blog – programs

The Power of Mentorship

The Power of Mentorship At SOS, there’s a lot that goes into ensuring that our programs are as impactful as…

Mental Health Matters

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and we’re shining a light on how critical our programs are in equipping our youth with the skills, resources, and support they need to thrive.

Supporting 1,500 Youth Through an Unprecedented Season

Last fall, we weren’t sure how this winter season would look. Together, we focused on our youth. Our goal was to remain steadfast in supporting each participant every step of the way.

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SOS Outreach

Since our founding in 1993, our work has been grounded in creating a more diverse, vibrant, and supportive community for marginalized youth. The power of this community has never proved as intensely critical as right now. The inequities exposed for kids struggling with economic, racial, social, and societal barriers have never been more amplified.

Olympic Athletes Inspire Our Park City Youth on the Hill

Thanks to our incredible partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team and Armada Skis, last weekend Olympic athletes Steven Nyman and Brita Sigourney joined our Utah community to ski alongside 95 of our Mentor program youth at Park City Mountain. 

Our Largest Impact Yet

As the pandemic continues to sweep through our communities, we have doubled down on our efforts to provide consistent support, foster critical life skills, and strengthen our connection to meet the needs of our youth. We remain steadfast in our mission to stand by our participants’ side through an unprecedented season. 

Skills For Life: Part 1

We believe that connection, support, and opportunity are the necessary ingredients for youth success. Our programs are designed to create strong leaders across our communities, but that doesn’t stop after youth graduate SOS. We’re excited to share that we’re launching a new SOS Alumni Network, Continuing the Circle! The goal is to create a thriving community for our alumni to connect, collaborate, and engage with our current participants, SOS partners, and each other.

Valeria’s story is part 1 in a multi-part series that highlights the long-term success of SOS with first-hand experiences from several alumni.

SOS Youth Make Their Lake Tahoe Community Cleaner

Our year three Mentor program participants embark on a leadership-driven service project completely designed by them. With their Mentor groups comprising 4-6 kids, they examine needs in their communities, explore prominent issues they want to address, and develop and outline tangible solutions. These kids are making a very direct difference right where they live.

Finding Community With SOS Outreach

“SOS has been my support system,” shares SOS alum, Jessica. “My junior year was really stressful. I was overwhelmed with applying for college, with school work, all the aspects of your education that start to mean a lot more as you get closer to graduation. Going to SOS was really beneficial for my mental health. Spending those 8 hours with friends on the mountain actually helped me center myself and go home with a better attitude and a more productive work ethic.”

Developing Resilient Youth Through COVID and Beyond

At SOS, we often highlight how the skills our kids learn on the mountain translate to overcoming obstacles in their own lives: getting up after you fall, encouraging and cheering on peers, trying something challenging and new. Dr. Casey Wolfington, a licensed clinical psychologist at Eagle Valley Behavioral Health in Colorado, reaffirms why these skills and attitudes help guide our youth during difficult situations like this.

Lean On Me

Community and human connection are at the core of our mission at SOS. When we teach kids to ski, snowboard, backpack, and climb in a safe and encouraging environment—we also introduce them to new positive and supportive relationships.

Our mentor/mentee relationships are a crucial component of our kids’ success. Many of our kids lack consistent, positive adult role models, and it can be tough to know who to turn to when the terrain gets steep. Now more than ever, these bonds are key in helping our youth persevere.

Reflections Across The Season, Part 2

Last month, we began a series of season reflections to highlight the voices of kids, volunteers, and partners that make up the SOS family. In this month’s installment, we travel to programs across Colorado, Lake Tahoe, and the Midwest as our program managers share a few insights into the incredible youth and mentors that helped make this season so special.

Q&A With Our Program Coordinators

As our program coordinators wrap up their seasons, we asked them to reflect on the year and share their favorite parts of the season. Below, we share their answers and their insights into the impact of their work.

Reflections Across the Season, Part I

April marks the close of our winter programs and although we are unable to celebrate in-person, we are proud to start a series of season reflections to highlight the voices of kids, volunteers, and partners that make up the SOS family. In this month’s installment, program team members across Lake Tahoe, Utah, and Colorado share a few insights into the incredible youth and mentors that helped make this season so special. 

NFL SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS INSPIRE SOS YOUTH AT SUMMIT AT SNOQUALMIE

When kids are asked who their role models are, many point to professional athletes as figures they admire. Athletes embody strength, courage, determination, and discipline—and motivate us to set goals and dream big.

Kids at our Seattle program excitedly welcomed two such inspiring role models, former Seahawks and Super Bowl champions, Cooper Helfet and DeShawn Shead, at our recent program day hosted at The Summit at Snoqualmie.

How To Get Outdoors During The COVID-19 Pandemic

How To Get Outdoors During the COVID-19 Pandemic **Local advisories are changing by the hour, please check your local regulations…

SOS Outreach & COVID-19

SOS OUTREACH’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 The situation is changing day-to-day, so we will continue to update this blog with new…

Largest Week of Programs – 2,005 Kids on Snow

history in the making -2,005 SOS Kids On the slopes with SOS this week   There is a simple joy…

The Power of Mentorship

The Power of Mentorship January is National Mentoring Month and we’re sharing stories that highlight how our mentors make a…

New Faces!

