The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 9

The Pulse
# W E A R E C O M M U N I T Y

To watch
the full interview
with Seth Ehrlich,
click on this
photo.

Building Relationships

CO U R T E SY O U T D O O R R E TA I L E R

SOS Outreach has been helping at-risk kids thrive in the outdoors since 1993.
Executive Director Seth Ehrlich explains how the pandemic has failed to slow the
efforts of the organization to create connections. By Bevin Wallace
Name: Seth Ehrlich
Company: SOS Outreach
Title: Executive Director
Founded: 1993
Location: Edwards, Colorado
Downlow: The country's

year, the group's programming and funding have been
dramatically impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic.

largest winter sports-based
youth development agency,
SOS Outreach uses outdoor
activities-primarily skiing and
snowboarding-as an opportunity to create a safe and
encouraging environment in
which at-risk kids can thrive.
The organization operates in
15 locations across the country
and engages with 4,500 kids
annually. "Using the outdoors
as the classroom and building
these relationships where we
can then integrate values and
connection to the community
to promote long-term success
is massive," says Ehrlich. This

The core of what we do is building strong relationships through

the power of the outdoors,
and to not have the outdoors
during this time has been a real
challenge for us.
Our work has shifted to supporting kids by phone, text, email,

Zoom-just to have that connection outside of the home
and to really work with them
through the challenges they're
experiencing.
We're anticipating significant
funding challenges over the next
12 to 18 months as the funding

environment, and particularly
the donor landscape, changes.
We need to address that so
we can ensure our mission
continues and we're there for
our kids.
We have been providing resources on how to recreate safely in
the outdoors during this time.
In the communities where we
operate, there wasn't a lot of

centralized information, particularly for families in need-families who lost both their jobs,
who may not speak English as
their first language-but we're
on all these Listservs with our
kids doing service at Salvation
Army, the Red Cross, or the
food bank. We saw we could
provide these resource lists to
our mentors, so that's what we

did. We were able to say, "Hey,
if you hear that a participant
starts talking about challenges
with living, let's connect them."
Most significant for us has been
embracing that this is a time of
physical distancing, not social

distancing. And the important
thing we've seen is taking this
time to connect even more
meaningfully with those in your
circle, with those in your community, and with those whom
you appreciate.
The power of the outdoors is just
incredibly impactful. It has been

something we've seen with our
kids-that using the outdoors
changes their trajectory. It
does. It's unbelievable to see
how it opens up opportunities
for them.

OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020 / THE WEEKLY 9


https://youtu.be/GiwBLQrV0ws https://www.sosoutreach.org

The Weekly - July 21, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Weekly - July 21, 2020

Contents
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - Cover1
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - Cover2
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - Contents
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 4
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 5
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 6
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 7
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 8
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 9
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 10
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 11
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 12
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 13
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 14
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 15
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 16
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 17
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 18
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 19
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 20
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 21
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 22
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 23
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 24
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 25
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 26
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 27
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - 28
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - Cover3
The Weekly - July 21, 2020 - Cover4
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