NC - 12-year-old dies at Trails Carolina wilderness therapy camp, Lake Toxaway, February 2024

In my professional opinion, any time you invite total strangers into your home to literally kidnap your child, you are inflicting trauma on your kid. These programs should be illegal, but even if one or two of them have merit, this technique of whisking kids away should be illegal. 100%.
Exactly! Thank you, Doctor!

These camps are just a way for parents to hire a third party to commit child abuse. IMHO, obviously.

(Please note: I'm saying "abuse" is the end result, not the intention of the parents. I do know what it is like to be at one's wits' end as a parent, and my heart goes out to the parents in this case. But "tough love" out of sight of the child's relatives (not to mention out of the jurisdiction of CPS) is not the answer.)
 
Did you miss the fact that in all the letters that not one is from a parent whose child was at the camp when the young boy died ?
I don't think those parents had time.

Social Services and the Sheriff's dept called them after 5pm, Thursday night and told the to come pick or their child or they would be in state custody.
I'm going to imagine they were all scrambling to get to the camp before their child wound up as a ward of the state. It takes a court order to remove a child, and there is process very lengthy in order to regain custody. I'd be thinking get to NC before I lose my child. Who knows if the local judge would release the child back to the parents or decide that they're going to keep them in North Carolina custody because they don't like wilderness camps.

Moo
 
From their statement I was expecting statements from the current parents speaking out against dhhs and the sheriffs department.
Of course Trails would publish all the good stuff from a handful of previous parents, but unless they are just as transparent with the many horror stories from actual participants in their programmes, which can easily be found around the net, I won't be putting too much stock into it.

You know, considering that Trails has claimed to have helped thousands, then 16 letters is hardly the "outpouring" that was claimed. Especially if (as I suspect) Trails reached out requesting these testimonials. It's also worth noting that the most recent letters are from Feb 11, nothing from this week after the most recent revelations broke.

I think that most of us realize that if you were to do a comprehensive and unbiased survey of the participants and their parents you would get a wide range of views, from strong support to ambivalence to a belief that the program was actually harmful.

But of course Trails would only ever print letters that express enthusiastic support, so I think anything they put out has to be taken with a large grain of salt.



Edit -
I don't think those parents had time.

Those testimonial letters are all from last week. The current parents could have submitted letters saying they were happy with the standard of care their children were receiving, but they haven't. Maybe they have concerns, maybe they just don't care. I guess we'll see if any of them choose to speak out.
 
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there's plenty of them in the U.K. too




there's plenty of them in the U.K. too



After a quick look I’m not convinced they’re the same type of camps at all. Plus the first one is an approved partner to several local authorities so they’ll have to meet stringent child safeguarding and other types of policies.
 
On Feb 12 the camp was given a list of new rules/regulations which included they accept no new kids.
On Feb 16 they made the move to remove all kids from the camp.
We don't know during these 4 days of the ongoing federal and state's investigation what evidence they found which warranted the removal of the children.
The young boy's death is being investigated as a homicide.


[bbm]

is the last sentence 'The young boy's death is being investigated as a homicide' in the article? it's a paywall for me
 
Actually we had to have psychologist develop a plan, and coach the Newport News police department on how to questions children in an elementary school shooting. It was 60 days or more before law enforcement could speak with any of the children.

Emotional/Behavioral challenged adolescents should not be questioned by a small town local Sheriff. I cannot imagine how scared these children were and according to the article they were not even aware of the death.

Moo

the kids were not aware of the death?
so one of the employees must've taken them outside immediately?
before they started CPR???
 
I keep writing about the Vox article but it is my only reference point. Vox First Person: I went into the woods a teenage drug addict and came out sober. Was it worth it?

He was told that he could take books and he did but they initially took them away so that he would not be off in his own little book world and so that he would "participate." He was a thoughtful person and he did stop using drugs and seemingly he did begin to appreciate what he had had at home but the experience was not pleasant for him. He also writes about how he tried to talk to the counselors about another participant whom he thought was too "basic" to understand what was expected of him and whom he thought would never "progress."

(Not a counselor and I do not know what people are supposed to do with children who act out or who self harm and who, as they mature and should become more independent, instead become more destructive, or withdrawn or dangerous.)
Wonderful article.
 
I don't think those parents had time.

Social Services and the Sheriff's dept called them after 5pm, Thursday night and told the to come pick or their child or they would be in state custody.
I'm going to imagine they were all scrambling to get to the camp before their child wound up as a ward of the state. It takes a court order to remove a child, and there is process very lengthy in order to regain custody. I'd be thinking get to NC before I lose my child. Who knows if the local judge would release the child back to the parents or decide that they're going to keep them in North Carolina custody because they don't like wilderness camps.

Moo
I think you are right and wonder if those parents had legal custody of the children. This is all very confusing because we don't know what state programs the children were enrolled in. Was it Medicaid, Foster Care, DCFS/domestic violence?

JMO
 
Yes this is important. Panic attacks are different for everyone, but comparing an adult in a similar situation to a child is not fair or appropriate.

