EMPOWERING YOUTH TO DISCOVER THEIR FULL POTENTIAL

Our Programs

Only SOS Outreach has the mountain access, proven 10-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.

 

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.

PHASE 1: LEARN

LEARN TO RIDE/SKI & SNOWCORE

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. These kids experience a sense of accomplishment that only comes from trying something new — and nailing it!

SOS Outreach youth enjoying the falling snow

PHASE 2: MASTER

MENTOR PROGRAM

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

PHASE 3: SHARE

PEER MENTOR PROGRAM

With this newfound knowledge and confidence, older participants graduate from the mentoring program and become a mentor in their own right. Peer mentors are paired with youth in the early years of the mentor program, showing them the ropes during the ride days and other off-hill workshops and activities. These kids pass on the knowledge and joy they experienced to the next generation of SOS participants. From here, classmates and families begin to emulate their success, ultimately lifting everyone in their sphere of influence.

YEAR-ROUND EXPERIENCES

SUMMER PROGRAMS

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.

Our Core Values

We believe that great leaders possess strong values. That’s why we center our curriculum around six core values that guide our kids to live healthy, happy, and successful lives. These values are deeply steeped in everything we do at SOS—from adventures on the hill to helping in the community to learning a new skill to inspiring their peers—our kids are unlocking the potential that’s already inside of them and discovering how they can truly thrive.

OUR KIDS

Infographic depicting who SOS Outreach serves

Faces of SOS

“As the Community Engagement Manager, I have witnessed, first-hand, the passion that SOS has for providing engaging, educational experiences that allow youth to give back in meaningful ways to their local communities. SOS kids have worked with the League to identify invasive plants, monitor stormwater drains, restore retention basins and participate in litter clean up. Through this partnership, SOS youth feel that they are truly able to make a tangible impact in their home and become ambassadors for Lake Tahoe.”


-Marilee Movius, League to Save Lake Tahoe

“SOS has made a huge impact on my life. It’s my home away from home. I made a little family that I can rely on, as well as many close connections to mentors who I can ask anything from life to school to friendship advice. SOS also gave me the opportunity to do something I probably would never have done coming from a low-income family, no matter how close I lived to a ski resort. I wasn’t just able to experience this new sport, but I was given the chance to continue challenging my skills in snowboarding and create goals to become a better athlete and better person.”

– Mitzi, North Lake Tahoe Program Alum

“I loved that [my students] were willing to try new things. One of my students almost didn’t even give skiing a chance but with a little prodding he loved it, and I think he would do it again. It helped so much that they had all the gear they needed as I was surprised by how many of my students do not have anything they need for playing in the snow even though they live in Heber where it snows every year! I watched how they needed to listen to and trust their ski instructor and that when they did they were able to learn a lot. I think this will translate into then learning to listen to and trust other adults which seems to be a difficult thing for my students.”
– Teacher, Summit County, UT

“I think the impact this program has had on me is as great as the impact it has had on the kids! I have never felt more proud than to see these at risk youth faces light up with joy and laughter when they are on the snow – out of their element – in a completely new environment – an environment they never knew existed. It is life changing. It introduces them to the door that says “there is a big wonderful world out there full of opportunities just for you – now open it” Some do open that door – some don’t, but SOS is working, you should be proud of your organization.”

– Kevin, The Summit at Snoqualmie

“Another incredible ride day. Our students are having an absolute blast, and we’re seeing a lot of progress! Half of our ski groups made it to the chair lift for the first time ever, and it was magical to witness the pure excitement and joy our students were experiencing. Our snowboarders are linking turns, and everyone coming together and forming new friendships.”

 

– Foley, Detroit Program Coordinator

Join The Family

When we all get behind a singular purpose—to change lives for kids in our communities—our impact is infinite. Join the SOS family, made up of generous donors, committed partners, inspiring mentors, and dedicated volunteers. Together, we encourage youth to unlock the potential that’s already inside of them and discover endless possibility.

REGISTER

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

VOLUNTEER

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.

GIVE

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.

STAY IN TOUCH

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