Our Programs

Only SOS Outreach has the mountain access, proven 9-year progressive curriculum, network of industry partners, and engaged mentors that allow us to provide successful outdoor youth development programs. It’s how we forge powerful relationships and teach life skills that sets us apart and connects us to our supporters. Our program is built on three pillars.

SOS Youth on a rafting trip


We provide SUPPORT to kids by matching them with caring, committed mentors.

SOS Outreach Youth with their snowboards outside


We enable OPPORTUNITIES to build confidence by getting kids on the mountain and through our curriculum, kids are prepared for success.

SOS Outreach Youth planting trees outside


We focus on community SERVICE as a way to build leadership skills and give back.

Our Core Values

Here at SOS, we’ve built our curriculum around six core values. As students progress through the program, they start to embody the core values and see the positive impact they have at school, at home, with their friends, and of course, on the mountain.

Courage Infographic, an SOS Outreach value
Wisdom Infographic, an SOS Outreach value
Discipline Infographic, an SOS Outreach value
Integrity Infographic, an SOS Outreach value

How We Do It

We use a progressive curriculum that evolves with kids as they advance through our programs. Each year, kids learn new outdoor skills and life skills based on their age and circumstances. For younger participants, this might mean getting along with peers and taking personal responsibility for their homework. For older youth, the focus shifts to developing leadership skills and mentoring younger participants in the program.



All SOS programs begin with an introductory ski or snowboard experience. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself by strapping on a piece of wood and flying down a snow-covered mountain. For the first time, these kids experience a sense of accomplishment that only comes from trying something new — and nailing it!

SOS Outreach youth enjoying the falling snow



Next is the mentoring program, a four-year program that combines on-mountain skill building and in-community leadership development. As kids progress from bunny hills to black diamonds, they also begin to experience a shift from “just a participant” to a natural leader. They take risks. They take ownership of their actions. And their newfound self-esteem begins to permeate all aspects of life.

Youth volunteering with SOS Outreach



With this newfound knowledge and confidence, older participants graduate from the mentoring program and become a mentor in their own right. They show younger kids the ropes on their first ski and ride days. Their own inner transformation is so obvious that classmates and families begin to emulate their success, ultimately lifting everyone in their sphere of influence.



Our summer programs continue to foster a sense of belonging and exploration for our youth. In addition to leading our own experiences, we provide opportunities in partnership with other youth agencies to offer our participants a wide array of summer activities all while integrating the SOS core values.


Infographic depicting who SOS Outreach serves

Faces of SOS

“I’m Kayla, and I’m in 9th grade and have been in SOS for 5 years now. I remember my first day of SOS…I was so nervous to go out with the group on the mountain, but excited to meet up with my siblings who were already in SOS.  I love being outside, and I love that I got to learn to snowboard and meet other people. Some of those people maybe didn’t think they had things in common with me because we are different, but we have fun on the mountain and that has brought us together.”

Kayla, South Lake Tahoe, CA participant

“When people talk about me, they’re like…‘Oh Noah, he does crazy stuff, he’s the one that goes out and does cool stuff outside.’ But before SOS, it really wasn’t like that at all. I used to be a really shy kid. I’d stay inside and not be active at all. And then SOS just taught me to get out of my comfort zone and go for it. “



“My first day on the mountain wasn’t anything like my expectations. Constantly falling down and picking myself up was the worst. It was harder than I thought, and I wanted to give up on the program that same day. As time passed, though, learning to pick myself up became easier. Making myself keep going no matter what obstacles were in my way became second nature.”


–  Josue, Summit County, CO participant

“My favorite core value is courage. Courage doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It comes when you push yourself to prove to others that you can become a better person. It helps me prove that I don’t give up. Courage comes from deep within a person who knows they’re scared and will still face their fear.”

– Peter, Seattle, WA participant

“On my first day of SOS, I was super nervous, but excited. But all the fear and doubt I had about the program left my mind as soon as I started talking to the mentors and other kids. My mentor became a positive role model outside of my family, and I knew if I needed help or just needed someone to talk to, I could confide in them.”

– Mitzi, North Lake Tahoe, NV participant

Join The Family

The support from our generous donors, committed partners, inspiring mentors and dedicated volunteers, allows these participants and graduates go on to be and accomplish more than they ever dreamed possible. And it all started on the mountain.


Sign up for one of our life-changing youth programs.


Being a positive mentor is one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do. You can help shape a child’s future in your community.


Make a gift to help youth discover a new side of themselves they didn’t know existed — a side that can do anything, especially overcome their circumstances and come out on top.


Join our mailing list to receive monthly updates on all things SOS!

How old must a child be to participate in SOS Outreach?

SOS works with youth in 4th grade and up.

How can I get my group or child involved in a summer or winter program with SOS Outreach?

Contact the SOS location closest to you! SOS currently has programs throughout the US with full-time office locations in Denver, CO; Frisco, CO; Edwards, CO; Park City, UT; North Lake Tahoe, NV, and South Lake Tahoe, CA as well as part-time offices in Seattle, WA; Yakima, WA; Portland, OR; Durango, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO; Leadville, CO; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN. For more information, contact us by email or call us at 970.926.9292.

My child doesn’t have any winter sports or outdoor gear. Can my child still participate?

Absolutely! SOS has a large inventory of jackets, snow pants, goggles, and gloves, for winter programs, as well as everything necessary for hiking and camping including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpacks. In our introductory program, all equipment and winter clothing is provided should your child need it.  As youth progress to the mentoring program, we are still able to provide all of the winter clothing and there are options in many locations to purchase ski/snowboard equipment at a very discounted rate.

Is there any cost for students to participate?

There is a fee for service in order to participate in SOS’s programs. The fee covers a portion of program expenses and with support from our corporate sponsors and generous donors, SOS Outreach covers the remainder of the necessary expenses. Please contact your local program contact for pricing.

What does “underserved” really mean?

The kids we help are at a disadvantage because of things like their address and socioeconomic status, not their spirit. In fact, our kids are optimistic, resilient and ready to work hard. They simply don’t have the same access to resources and information that many of us did, which prepared us for life as an adult. Risk factors we look at include – among others – poor attendance in school, low grades, speaking English as a second language, exposure to drugs and alcohol, involvement with the court system, and low household income. In general, we recruit participants who are dealing with at least two of our risk factors. View our Participant Assessment Form to see if your child could benefit from our programs.

Still have questions?

Please feel free to call us at 970.926.9292 or email us at sos@sosoutreach.org