New Faces! Please join us in welcoming a few new faces to our incredible staff team! Elizabeth Williams has joined…

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Jaqueline

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Jaqueline Earlier this year, we put out an Alumni Survey to reconnect with some of our past…

Reflections From The Field: Backpacking In Yosemite

Reflections from the field. Backpacking in yosemite By Amina Hughes, North Lake Tahoe Program Manager “Between every two pine trees…

Reflections From The Field: Building Relationships In The Outdoors

Reflections From The Field: Building Relationships In The Outdoors By Brooke Carlsen, Eagle County Program Manager This past summer at…

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Austin

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Austin Earlier this year, we put out an Alumni Survey to reconnect with some of our past…

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Amelia

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Amelia Earlier this year, we put out an Alumni Survey to reconnect with some of our past participants. Let’s…

Industry Days Inspire Youth

Industry Days Inspire Youth This winter, SOS partnered with Vail Resorts mountains Heavenly, Northstar, Park City, Beaver Creek, and other corporate…

Graduation Celebrations!

Graduation Celebrations! As we wrap up our 25th season, we celebrate the culmination of our mentoring programs with graduation ceremonies…

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Jessa

Alumni Spotlight: Meet Jessa Last month, we put out an Alumni Survey to reconnect with some of our past participants. Let’s just say,…

Participant Spotlight: Meet Isabella

Participant Spotlight: Meet Isabella Meet North Lake Tahoe Junior Mentor, Isabella! Now in ninth grade, Isabella has been in SOS…

1,524 Kids On Snow At 19 Resorts

1,524 Kids On Snow At 19 Resorts As our participants gear up for the largest week of winter programs, we…

25th Winter Season Underway

25th Winter Season Underway This month kicks off winter program registration across SOS locations! This winter, over 3,500 youth across…

SOS Kicks Off its 25th Year!

SOS Kicks Off its 25th Year! As we enter our 25th year of changing the lives of youth, we take…

Staff Reflections: Summer Backpacking Excursions

Staff Reflections: Summer Backpacking Excursions Staff Contributor, Scott Partan The success and impacts of our backpacking trips has been absolutely…

Staff Reflections: Learn to Mountain Bike

Staff Reflections: Learn to Mountain Bike SOS Staff Contributor, Joan Dieter Learn to Mountain Bike (LTMB) at Keystone was an…

Gear Up For Summer Adventures

Gear Up For Summer Adventures It was all smiles from the kids on the Colorado National Monument trips this May….

SOS Youth Shine on Mountain & In Classroom

SOS Youth Shine on Mountain & In Classroom This month, we celebrate SOS University participant Jorge, a ninth-grade student in Park…

Staff Reflections: Special Times at the Colorado National Monument

Staff Reflections: Special Times at the Colorado National Monument Staff Contributor, Gillian Lane “Ok, where do I do go next?”…

End of Season Celebrations

End of Season Celebrations As the largest winter season in SOS Outreach’s 24-year history comes to a close, there is…

SOS Inspires Youth Off-Hill at Leadership Days

SOS Inspires Youth Off-Hill at Leadership Days In the past month, SOS Outreach joined forces with Beaver Creek Resort and…

SOS Graduate Spotlight: Travis Tafoya

SOS Graduate Spotlight: Travis Tafoya We caught up with SOS Outreach graduate, Travis to ask him about his experiences in…

SOS Taps Into the Transformative Power of the River with O.A.R.S.

SOS Taps Into the Transformative Power of the River with O.A.R.S. It’s not often that the opportunity to unplug from…

Guest Blog by Scott Partan: COLORADO MASTERS PARTICIPANTS BACKCOUNTRY EXCURSION

Guest Blog by Scott Partan: COLORADO MASTERS PARTICIPANTS BACKCOUNTRY EXCURSION EAGLE AND SUMMIT COUNTIES, CO The mountains may be closing in…

Summer Adventures Abound for SOS Youth

Summer Adventures Abound for SOS Youth With a brief window between winter and summer programming, the SOS team is hard…

SOS Outreach Inspires the Next Generation of Community Leaders

SOS Outreach Inspires the Next Generation of Community Leaders Throughout the year, SOS University Year 4 participants explore leadership through…

SOS Outreach Celebrates Another Banner Winter Season

SOS Outreach Celebrates Another Banner Winter Season As the largest winter season in SOS Outreach’s history comes to a close,…

SOS Partners with Mt. Brighton to introduce the sports of skiing & snowboarding to Detroit area kids

SOS Partners with Mt. Brighton to introduce the sports of skiing & snowboarding to Detroit area kids MT. BRIGHTON, MI…

Insider Access at SIA Tradeshow Engages SOS Youth in Snow Culture & Opportunties

Insider Access at SIA Tradeshow Engages SOS Youth in Snow Culture & Opportunties DENVER, CO – The annual SnowSports Industries…

50,000+ Youth In SOS Programs Since 1993 – Embarks on LARGEST Week of Programs Ever

50,000+ Youth In SOS Programs Since 1993 – Embarks on LARGEST Week of Programs Ever VAIL, CO – Winter brings along…

Inaugural Industry Day

Inaugural Industry Day On Wednesday, August 12th, SOS Outreach held its inaugural Industry Day in Boulder, Colorado. A select group…

Backpacking with SOS Outreach

Backpacking with SOS Outreach Sara Henley is an AmeriCorps VISTA member with SOS. She recently joined our Masters students on…

A Week in the Life of Backyard Adventures

A Week in the Life of Backyard Adventures Ever wonder what an SOS summer program looks like? Join us as…

Local Partnerships Are The Key To Making Summer Programs A Success!

Local Partnerships Are The Key To Making Summer Programs A Success! Since its inception in 1993, SOS Outreach has expanded…

Summer Kick-Off: Colorado National Monument

Summer Kick-Off: Colorado National Monument Here at SOS, we value getting outside, and think it is especially important for kids….