Mission & History

Gear Up For Life

At SOS Outreach, our goal is to help kids gear up for life, ultimately changing their lives and the communities they touch.

25 Years of SOS Outreach:

1993: Arn Menconi founded SOS Outreach, as the Snowboard Outreach Society (SOS), to improve the negative societal perception of the snowboard culture existing in the 1980s and the early 1990s.

1994: SOS Outreach organizes a snowboard competition and raises $300 for the Vail Valley Medical Center.

1995: The Eagle County office opens its doors and 15 inner-city Denver youth try snowboarding for the first time.

1998: 200 youth try snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts, launching the five-day SOS Learn to Ride curriculum. SOS develops a character-building curriculum based on the core values of courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom and compassion.

2000: SOS winter programs grow to serve 600 youth. SOS develops a multi-year curriculum which focuses on value-based leadership, launching the four-year University program.

2004: SOS serves 1,500 youth through winter programs. Service learning projects are added to the multi-year curriculum requirements.

2007: SOS changes its name to SOS Outreach to demonstrate its growth beyond just snowboarding. SOS opens full-time offices in Summit County, Colorado and Denver Metro, Colorado. SOS also launches SnowCore, a one or two-day ski or snowboard program exposing more youth to snow sports. SOS serves 3,000 youth.

2008: SOS opens the Seattle office, expanding programs throughout the Pacific Northwest.

2009: SOS merges with Meet the Wilderness, a 34 year old organization that introduced youth to summer adventure sports. The merger enables SOS to serve 5,000 youth annually and develop the year-round, multi-year curriculum.

2010: SOS opens the Tahoe office, expanding programs throughout the Lake Tahoe Region.

2013: Having served a total of 36,282 youth and celebrating 20 years, SOS adds humility as the sixth core value. 

2014: Celebrating 21 years of service, SOS's founder Arn Menconi steps down as Executive Director. The SOS family will always be thankful for his vision and leadership.

2015: SOS expands programs to Park City Resort in Park City, Utah.

2016: SOS celebrates 50,000 youth in programs since its founding in 1993. SOS expands programs to Mt. Brighton to offer access for Detroit youth.

2017: With Vail Resorts, SOS expands programs to Wilmot Mountain and Afton Alps to provide access for Chicago and Minneapolis youth respectively. 

Learn more about current SOS Programs