STARS was formed in 2006 by a group of parents, ski instructors, and management from Steamboat Ski Corporation to help provide improved winter recreational programs and equipment for people with disabilities as well as scholarships for those that could not afford to participate. In 2007, an operating agreement was signed between STARS and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation (SSRC) for STARS to begin operating all of the adaptive lessons and programs on the mountain.
STARS expanded in the summer of 2008 to offer summer programming such as summer long day camp for local youth with a disability as well as water ski camps, and overnight camps for youth with a physical disability. STARS programs have filled a need in the community by providing programs that cater specifically to those kids and adults that do not fit into a regular camp or sports program as they need additional assistance or specialized equipment to be able to participate. Clients are often alienated from family and friends because there are no shared positive experiences.
At STARS, we use sports and recreation to help teach self-confidence, social skills, and independence. Every day, we work hard to ensure that every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in our community. For many the barriers to participate are financial, but for others it is not having equipment or someone trained to work with them, other barriers are limited transportation or motivation. Through STARS we hope to overcome these barriers to help people with disabilities to be healthy, independent, valued citizens in our community.