Snowboard Outreach Society

Snowboard Outreach Society

SOS Outreach (SOS) was renamed from Snowboard Outreach Society in 2007 to coincide with its expansion to include skiing. It is an American youth program 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1993 in Avon, Colorado by Arn Menconi.


SOS Outreach provides high quality recreation programs to youth who benefit from the structure and consistency of the SOS curriculum (1). The primary aim of SOS is to reach out to at-risk and underprivileged youth through high quality, local, and national resilience-based snowboarding or skiing programs. Through these opportunities, and the adult mentor relationships that are central to the programs, SOS youth participants build strong morals, self-esteem and interpersonal skills.

During the 2007–2008 season, SOS completed their most successful season yet serving 3,019 youth at 28 mountain resorts nationally. SOS provided over 10,000 program days helping ourWho|date=August 2008 nation's youth-at-risk. 760 adults volunteered over 31,000 hours of service. SOS has been a 501 C 3 non-profit organization since 1993.

Mission statement

To build character in at-risk and underprivileged youth to enhance decision-making for healthy and succssful life experiences.

Vision statement

# Be honest, take responsibility and live the dream
# Improve the quality of life and instill hope in youth


# Live the Core Values - Courage / Discipline / Integrity / Wisdom / Compassion
# Provide a high quality adventure-based program that directly and positively impacts self-improvement
# Support at-risk youth through positive adult interaction
# Create appropriate behavioral and environmental boundaries for youth
# Provide opportunities for youth to improve and build social competencies
# Encourage positive values
# Expand current programming to provide follow-up opportunities for kids
# Continue to develop new partnerships with schools, youth agencies, winter sports corporations and government agencies


SOS partners with mountain resorts, youth agencies, foundations, private corporations, and skiers/snowboarders to create an effective and efficient mountain adventure-based program for underserved youth. Program participants are eligible for a seven-year curriculum across three programs.

Diversity:Diversity provides Denver area youth with a two-day introduction to skiing and/or snowboarding and the SOS curriculum. The program incorporates the core values of integrity and compassion. Program graduates are eligible for Learn to Ride. Participants are provided professional instruction, equipment rental, lift tickets and clothing.

Learn to Ride: Learn to Ride (LTR) is SOS’s year two experience. Participants receive five days of professional ski or snowboard instruction, equipment rental, lift tickets and clothing. The SOS curriculum distinguishes this program from any other mountain lesson by promoting self-image, positive relationships, social competencies and positive values. Each Learn to Ride session focuses on one of the five values central to the organization.

SOS University: University features a four-year, plus curriculum. Similar to LTR, each of the five on-hill days focus on one of the SOS core values. Youth are paired with a mentor, called a Sherpa. Sherpas assist the participants in achieving physical, academic and personal goals while completing the curriculum. In addition to five on-hill days each year, the participants complete:

Year I: Two service projects;Year II: Two service projects and 10 additional hours (or three days) of group community projects;Year III: One community engagement activity, interactive lecture on health, nutrition and fitness and the group develops and executes a community issue awareness campaign or a youth issue awareness project; Year IV: One service project, course on job skills/readiness and resume building and an internship in the industry of the participant’s choosing; and Year V+: Graduates are empowered to return as Junior Sherpas.

Junior Sherpa: After participants graduate from the SOS University Program, their next step is the Junior Sherpa program. This program was developed based on feedback from the University Program graduates.

The term "Sherpa" in the SOS program translates to "youth mentor." The Jr. Sherpa works as an assistant to the Sherpa, and they participate as mentors to first and second-year University students. Junior Sherpas support the development of SOS University Program participants. When a youth reaches the Jr. Sherpa level they are engaged in their sixth year of SOS programming, and they have mastered the SOS core value curriculum of Courage, Discipline, Integrity, Wisdom and Compassion.

Sherpa Society: The overwhelming response from adults who wanted to give their time, talents, energy and love for youth and snowboarding prompted SOS to create a program to provide outreach opportunities for adults. A Sherpa is an SOS-trained adult volunteer who helps to carry and guide the SOS youth through the LTR or University program. The Sherpa is given the responsibility of helping participants identify their strengths and use their assets to overcome risks in their lives. Partly through the Sherpa Society, volunteer hours totaled over 31,000 last season. SOS volunteer hours create an adult-to-youth ratio of nearly 1 to 2.5, increasing the positive adult contact for SOS youth.

