The annual SIA Snow Show is an opportunity for snowsports companies to showcase the styles, technologies, innovations, culture and energy of the snowsports industry. Since moving the trade show to Denver six years ago, this has created a forum and opportunity for industry leaders to collaborate with organizations like SOS Outreach. Such partnerships are forged in an effort to get America’s youth off the couch, out of the city, and into the great outdoors to experience life on the slopes.
In the midst of their busiest program week in history, SOS prioritizes SIA participation as a way to cultivate partnerships and pauses to recognize those who help share the joy of snow sports with youth. As part of SOS largest program week ever, over 1,274 underserved youth at 14 different mountain resorts in 5 states experienced skiing and snowboarding, while remaining dry, happy and properly outfitted. This is all made possible by the generosity of SOS’s corporate partners in attendance at SIA. By the end of the program year, SOS will have introduced over 5,000 youth to new, year round adventure sports and increased opportunities and connections with positive mentors and activities in their communities.
Part of the weekend’s festivities included the Annual Youth Summit held on Saturday, which celebrated the outdoor industry’s partnership and commitment to building the next generation of snow sports enthusiasts. Opening remarks were held by SOS Outreach’s Executive Director Seth Ehrlich, recognizing outgoing SIA President David Ingemie for his decades of support for youth programming. Together with the Chill Foundation, SOS presented Mr. Ingemie with the 2016 Social Impact Award in Youth Development for his dedication and passion in promoting snowsports and youth participation across the country. Seth Ehrlich explains, “David is tireless in promoting snow sports, echoing SOS’s own commitment to introducing at-risk youth to mountain activities. We have a true champion and leader in David.”
The Youth Summit allowed over 50 SOS and Chill participants from the Denver area to experience firsthand the magic of the show. For students, attending the SnowShow is an incredible opportunity to experience the business world, creating a deeper understanding of how the industry works. For many, it also creates opportunities to practice public speaking; sharing the impact skiing and snowboarding has had on their lives and their desire to follow their passions.
SOS Outreach is unique in providing long-term engagement for at-risk youth ages 8 to 18 by combining outdoor adventure activities with a core value curriculum, group mentoring, leadership and service learning opportunities in the community. Attending the SnowShow was a perfect opportunity to help long-term participants learn about potential future careers that support the passion for the outdoors that they’ve developed through SOS. Being on the tradeshow floor gave them a chance to listen to industry reps, see the latest gear, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of the opportunities to become involved in the world of outdoor sports. SOS’s corporate partners Big Agnes, Optic Nerve, Chaos Headwear and VOLCOM welcomed SOS participants to their booths to share their experience and opportunities within their respective organizations.
To create an extraordinary backstage perspective, Oren Tanzer, the Global Snow Marketing Director at VOLCOM and pro snowboarder Seth Huot welcomed all 40 SOS participants to the heart of the VOLCOM booth to share how passion and non-traditional paths can result in a future in the outdoor industry. In addition to sharing words of advice, Tanzer encouraged SOS participants to above all pursue your passions. From SOS’s perspective, the organization could not solicit a more powerful message in line with their program outcomes. By providing opportunities for youth in the outdoors and beyond, SOS promotes long-term individual success and helps connect youth with opportunities to place them on a trajectory for lifetime success. With the continued support and leadership of the snowsports industry, organizations like SOS Outreach and Chill Foundation will introduce and shape the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
About SOS Outreach
Founded in 1993, SOS Outreach is a national youth development program that introduces underserved youth to adventure sports like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. Serving over 5,000 youth annually, SOS Outreach promotes long-term success through best-practice and progressive curriculum that focuses on service, goal-setting, life skills workshops, core value development, and positive adult mentorship. To learn more, visitwww.sosoutreach.org, or call 970.926.9292.