Coombs Outdoors empowers children and youth to reach their full potential through the life-changing power of outdoor recreation.

 
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Meet Our Kids

Click on an image to read their full Coombs story

Grace and Xochi

Last winter, Grace (10) and Xochi (8) put skis on for the first time with Coombs Outdoors. “I heard from a cousin about how you could learn to ski here with Coombs and thought ‘I have to get my girls into this program,’” said their mom, Graciela. “I thought it would be a little scary for them, but they just absolutely loved it. They had always wanted to try, but we never knew how to do it.”

After a winter on the slopes, Graciela signed Grace and Xochi up for Forest Friends, the weekly summer hiking program for K-5th grade kids. The girls have been out every week with Coombs, enjoying trails in Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Graciela and her family have been in Jackson for 10 years, but this is the first summer the girls have spent time hiking on nearby trails.

“Before, we never really had time to go outside and hike around,” said Graciela. “That’s why it’s great to have a group they can go out with and learn from.”

“They come home and all they can talk about is the lake they swam in, or the river they hiked to. It’s so amazing to see them so excited together.”

Xochi is the energizer bunny of the Wednesday Forest Friends group, often leading the group on trails she’s never been on before. As one of the older hikers, Grace is always there to set an example for the younger kids, helping them get their backpacks packed and making sure they don’t leave any trash. “They love hiking in the summer so much,” Graciela said. “Every week I pick them up and they don’t want to leave - they always ask me if they can go more and more.”

Hiking at Phelps Lake this summer, both girls ran into the water like it was a backyard swimming pool. You would think they’d been hiking outside for years. “They come home and all they can talk about is the lake they swam in, or the river they hiked to. It’s so amazing to see them so excited together,” said Graciela.

Last winter, Grace and Xochi’s parents joined the Coombs Padres Program at Snow King so the four of them could all ski together. “It was so fun to get to learn together and now we all get to ski at the same time,” Graciela said. “We’re all already talking about next winter.”

Graciela says that before Coombs Outdoors, there weren’t many opportunities for her family to spend time outside. “It’s all totally new for us and we really, really love it. It’s been really wonderful for our family to get to all spend time doing so many new things. If not, I never would have known my much my girls love being outside.”

Grace & Xochi

“Before, we never really had time to go outside and hike around,” said Graciela. “That’s why it’s great to have a group they can go out with and learn from.”

Beatriz and Esbeidy

Esbeidy (15) has been skiing with the Coombs Foundation since the very beginning. One of her favorite memories was walking at Old Bill’s with Coombs one year and hearing the announcer say:”‘Looks like we got a big family coming through! It’s the Coombs Foundation, an organization who helps kids who haven’t had the chance to get out there and ski.”

“The Coombs Foundation is like my second family,” said Esbeidy. Along with her sisters, cousins, and parents, Esbeidy first learned to ski at Snow King seven years ago during the Coombs Foundation’s first ever year on snow. “Skiing on the weekend is the only time I ever see them get out of bed early without complaining,” laughed Beatriz, Esbeidy’s mom and the newest Coombs board member. “They love it more than anything. Getting outside every weekend has helped their confidence, helped them make more friends, and love living where we do.”

“The Coombs Foundation is like my second family.”

This spring, Beatriz joined the Coombs Board of Directors. She is the first Coombs parent to join the board, giving the Coombs board valuable insight into how the organization can best serve participating families. “I wanted to figure out how to be involved and give back to the organization,” she said. “Coombs has given my family so much and this is a way that I can help out too.”

Beatriz said that as her kids grow up and move through the program, she wants to stick around and make sure the younger kids get the same opportunities that her kids did. “Before we’d just be at home watching TV. I could never keep up with all their energy, and we didn’t have many things to do.”

Beatriz said that when her daughters first started skiing, they immediately wanted to learn about who Doug Coombs was. “They were really inspired by Doug, as a skier and a person, and since then they’ve always looked up to him. They want to be skiers like him!” Beatriz mentioned that Esbeidy now has dreams of becoming a ski patroller or finding a way to teach others how to ski.

“Skiing has taught me to never give up,” said Esbeidy of her experience over the last seven years. “You have to push yourself, and you might fall, but having failures happens along the way to succeeding. To me, skiing means having courage, being brave, and most importantly: having fun.”

Beatriz & Esbeidy

“You have to push yourself, and you might fall, but having failures happens along the way to succeeding. To me, skiing means having courage…”

Tristan and Aldric

Tristan (12) and Aldric (13) were some of Coombs Outdoors’ first participants. They learned to ski through our programs at Snow King when they were just five and six, and are now ripping skiers in the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club.

A few years after the boys learned to ski, their dad, Hugo, joined the Padres Program. In 2017, Hugo became a certified ski instructor at Snow King, and he now coaches Coombs kids on the weekends. “Skiing was something that we’d always seen everyone doing, but we never thought we’d have the opportunity to actually do it,” said Hugo. “When we found out we could participate, there was no question - we were doing it.”

Hugo said when Tristan and Aldric first learned to ski they would count down the days left until ski lessons all throughout the week. “They just loved it. And they still love it. It’s really no different today,” he said. “It’s just so fun. And I love trying to follow them down the hill, too. It’s hard to keep up!”

“When we found out we could participate, there was no question - we were doing it.”

Last summer, Tristan and Aldric learned to rock climb for the first time with Coombs on an instructional day with Exum Mountain Guides. “It’s really great to see how they are together when they’re outside,” said Hugo. “Instead of hanging out inside and playing video games like kids do at that age, they’re more social and talkative. They want to go outside and have fun with their friends and try new things.” Hugo said that in the spring, after skiing with the JHSSC Shredders all season, Tristan decided his dream is to ski in the X-Games. “He wants to do back flips and compete...I don’t know how we feel about the backflips yet, but we love to see him so excited about these things.”

Tristan & Aldric

“Instead of hanging out inside and playing video games like kids do at that age, Aldric is more social and talkative.”

 
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OUR
PROGRAMS

Our programs grow as the needs of our kids grow, beginning with basic instructional programs that introduce kids to a variety of activities that will hopefully spark a passion for the outdoors, then adding a cohort-based mentoring component in middle school to help our youth build deep relationships with their peers and trusted adults, and finally, training our high school youth to serve as mentors and coaches to our younger kids, explore careers and college, and become passionate outdoor enthusiasts.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

 

OUR PARTNERS

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