At the Trail’s End, students and their families come together in an emotional reunion as they prepare to embark on the next stage of their journey. On day one of the three-day graduation process, students join with peers in a final graduation group, while parents attend an all-day parent workshop that helps them plan for the upcoming transition.
During the second day, parents are reunited with their children for an emotional reconnection. With guidance from our experienced staff, families begin to get reacquainted with each other on new terms. By demonstrating both the outdoor and the emotional skills they have learned, students begin to re-establish bonds of trust with their parents. At the same time, parents have the opportunity to practice their newfound skills.
Day two culminates in the Family Solo when each family has time to themselves for sharing and bonding without the distractions of modern-day life. This is also an opportunity for the child to give back to the family by preparing dinner and making a fire for their parents. This time of giving back enables adolescents to realize a sense of mission where service, sacrifice, and the giving of self are profoundly important.
While this time can be special and meaningful for families, it can also be stressful as previous behavior patterns tend to resurface. As part of the process, parents and students can then practice establishing new behavior patterns while still in the safety of the SUWS of the Carolinas program. All of these rewards and challenges can be discussed during the final session with the child’s therapist, which happens during the Family Solo.
The third day of the graduation process involves a ceremony honoring the accomplishments of each graduate prior to their departure. Equipped with a new set of skills and life experiences, and a support network of caring professionals, students and their parents walk hand in hand as they transition into the next phase of their lives together.