SOS Outreach steps into Vail Valley summer | VailDaily.com

SOS Outreach steps into Vail Valley summer

Vail Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyDan Ben-Horin, SOS Outreach regional programs director for Eagle County, teaches Vail Valley students from Avon Elementary School rock climbing at Colorado National Monument.
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VAIL, Colorado ” The Vail Valley’s SOS Outreach is beginning is first summer of outdoor adventures in Colorado.

In January, the Vail Valley-based nonprofit that tries to help kids improve in school while learning to ski and snowboard merged with Meet the Wilderness, a 35-year-old organization that specializes in camping trips and other outdoor activities.

SOS Outreach instructors are ready a first summer of outdoor adventures that will include hiking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing and teams courses.

Youth Programs Director Jon Garrou said the new activities are a natural fit for SOS.

“We’re thrilled to offer a year-round opportunity to work with kids on a more meaningful level, and to have more touch points and teachable moments,” Garrou said. “The activities we’re providing in the summer still have the ‘cool’ and ‘wow’ factors, and expand the horizons for a lot of our kids.”

Michelle Hartel, director of education, said year-round programs strengthen the relationships between instructors and students.

“Time spent with adult mentors increases each year a student is with SOS, as does their commitment to serving their community,” Hartel said. “Students design and implement service-learning projects and partake in nutrition, fitness, and job preparatory workshops.

“Our students come away with a stronger sense of self, empowered to make a difference in their community. To have that year-round will be incredible.”

In the last few weeks, SOS has taken groups on four-day trips to Colorado National Monument and shorter hut trips around the area.

For more information, to volunteer, or register for a trip, visit http://www.sosoutreach.org.