Trails Carolina First and Still Evolving
Trails Carolina Founder Graham Shannonhouse created the first youth wilderness therapy programming for students ages 10-13 in the nation, more than 20 years ago. Today Trails Carolina continues to evolve its youth programming by adding enhancements that meet students’ unique developmental needs.
Assistant Youth Field Director Hannah Busis is a member of the Trails Carolina team and was instrumental in implementing the enhancements. She explained, “These new and unique aspects of our youth program are designed to allow students to experience the pride and accomplishment of completing an expedition.” At Shuttleworth, the program’s youth-only expedition base camp, new facilities have been added including a remodeled cabin, shower and laundry facilities. This enables youth groups to have more hygiene days, even on weeks when they are participating in the wilderness therapy expedition. This allows for more enhanced hygiene practices that help to create and reinforce habits that translate when students return home.
Youth students at Trails are also benefitting from having some of the weight removed from their packs when they are on their weeklong backpacking expedition. This empowers youth groups to complete longer hikes and benefit from the pride, success and therapeutic growth that comes from the experience.
Trails Carolina is proud of the number of youth ages 10 to 13 they support in addressing issues such as emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression and trauma. Plus, the work the program does on behalf of the entire family from parents to siblings to heal and restore healthy family dynamics. Year-round the program runs single-gender youth groups focused on support and inclusion.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy for youth and adolescents ages 10-17. The clinically sophisticated and time-tested program engages students through wilderness therapy, mindfulness and yoga, equine-assisted therapy, adventure therapy, intentional transitions, and academic engagement. Recent outcome research demonstrates efficacy. Trails Carolina was created to help families reconnect and heal. For additional information about Trails Carolina, located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.