Program impact

Each SOS participant completed the Protective Factors Scale, a pre- and post-evaluation of 10 protective factors. The scale was designed and is analyzed by Professor Peter Witt, University of Texas A & M. The factors measured have a demonstrated impact on increasing resiliency skills for youth.Fact|date=August 2008 During the 2007/2008 season, SOS saw an increase in all ten areas of protective factors.

Significant increases were seen in five of the ten areas measured: interested and caring adults (.25), liking/perceived competence in snowsports (.24), ability to work out conflicts (.20), neighborhood resources (.18) and positive attitude toward the future/future expectations (.18)

SOS further completed a survey of 403 past participants who completed an SOS program from 2004–2005 forward. Nate Fristoe, RRC Associates, designed the survey and implementation plan and analyzed all data.

Using a countywide survey from Eagle County high school students as a baseline, the results demonstrated SOS Participants:
# Have a 25% lifetime conversion rate into winter sports (twice the industry rate).
# Engage in significantly more aerobic exercise that there peers.
# Test higher than their peers in measures of positive behavior and self-esteem.
# Are more likely to graduate college and have household incomes 75% greater than non-degree holder.

Resort partners and mountains of operation

SOS Outreach partnered with 28 resorts around the nation to provide dynamice programs for underserved youth.

Resort Partners contribute lift tickets, instructors and rental equipment. Each resort gives what it can to provide for SOS outreach programs in their communities. They include:
# Angel Fire, NM
# Arapahoe Basin, CO
# Beaver Creek, CO
# Breckenridge, Colorado
# Copper Mountain, CO
# Durango Mountain, CO
# Echo Mountain, CO
# Eldora, CO
# Heavenly, CA
# Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon
# Hoodoo Mountain Resort, Oregon
# Hunter Mountain, NY
# Keystone, Colorado
# Mt. LaCrosse, WI
# Loveland, CO
# Northstar-at-Tahoe, CA
# Ruby Hill, CO
# Ski Santa Fe, NM
# Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA
# Mt. Spokane, WA
# Steamboat Springs, CO
# Summit at Snoqualmie, WA
# Sunlight Mountain, CO
# Timberline, OR
# Vail, CO
# Wachusett, MA
# Winter Park, CO
# White Pass, WA

