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Adventure retreats based out of Traverse City, MI

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Discover Your Path with True North Counseling’s Adventure Retreats

Welcome to True North Counseling, where Eric LaPaugh, LPC NCC, combines therapeutic expertise with wilderness guidance to help you find your way. Located at The Commons in Traverse City, MI, we offer customized client care through in-office counseling sessions and outdoor therapy experiences. Our unique approach allows you to explore healing amidst the beauty of nature, whether it’s a walk in the nearby woods, along a river, or in the park.

Embark on a transformative journey with our Adventure Retreats, designed for both youth and adults. Our retreats take you to breathtaking destinations such as Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Colorado and the Manitou Islands of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Reconnect with yourself and nature while gaining valuable insights and expriences to help you navigate life’s challenges.

enjoying sunset over lake michigan

Upcoming Trips

Secure your spot in one of our 2024 adventures. Space is limited. Use the online form below to submit your request. 

Youth Manitou Island Retreats

Hop aboard the Mishe-mokwa Ferry and join us for a few days of Island adventure for some wilderness camping. Activities include hiking, hammocking, camp crafts, survival skills, games, relaxation, nature connection and more. 

Our Manitou Island Wilderness Retreats are therapeutically designed as a mental health strategy for adolescents facing today’s challenges such as anxiety, depression, and technology addiction. The experiences and small groups help to develop resiliency, self-esteem, confidence, and self-reliance, while also nurturing empathy, positive social skills, lasting friendships and a deep appreciation for nature. In addition, the trips are extremely fun and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Boys trip to South Manitou Island

For: Boys ages 11-14
When: June 30th – July 3rd, 2024
Cost: $550


Girls trip to South Manitou Island

For: Girls ages 11-17
When: June 17th – 20th, 2024
Cost: $550

mountain range forest and reflection on lake

Teen Boys Cross Country

An epic cross country adventure takes teen boys ages 14-17 across the United States to explore a variety of scenery and locations each year. Experiences include seeing National Parks/Forests, mountain ranges, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife, with activities like white water rafting, hiking, fishing and more. Scholarships for this trip are available. 

2024 Trip: Utah & Colorado

Activities will include Rock Climbing in Moab, Canyoneering in Zion and White Water rafting the Royal Gorge, Colorado.

For: Teen boys ages 14-17

When: July 8th – 21st, 2024 Cost: $2,500


The Zachary “Zac” Fochtman Scholarship

By offering this scholarship for the XCountry Adventure Retreat, Zac’s family is not only keeping his memory alive but also making a positive impact on the community. This scholarship is a beautiful way to honor the memory of Zac and his passion for nature, adventure, and helping others. It is heartwarming to see his family continuing his legacy through this scholarship to provide opportunities for others to experience the transformative power of wilderness therapy.  This initiative not only benefits the recipients of the scholarship but also serves as a reminder of Zac’s spirit and the values he held dear.

Women’s Adventure Retreat

Pause the responsibilities of day to day life and join us on a trip with True North Retreats. Enjoy activities and experiences among the outdoors with other like-minded women. Put away the to-do list and step into adventure on the trip of a lifetime. 

Women’s Manitou Island Retreat

Activities include camping, hiking, beach games, & campfires.

For: Women 18 and up

When: June 27th-30th, 2024

Cost: $550

men's cross country retreat counseling adventure trip

Men’s Adventure Retreat

Our Men’s trip is designed to detach and connect with new friends and the great outdoors. Our Men’s retreat explores North America, in a different location each year with a variety of activities, from hunting to fishing, hiking and more.

2024 Trip: Utah & Arizona

For 2024, this trip explores Utah and Arizona with activities including ATV’s, canyoneering, and white water rafting. 

For: Men ages 18 and up

When: September 18th – 25th, 2024

Group size: 7

Cost: $2,000

hiking in canyons
canyons from above
men's cross country retreat counseling adventure trip
cross country retreat counseling adventure trip

What people are saying…

“My time spent with True North is an amazing journey that helped me grow both mentally and physically. Our time in the wilderness helped shape my love and passion for the great outdoors in every way. This was my first time traveling out west to Yellowstone, the trip was planned perfectly as we were able to see so much of the Park’s beauties. Being isolated in the backcountry, surrounded by amazing scenery, I was able to move pass a lot of the negative feelings I had been experiencing at home. The trip truly changed my life, and I can’t thank True North enough for the guidance.” 

-Dylan M. | xCountry Retreat participant, x3

“Thanks to all of you that made this trip possible for me with the Scholarship. Let me start off by saying the trip was just amazing. It opened my eyes to new experiences, taught me about nature and survival, and helped me get in touch with my sense of adventure. I also found a new love for the outdoors, especially backcountry backpacking. It pushed me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things and helped me grow as an individual. I’m thankful for the opportunity. And, the trip was a blast!”

-Micheal L. 

Meet Our Guides

Our team at True North Retreats creates impactful programs that combine therapeutic techniques with challenging experiences in an outdoor environment to kinetically and experientially engage the participants ability to connect with nature, each other, and themselves.

Eric LaPaugh


Owner, Therapist and Wilderness Guide

Verified Counselor with Psychology Today



Corey Hansen

Lead Guide and Summer Programs Director

Chelsea Hummon

Chelsea Hummon

Lead Guide


Anna Mausolf

Lead Guide and Safety Officer


To contact us with questions or sign up for an upcoming trip, please submit your info using this form so that we can best serve you.


Retreat(s) Interested In:

True North Counseling & True North Retreats


Office located in the Grand Traverse Commons

1200 W. 11th St. Suite 217

Traverse City, 49684, US




What are you waiting for?