs down their minds. Someone is always telling them how to look and live. No wonder youth experience more stress and anxiety these days!
Too often, students struggle with handling the stress of school, friends, and family. The CDC estimates 8 in 10 children will receive treatment for depression. Mounting evidence shows that social media use directly correlates to depression in youth.
Trails Carolina provides the skills and tools for youth to find mindfulness and manage their stress in the modern world and take on the depression and anxiety that comes with it.
Youth will learn to meditate among the hardwoods of North Carolina, helping them disconnect from technology’s influences. Guided breathing exercises, proven to help reduce the physical symptoms of stress, start every morning!
Ultimately, students of Trails Carolina learn to observe and control their emotions instead of allowing their feelings to manage them. As a result, students can find greater happiness and relaxation when their negative emotions don’t own them.
Promoting Healing with Therapy
Many programs and workshops that claim to help youth grow and develop confidence or stress management fall short in one area: therapy. Often, these camps provide physical team-building exercises without providing a therapeutic outlet.
Trails Carolina provides a well-rounded approach to mental health. They believe that therapy techniques and the benefits of mindfulness and confidence exercises help their students excel long after leaving the program.
Studies show that parental involvement in youth therapy leads to better outcomes for youth. Further, studies show that 90% of families that undergo therapeutic treatment together experience long-term improvement.
Trails Carolina recognizes the benefits of both individual and family therapy. More importantly, they realize that therapy is not a “one size fits all” sort of deal. Instead, Trails Carolina provides individual approaches, equine therapy, and family-focused tools to suit their students’ needs.
One unique feature of Trails Carolina includes a focus on transitions. As a result, families rest assured knowing that when their child leaves Trails Carolina, they receive continued support and tools to help provide for their child as they return to real life.
Parents also benefit from the dedication of Trails Carolina. Parent workshops help guide parents through skills and situations to prepare them for their child’s return home.
Often, families face struggles in connecting with each other when a child faces depression and anxiety. Trails Carolina provides the opportunity for reconnection through their reunification and bonding programs that help build stronger relationships in the home.
Does Trails Carolina Work?
But does Trails Carolina’s approach work? The evidence says, “yes.” Trails Carolina reaps benefits. Over 81% of graduates experience continued improvement from their depression, and 76% see improvement in social problems one year after graduation.
Who Benefits From Trails Carolina?
Youth struggling with substance abuse, suicide, ADHD, anxiety, and depression benefit from attending Trails Carolina’s program. Their families reportedly see improvement as well, finding themselves capable of communicating deeper with their children.
Trails Carolina: Weighing In On A Unique Mental Health Retreat
When parents struggle to help their child improve their mental health, they often turn to outside resources. At Trails Carolina, youth and teens experience a calm and serenity only nature can provide.
Trails Carolina does more than provide beautiful scenery. There, students learn therapeutic and confidence skills necessary to thrive in the modern world.
Ultimately, Trails Carolina provides a diverse approach focusing on confidence, therapy, and mindfulness that helps students improve their mental health long-term.