Trails Carolina’s Death: 12 Year Old Boy Dies

Trails Carolina's Death

Around 8:10 a.m. Saturday, a 911 caller reported the 12-year-old was not breathing. Police said rescue efforts were initiated on the scene then stopped as the child appeared to be deceased for some time. The child was sent for autopsy to Winston Salem as his death appeared suspicious since he had arrived at the camp less than 24 hours before his death, said police. Trails Carolina’s death is the most significant controversy for the organization that sets up activities aimed at the personal growth of teenagers and youngsters. Before delving into the depth of these strategies and how to overcome this issue, let’s discuss what Trails Carolina is. 

Trails Carolina Program

The Trails Carolina program is an adventurous activity that incorporates life lessons with various outdoor experiences. In this program, the organization enrolls candidates voluntarily with the consent of their guardians. It is a 3 to 6-month program involving activities such as hiking, climbing, and base camping.

This entire program is conducted under the supervision of experts who teach youngsters. How to be self-confident, a team player and survive in challenging situations. The goal is to equip them with skills to tackle difficulties they may encounter in their lives.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy Tuesday said the death “appeared to not be natural, but the manner and cause of death are still pending,” according to the news release, which added that the investigation is ongoing and that a report from the chief medical examiner may not be available for several months.

Deputies served search warrants at two Trails Carolina camp locations in Transylvania County on Tuesday, one where the teen was found and another where campers were relocated following the death.

Authorities said camp officials had “not completely cooperated with the investigation” but had told investigators that the staff members who were assigned to the cabin where the teen was found were placed on leave.

Reasons Behind the Death

While the exact cause remains unknown, potential reasons include:

  1. Losing the track due to adverse weather conditions.
  2. Lack of trail upgrades.
  3. Inadequate guidance on precautionary measures.

Following the incident, the Trails Carolina program implemented improvements and updates.


  • Upgraded the Trails

Trails were upgraded with more advanced markers, especially in areas prone to bad weather and visibility issues. Reflecting trails were added to help hikers navigate more easily.

  • Enhanced Safety Measures

The program’s website was updated with more specific details, marking areas with a high risk of danger. Safety tools were upgraded, including an increased number of patrolling teams.

  • Maintenance and Cleaning

The number of maintenance days and cleaning efforts were increased. Cleaner tracks facilitated more efficient and faster completion of tasks for hikers.

  • Results

Following these measures, the number of accidents decreased. Advanced tools were introduced to enhance emergency self-safety. Increased patrols ensured timely assistance for hikers.

Why was Carolina Reaper used?

Carolina Reaper, a spicy pepper used to generate body heat for survival in extreme conditions, caused the death of one hiker, leading to its ban. It was found unsuitable, especially for individuals with heart problems.

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