There is a reason this camp caters to kids 10 - 17. Realistically, the only mental health component that's different between a 17 year old and an 18 year old is that the 18 year old can say get bent and walk out whereas the 17 year old can be held against their will.

JMO
We don’t even know if for real there was a panic attack. There could have been deliberate infliction of panic-inducing trauma.
 
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the kids were not aware of the death?
so one of the employees must've taken them outside immediately?
before they started CPR???
Per the PR released by the camp.

The bivy may have been position where the children couldn't see. The cabins looked big in the photos and there were only 3/4 children.

I would think one immediately started CPR, then called 911. I feel sure they had radios and call for additional staff.

I wish they would release the time EMS arrived, time EMS stoped the code and the time LE started to examine the body. This is pretty far out in the middle of nowhere, I would imagine the EMS response time would be significant.
Moo
 
the kids were not aware of the death?
so one of the employees must've taken them outside immediately?
before they started CPR???
We don’t know if that’s true or not. This camp seems to make alot of stuff up. I guess they got away with it for years. IMO best to wait for confirmation from LE to know definitively.
 
I think you are right and wonder if those parents had legal custody of the children. This is all very confusing because we don't know what state programs the children were enrolled in. Was it Medicaid, Foster Care, DCFS/domestic violence?

JMO
They served emotional/behavioral children.

This was 100% private pay. They were not in state programs. The camp is a licensed treatment center, by the Behavioral Health Department for the state of North Carolina.

Department of Human Services, (DSS) and the Sheriff contacted the family's Thursday night, and told them they were going to take custody of the children, if they didn't come get. They lived out of state.

It's very confusing. The State approves them to be open, after being onsite for a week, just not admit any new patients until after the investigation.

The local Sheriff and local DDS made the decision to remove these children, with little notice.
Moo
 
We don’t know if that’s true or not. This camp seems to make alot of stuff up. I guess they got away with it for years. IMO best to wait for confirmation from LE to know definitively.
The statement was direct by the camp, issued to the media. If it is untrue, it's slander, sets them up for damages, and there maybe state laws with penalties.

I haven't heard the Sheriff rebuke or response to these most serious accusations.

Moo ...
 
The statement was direct by the camp, issued to the media. If it is untrue, it's slander, sets them up for damages, and there maybe state laws with penalties.

I haven't heard the Sheriff rebuke or response to these most serious accusations.

Moo ...

IMO, what the police need to do is complete their investigation, determine how the boy died and if any wrongdoing occurred. I don't think the authorities needs to have a tit-for-tat response to every allegation lobbed their way. No more than they need to reply in the press to every criminal defendant who claims they're innocent and being set up by the cops.

As for slander claims (or libel since this is in writing)...I'm no lawyer, but I know it's a very high bar for a public official to win a defamation claim. Even if Trails' is not being truthful I doubt their statement meets the "actual malice" standard of NYTimes vs Sullivan. Furthermore as a practical matter, if Trails' is found to have violated the law they will almost certainly declare bankruptcy and dissolve the legal entity. There will be nothing left to sue.
 
IMO, what the police need to do is complete their investigation, determine how the boy died and if any wrongdoing occurred. I don't think the authorities needs to have a tit-for-tat response to every allegation lobbed their way. No more than they need to reply in the press to every criminal defendant who claims they're innocent and being set up by the cops.

As for slander claims (or libel since this is in writing)...I'm no lawyer, but I know it's a very high bar for a public official to win a defamation claim. Even if Trails' is not being truthful I doubt their statement meets the "actual malice" standard of NYTimes vs Sullivan. Furthermore as a practical matter, if Trails' is found to have violated the law they will almost certainly declare bankruptcy and dissolve the legal entity. There will be nothing left to sue.
The licensing board requires several types of insurance and bonds, before they issue a licenses. The surety bond, covers wrongdoing by employees including the owner, very pricey. Also general liability, medical liability, and I can't think of the others.

They own several locations, not sure
if separate entities, or part of the LLC. They can sell the land , it's pretty pricey in that area.
moo
 
Wow. The site was up just earlier today when I linked to the consulting physician’s staff page. I was a bit surprised that all the videos and whatnot were still public. I should have thought to archive it.

Edit: Looks like the videos are still public. The website has been pretty well archived as well.
Does the way back machine allow for a way around these issues?
 
OMG, to be threatened by DSS and the Sheriff's, to go in and physical remove emotional challenged adolescence and take into custody. What a nightmare for these children.
Moo

Oh the irony! So being removed from your home and taken into custody and transported for hundreds or thousands of miles by two strangers in the middle of the night is NOT a nightmare for these emotionally challenged adolescents?? But being “temporarily taken into care” by the DSS and Sheriff IS a nightmare?

I see nothing about anyone being “threatened.”

While the investigation is ongoing and we cannot comment on specific details, it was determined that action needed to be taken to ensure the health and safety of the children. Parents have been notified and children will be temporarily taken into care of Transylvania County DSS.

JMO
 
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