Soldiers On Sleds

aka No   |   St Germain, WI   |  www.soldiersonsleds.com

Mission

To provide active duty combat veterans with a week-end of respite from the rigors of war via a free week-end of snowmobiling, camaraderie, counseling, and friendship. We strive to take away from the mind the past unpleasant experiences, even if only for a moment. Identifying and providing avenues for treatment and counseling of potential and current PTSD soldiers is of prime importance.

Ruling year info

2019

President

Mr. John E Bourgeois Sr.

Director

Susan P Stein

Main address

1772 Moon Road

St Germain, WI 54558-8891 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4603120

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (P11)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (F01)

Sports Training Facilities (N40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-PF.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many soldiers return from combat assignments in a different mental state than when they left. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome comes in many forms. Some of these may be from what a soldier has seen, what the soldier has experienced, what the soldier has heard from others in combat, and what is expected of that soldier, including giving their life for their country. WWII veterans returned from war and never spoke of the atrocities of battles they might have experienced. This might have impacted their everyday lives for years and were uneducated in what was happening to them and in many cases did not even know there was help available to help them deal with is. Our organizations puts the soldiers who participate into a close environment very similar to the close quarters they have been in while in combat. Our staff consists of two combat medics, a behaviorist, a suicide prevention counselor, and a snowmobile instructor, att trained in identifying that individual who may need help.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Annual Appreciation Ride

Training Active Duty Combat Veterans in the art of winter survival, snowmobile riding and maintenance, as well as identifying any potential PTSD issues whether present, just under the surface, or suppressed. We conduct team building exercises, and have trained volunteer staff to assist.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To identify the soldier needing help in the area of mental stability. We aim to provide each individual with a weekend of relaxation in a group closed environment. We intend to train them in the proper operation of a snowmobile, proper winter survival techniques in a cold harsh environment, By completing tasks and exercises as a team we hope to provide some mental relief of the stressors of returning from war. To help the soldier focus on their mission at hand and leave those unpleasant memories behind them. The main goal is to have them leave us in a better mental state than when they arrived. This is not to say that each participant is in need of help mentally, but we hope to identify that area that might be suppressed. By identifying the problem our train staff can steer the individual in the right direction to see additional counseling, etc.

The Soldiers on Sleds organization reaches out to the military community to seek applicants who have recently returned from a combat assignment and have leave time during the dates of our yearly event. They apply for inclusion via an application located on our website. This process is supplemented with follow up phone calls, emails, and interviews to see if the right fit is possible. We can take up to ten individual soldiers on our weekend ride. Our volunteers make sure that the facilities are ready to accept them. Our patrons donated the needed goods to sustain them with food and lodging. Our team building exercises, although to some might not seem like much, get them all working together as soon as they arrive. They are eager to pitch in to tackle the needed tasks to make for an exceptional week-end. This could be anything from removing sleds off of trailers, preparing meals, learning how to dress in layers to keep warm, and participating in group meetings during the evening cabin hours. This affords the individuals opportunity to share experiences with one another.

With the current expertise we have in our staff, they are well trained in this process. We work in conjunction with many outside facilities that we can refer them to. Some of these include the Veterans Hospital programs, Camp American Legion for additional respite of a different kind, and various civilian and military operations that deal with any issues that have been uncovered. Our organization does not provide any treatments to the individuals. We provide guidance, direction to additional resources, and group activities.

Next year (2020) will be our fifth anniversary in performing this function. When we started we only had two volunteer staff individuals. To date we have five volunteers to our program. Each one of them brings with them a specialty that is important to our program. That growth alone ensures that our participants are getting the training and attention that they need. We continue to enlist the help of our local business community. That participation has continued to grow year after year. One of our long term goal would be to increase the size of our snowmobile fleet of sleds. This would allow us to not have to borrow dealer sleds. This is important, because we are limited on how many participants that we can take by the number of sleds we have access too. We have also fostered fifty participants to date, with more wanting to come year after year. This demonstrates we are doing something right. After our 2019 event we received a letter from the spouse of one of our soldiers. In her letter she thanked us for allowing her husband to come along. He came back from combat very different and was becoming a recluse in his own home. With our help he is now seeking treatment from the trauma of his experiences overseas. Our next goal would be to continue to expand our program to hosting possibly two rides per year instead of the one we currently have. We need to explore more places to venture to in different areas of Michigan by providing more challenging activities for them to participate in. And we need more volunteers in specialized areas. We are looking into how we can achieve those goals on an on going basis.

Financials

Soldiers On Sleds
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Soldiers On Sleds

Board of directors
as of 12/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Bourgeois

Soldiers on Sleds

Term: 2013 -

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person with a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/23/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.