30 Years of Spreading the Love
In 1993, SOS Outreach was founded in the Vail Valley. While our curriculum and impact has grown over the years, our roots have remained the same. We have always believed in the power of the outdoors to create change and live by our core values to make it possible.
We want to thank you, our community, for riding with us over the years- 15 communities, 24 mountain resorts, countless youth agencies, volunteers, industry partners, Board members and staff. Because of you, we are connecting 3,000+ youth annually to life-changing relationships and opportunities.
Here’s to 30 years of spreading the love and another 30 to come!
The Evolution of Our Progressive Curriculum
At SOS, we empower our young to speak up and advocate for what they believe in. Our curriculum would not be what it was today without kids and teenagers sharing feedback and asking how they could stay involved in the organization. Responding to our youth and working with specialists, we developed a curriculum that would keep participants growing year over year. Read more about it here.
What We Do
No matter what social, societal, or economic barriers exist—SOS Outreach believes every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. We start with powerful outdoor experiences. Because it’s on the slopes or the trail that kids unearth the courage to step outside of their comfort zones, discover new strengths within themselves and develop lifelong skills. Through our proven curriculum, we empower kids in our communities to discover their true potential.
From the moment our kids step outside with us, they are introduced to positive and consistent adult mentorship. Our mentors provide a strong support system that inspires kids to dream big—cheering them on as they carve a turn, offering a helping hand when the terrain gets steep, and lending an ear when they’re having a rough day. Through these powerful relationships forged on the mountain, youth learn what they are truly capable of and they develop the confidence to share their new skills with the world.
By teaching youth to ski, snowboard, backpack, and camp—activities that many of our kids aren’t able to access—we’re not only enabling outdoor exploration, we’re enabling self-exploration. Youth overcome obstacles on the mountain that translate to overcoming obstacles in life. Whether it’s courage and discipline to get back up when they fall or humility and compassion to help their peers navigate a challenging run—we help them recognize these strengths to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.
Core Values & Community Service
Outdoor recreation in an encouraging environment is central to developing leaders, but it doesn’t stop there. Our kids look at their communities and determine what challenges need to be addressed, participate in team workshops to develop important life skills, and learn to incorporate our 6 core values in their daily lives. Through our progressive, multi-year curriclum—we empower kids to become informed and engaged members of their communities.
Changing Lives Together
Since 1993, SOS has grown exponentially, serving more than 3,000 youth annually across 15 locations in nine states.
Faces of SOS
“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
“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. “
-Noah, Eagle County, CO 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
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.
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.