Youth agencies that work directly with SOS Outreach

# 17th Judicial District Probation
# 180 Snowboarding Team
# 5th Judicial Probation
# Abraham lincoln h.s.
# Aki Kurose Middle School Academy
# Alternative School #1
# Alternatives for Youth
# Athletics and Beyond
# Aurora North Middle School "Rough Riders"
# Avon Elementary School
# Battle Mountain High School
# Beckwourth Mountain Club
# Berry Creek Middle School
# Big Brothers Big Sisters
# Big Brothers Big Sisters- Denver
# Boulder County Post-Adoption Program
# Boulder IHAD
# Boy Scout VCYI
# Boys & Girls Club of Craig
# Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows
# Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County
# Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
# Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse
# Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe
# Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows
# Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver/Gates Camp
# Breckenridge Elementary School
# Brush Creek Elementary School
# Camp Opportunity
# Casa Class - "I Have a Dream" Foundation of Boulder County
# Casey Middle School
# Catholic Charities - Kunsmiller Beacon Neighborhood Center
# Catholic Community Services
# Centaurus High School L.I.F.E
# Centennial High School
# Central Elementary
# Choice for Change
# City of Bellevue Teen Services
# City of Englewood, Recreation Dept.
# City of Eugene Outdoor Program, River House
# City of South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Department
# City of Steamboat Springs Teen Programs
# cityWILD
# Colorado Springs Public Schools
# Colorado Uplift
# Colorow Elementary School
# Colorow School
# Committed Partners For Youth
# Community Youth Services
# Cross Community Coalition/Family Resource Center
# Denver East High School
# Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice
# Dillion Valley Elementary School
# Doulos Ministries
# Durango High School
# Durango High School-Affective Development Program
# Eagle Valley Elementary School
# Eagle Valley High School
# Eagle Valley Middle School
# EagleCrest - I-team OUTBACK
# Eastridge Elementary School
# Edwards Elementary School
# El Shaddai "Boy Scouts"
# Englewood Parks and Recreation
# Escalante Middle School
# Excelsior Youth Center
# Family of Woodstock, Inc.
# Family Tree, Inc. (House of Hope Program)
# Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos
# Fletcher Elementary (COMPASS)
# Florida Pitt Waller
# Franklin Middle School
# Friends of the Children - King County
# Friends of the Children-Portland
# Frisco Elementary
# Frisco Elementary School
# Front Range Early College
# FrontRange Earth Force
# Full Circle of Lake County
# Garden-Raised Bounty
# Gateway Youth & Family Services
# Girl Scouts of Colorado
# Girls Incorporated
# Greenwood Elementary
# Gypsum Creek Middle School
# Gypsum Elementary School
# Harrison School District 2 Mountain Vista Comm. Sch.
# Heather Horton
# Higgins Middle School
# Highline Big Picture High School
# I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County
# I Have A Dream Foundation - Columbine Class
# Independent Mentor
# Intercessory Youth Ministry
# Intermountain Youth Centers
# Janus Youth Programs
# Jefferson Hills
# Kennedy High School
# Kepner Middle School Outdoor Club
# Lab School
# Lab School for Creative Learning
# Leslie Maclellan- Home School
# Lester Tester
# Lewis and Clark Middle School
# Life Cultivation
# Lost and Found
# Mancos Middle/High School
# Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center
# McLain Community High School
# Meadow Mountain Elementary School
# Meadowbrook Community Center
# Mental Health Association in Ulster County/Harbour Program
# Mercer Island Youth & Family - Crest Alternative School
# MESA: Mapleton Expeditionary School of Arts
# Metro Parks Tacoma - Outdoor Adventures
# Metrocenter YMCA Earth Service Corps
# Michelle Russell (driver)
# Miller Middle School
# Minturn Middle School
# MIYFS - Islander Middle School
# Montbello High School
# Monument Valley High School
# Mountain Journeys Ski and Snowboard Clinic, A 501c3 Nonprofit Organization
# Mt. Scott Learning Centers
# New America School
# New Avenues for Youth
# New Beginnings
# Nueva Ventura
# Oakridge SCF
# Omega Youth Mentoring Program
# P.A.C.E. Program
# Peabody Public Schools
# Peak School
# Phonix program
# Pitts Elementary School
# Portland Impact (Madison SUN Program)
# Portland YouthBuilders
# Rad Test Agency 007
# Rainshadow CCHS
# REACH Skills for Living and Learning
# Red Canyon High School
# Red Hill Elementary School
# Red Sandstone Elementary
# Red Sandstone Elementary School
# Referals from newspaper article
# Reynolds Learning Academy
# Rifle High School
# Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center
# Robinswood High School
# Rocky Mountain HDC
# ruth dykemen youth and family services
# Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence
# Sanctuary Art Center
# Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation O2 Program
# Seattle Girls’ School
# Sierra Club
# Silverthorne Elementary School
# silverton school of expeditionary learning
# Skinner Middle School
# Skyland Community HS
# Smiley Middle School
# Southern Ute Community Action Programs
# Stone Creek Elementary
# Summit County Homeschool Group
# Summit Cove Elementary School
# Summit High School
# Summit Middle School
# Synergy Residential Treatment Center
# Taos Day School
# Tennyson Center for Children
# The City of Longmont - After School Program at Longs Peak Middle School also known as
# The Independent Living Program
# The Network Charter School
# The Odyssey School
# The Urban Fostering GROUP
# Tillicum Middle School
# U.R.B.A.N.
# University District Youth Center
# Upper Blue Elementary School
# Urban Family Center
# Urban Peak Denver
# Urban Scouting
# Utah Future Olympians, c/o Mike Brand
# Vail Mountain School
# Washington Middle School
# West Career Academy (Goodwill Industries)
# Wilson Middle School
# Yakima Family YMCA
# Yakima Police Athletic League
# Yampah Mountain High School
# YMCA Earth Service Corps - Metrocenter
# YMCA Transitions
# Youth Health Associates
# YouthTrack Jeffco

ee also

*Youth program
*Non-profit organization


1 [ SOS Outreach: About Us]
# [ Colorado Secretary of State: Charitable Licensing Center]
# [ Congressional Record: House of Represenatatives: Tribute To The Snowboard Outreach Society: Hon. Mark Udall of Colorado in the House of Representatives, Tuesday, December 4th, 2007]
# [ 2008 National Ski Area Association Conference Presentation on Program Impact]

External links

* [ SOS Outreach]
* [ SOS Outreach on Myspace]
* [ Video: SOS Outreach Program Introduction on YouTube]
* [ Making Online Donations to SOS Outreach]
* [ SOS Outreach Northwest Programs Seattle & Portland]

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