Turning Winds Clients Get Ready For Another Service Trip

Turning Winds organizes international service trips abroad for our teen clients twice a year: after a successful trip to Morocco in the spring, this year’s second destination is Belize. 

The treatment team meticulously prepares the excursions offering a unique blend of travel, cultural immersion, leadership training, and adventure therapy. Destinations are vetted beforehand and sometimes rejected. After first looking at a place in Panama, “we didn’t feel good about executing that trip because of logistical and safety concerns but we found another location in Belize,” says chief operations officer Carl Baisden who is very happy with the last-minute switch. “Looks like a home run.”


Our international service trips are designed to foster leadership, resilience, and a profound sense of global citizenship. Our teenage patients develop empathy and a hands-on understanding of diverse cultures by engaging in community service and contributing to their personal and academic growth.

There will be plenty of that in Belize. 

“As usual, the trip will combine service and fun activities,” says Baisden. “We got evening activities planned for every day of the trip but most of the time we’re going to be volunteering at a preschool in an underprivileged neighborhood. In many places in Central America, preschool is essentially like daycare because parents usually have to work to have enough income for the family.”

The school sure appreciates the support. “It is so underfunded that the local teacher has to use her private funds,” explains Baisden. “Materials and supplies—any kind of support she can offer the kids comes out of her own pocketbook and she’s not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.”

“Building a new playground for kids who don’t have much of a school, don’t get much of an education, and who don’t have resources—this is a cool opportunity for our kids to go down there and put smiles on people’s faces,” says Baisden. “I have built water supply systems before but building a playground seems like the next level of touching hearts and minds and bringing some joy into their lives.”


Turning Winds has taken clients to many places around the world including Greece, Peru, Thailand, Guatemala, and most recently Morocco. As always, the trip to the North African country had a very positive impact on the kids. 

“They were amazing ambassadors for the United States to the Moroccan people,” remembers therapist Sean Carlin, who accompanied the clients on the trip. “What we do at Turning Winds and what we did on this trip is build relations. Ultimately, that’s our foundation; we build relationships with these kids and do it in a very structured environment.” 

Our international service trips for teens are more than just a break from the routine; they are a leap into a world of self-discovery and community connection. Each journey is an opportunity for growth, allowing teens to explore cross-cultural experiences that broaden their horizons.

Traveling to foreign countries to be immersed in other cultures and help people less fortunate than ourselves is an exciting opportunity to gain new perspectives and boost self-confidence—especially in young people.

The therapeutic value of the service trip experience cannot be overstated. “We continuously witness how the lives of our students change as a result of our service trips. We have seen teens who struggle to look outside themselves and think of others cry with tears of gratitude, appreciation, and love for their fellow human beings. It’s nothing short of amazing,” says Baisden. 


At Turning Winds, it’s not only adventures abroad but the people who make the difference. For the past two decades, we’ve built a team of some of the world’s finest academic and therapeutic professionals, who all share the same goal: to help teens re-engage meaningfully with their lives, families, and futures.

It all began with the simple desire to help young lives see a new path. In two decades, the program has matured into a sophisticated program that blends the benefits of a wilderness program, a residential treatment center, and a boarding school.

Our mission is to rescue teens from crisis, renew their belief in their potential, reunite them with their families, and put them on a sustainable path to success. 

Contact us online for more information, or call us at 800-845-1380. If we miss your call, rest assured we will reconnect with you promptly to start planning your transformative experience.


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John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden, Jr

John Baisden Jr is the father of seven inspiring children, and he is married to Kara, the love of his life. Together they have created a family-centered legacy by leading the way with early childhood educational advancement. John loves to write and is an author of a children’s book, An Unlikely Journey and plans to publish additional books. Show More

John is a visionary in his work and applies “outside-the-box” approaches to business practice and people development. He is the Founder of Turning Winds, along with several other organizations. He has extensive experience launching and developing organizations. His skills include strategic planning, promoting meaningful leader-member movement, organizational change, effective communication, project management, financial oversight and analysis, digital marketing and content creation, and implementing innovative ideas through influential leadership. As a leader, John seeks to empower others and brand success through collaborative work. His vision is to lead with courage, grit, truth, justice, humility, and integrity while emphasizing relational influence rather than focusing on the sheens of titles, positions, or things.

Finally, John is passionate about life and promoting equity among those who are often overlooked because of differences that frequently clash with the “norm.” He lives in Southern Idaho and loves the outdoors and the life lessons that can be learned in such an informal environment.

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