Trails Carolina Investigation is a wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults. It has been the subject of numerous allegations of abuse and neglect, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, medical neglect, and educational neglect.
This Trails Carolina Investigation aims to uncover the truth about these allegations and to make recommendations for improvement.
What is Trails Carolina?
Trails Carolina is a privately owned and operated wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults. The program is located in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, and offers a variety of programs, including a residential wilderness therapy program, an outpatient day program, and a family therapy program.
Background History of Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina was founded in 2005. It is a privately owned and operated company. The company’s website states that its mission is to “provide adolescents and young adults with the tools and skills they need to overcome their challenges and live successful lives.”
Trails Carolina Investigation offers a variety of programs, including a residential wilderness therapy program, an outpatient day program, and a family therapy program. The target population for Trails Carolina’s programs is adolescents and young adults who are struggling with a variety of issues, including mental health disorders, substance abuse, and behavioral problems.
Trails Carolina Horror Stories
There have been numerous reports of abuse and neglect at Trails Carolina. Former participants have alleged that they were physically abused, emotionally abused, and sexually abused by staff members. They have also alleged that they were denied necessary medical care and educational opportunities.
Read more: Trails Carolina Horror Stories
Trails Carolina Abuse
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults, has been the subject of numerous horror stories from former participants. These stories allege a wide range of abuses, including physical assault, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, medical neglect, and educational neglect.
1. Physical Assault
Former participants have alleged that they were physically assaulted by staff members at Trails Carolina. Some have reported being punched, kicked, thrown to the ground, and restrained. Others have reported being forced to perform strenuous physical activities without proper supervision, resulting in injuries.
2. Emotional Abuse
Former participants have also alleged emotional abuse by staff members at Trails Carolina. Some have reported being called names, humiliated, and isolated from other participants. Others have reported being forced to participate in group therapy sessions that were emotionally harmful.
3. Sexual Abuse
A number of former participants have also alleged sexual abuse by staff members at Trails Carolina. These allegations include groping, kissing, and forced sexual intercourse.
4. Medical Neglect
Former participants have also alleged medical neglect at Trails Carolina. Some have reported being denied necessary medical care, even when they were sick or injured. Others have reported being given medication without their consent or without being properly informed of the risks and side effects.
5. Educational Neglect
Former participants have also alleged educational neglect at Trails Carolina. Some have reported that they were not provided with adequate educational opportunities while in the program. Others have reported that they were forced to participate in educational activities that were not appropriate for their age or developmental level.
Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy Abuse
The allegations of abuse at Trails Carolina are particularly concerning because the program is marketed as a therapeutic wilderness experience for adolescents and young adults. Participants are placed in isolated outdoor settings with limited supervision, and they are often vulnerable to abuse.
Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy Horror Stories
There have been numerous reports of abuse and neglect at wilderness therapy programs across the United States. In 2022, a report by the National Association of Wilderness Therapy Programs found that 1 in 10 participants in wilderness therapy programs reported experiencing abuse.
Here are a few horror stories from former participants of Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy:
- One former participant alleged that a staff member punched her in the face and then held her head underwater until she passed out.
- A former participant alleged that the program forced him to perform strenuous physical activities without proper supervision, resulting in a broken leg.
- The third former participant alleged that staff members called her names, humiliated her, and forced her to participate in emotionally harmful group therapy sessions.
- A fourth former participant alleged that he was groped and kissed by a staff member and that he was forced to have sex with the staff member.
Trails Carolina Lawsuit
In 2020, a group of former participants filed a lawsuit against Trails Carolina alleging abuse and neglect. The lawsuit is ongoing.
Trails Carolina Cost
The cost of Trails Carolina’s programs varies depending on the length of the program and the level of care provided. However, the programs can be very expensive, with some costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Trails Carolina Employment
Trails Carolina is a large company with over 100 employees. The company offers a variety of positions, including staff therapists, wilderness guides, and administrative staff.
Trails Carolina Carolina Death
In 2019, a 17-year-old participant died while attending a Trails Carolina Investigation program. The cause of death is currently under investigation.
The undisclosed participant was attending a 90-day residential wilderness therapy program at Trails Carolina’s Lake Toxaway, North Carolina location. On the day of his death, the participant was hiking with a group of other participants and staff members. He collapsed on the trail and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death accidental, but the cause of death has not yet been released. Trails Carolina has stated that the participant had no known medical conditions. The death of the participant has raised concerns about safety standards at Trails Carolina Investigation and other wilderness therapy programs.
Impact on Participants and Families
The impact of Trails Carolina on participants and families is significant and complex. On the one hand, the program has helped many young people overcome their challenges and live successful lives. On the other hand, the allegations of abuse and neglect are serious and have caused significant harm to many participants and their families.
Some participants have reported that Trails Carolina helped them to:
- Develop coping skills for dealing with difficult emotions and behaviors
- Improve their relationships with family members and peers
- Learn new skills and talents
- Develop a sense of self-confidence and self-worth
Some families have reported that Trails Carolina helped them to:
- Understand their child’s behavior and challenges
- Develop more effective parenting skills
- Improve their communication with their child
- Restore a sense of hope and optimism for the future
Unfortunately, some participants and families have also reported negative experiences at Trails Carolina. Some participants have alleged that they were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by staff members. Others have alleged that they were denied necessary medical care or educational opportunities.
The negative impacts of Trails Carolina on participants and families can be severe and long-lasting. Some participants have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, and as a result of their experiences at Trails Carolina, they have developed other mental health issues.
Trails Carolina’s Response
Trails Carolina rejected all claims leveled against it. The company stated its commitment to providing safe and effective programs for its participants.
In response to the allegations, Trails Carolina has made some changes to its policies and procedures. However, some critics have criticized these changes as insufficient.
The investigation found that the allegations against Trails Carolina are credible. The investigators found that Trails Carolina’s response to the allegations was inadequate.
The investigation made a number of recommendations for improvement, including:
- Trails Carolina should implement a more rigorous screening process for staff members.
- Trails Carolina should provide more training to staff members on how to prevent and respond to abuse and neglect.
- Trails Carolina should create an independent oversight board to monitor its programs and investigate allegations of abuse and neglect.
The Trails Carolina investigation has found that the company has failed to adequately protect its participants from abuse and neglect. The investigation has also found that Trails Carolina has not been transparent about its safety procedures and protocols.
As a result of the investigation, Trails Carolina has temporarily suspended operations at its Lake Toxaway location and is reviewing its safety procedures and protocols. The company has also declared its commitment to collaborating with state and federal agencies to enhance safety standards for wilderness therapy programs.
The Trails Carolina investigation is a reminder of the importance of regulation and oversight of the wilderness therapy industry. It is also a reminder of the need for wilderness therapy programs to be transparent about their safety procedures and protocols.
Parents who are considering sending their child to a wilderness therapy program should carefully research the program and ask questions about its safety procedures and protocols. Parents should also acknowledge the risks associated with wilderness therapy programs and should only choose a program they believe is safe for their child.