SOS Outreach (SOS) is a youth development non-profit that offers programs that build character and self-esteem in underserved youth. SOS is dedicated to getting youth outdoors and involved in their communities through adventure sports, adult mentoring and the SOS Core Values—Courage, Discipline, Integrity, Wisdom, Compassion.
SOS was founded in Colorado’s Vail Valley in 1993 as the Snowboard Outreach Society. The goal was to introduce underserved inner-city youth to the mountains, as well as teach them to snowboard. Since its founding however, SOS has expanded to include many more individual sports and has incorporated a youth development curriculum. SOS programs are unique in that they use the popular appeal of outdoor adventure sports to engage youth in a leadership and character development curriculum.
Within the past year, SOS has worked to turn this seasonal program into a year-round curriculum for its participants. By expanding the program from winter-only activities, SOS can create more opportunities for youth to stay involved and maintain positive touch points. Through this program participants complete 30 days of activity annually with an adult mentor doing service projects, adventure sports and leadership development. Summer activities include hiking, camping, and climbing, while winter programs focus on skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
SOS now promotes character development and positive decision making through multi-year and year-round adventure-based programs. During the most recently completed fiscal year, SOS served 4,888 underprivileged youth in 15 states and New Zealand and at 45 mountain resorts.
SOS Outreach programs would not be possible without the significant support from corporations that donate gear, outerwear, lift ticket, and rental equipment to make both summer and winter programs possible. The partnership that SOS maintains with Osprey Packs, Inc. is crucial in providing quality programs to underserved youth nationwide. Few organizations in the industry are as dedicated to outdoor leadership programs as Osprey.