As spring break draws near, Outback bustles with activity, preparing for their annual week-long trips available to sun-seeking students. This year, proposed trips to the Central California and Southern Utah will hopefully draw students from their houses and embark on a life-changing journey.
Outback Director Chad Toomey said he is “excited for rock climbing in California,” which this year is only $300.
“I get it,” Toomey says, recounting his own college years. “You’re measuring your budget in twenty-dollar bills. Three hundred dollars is a lot, but you’ll never be able to do this trip for this price again in your life.”
He explains that included in the price is all the necessary gear, food, transportation and “everything but a pair of hiking boots.”
The backpacking trip in Utah, which Toomey participated in a few years prior, also promises to be a valuable experience for students despite—and almost because of—the $325 price tag. Though slightly more expensive than the rock climbing trip, it’s still a fraction of the price it would be for someone taking the same trip without going through Outback.
“These trips are easily a hundred dollars a day elsewhere,” Toomey said. He admitted that while it costs Outback more than $2,000 per trip in gas and food, it’s well worth the price for the organization.
Toomey said, “I see people I traveled with on these trips from three, four years ago and we still talk about it, everything from the stars to the food. When you’re in a beautiful place, have prepared a meal yourself, and have shared it with friends, it’s the best meal ever.”
Despite the anticipation in the trips, Toomey said that “numbers are a little low right now.” The trips must have five people registered by March 16 in order to continue. The last day to sign up is the March 21.
After the break, Outback has several day trips planned at lower prices, including kayaking and hiking. But until then, the spring break trips are their top priority. Their goal is to make the trips known to students.
“These trips can hold a lot of magic,” Toomey said. “People can have totally different reasons for being there. Maybe you’ll meet a new friend.” Toomey knows people who even found their future spouses on the trips.
“We want students to recreate and explore, to seek a balance between academics and self-development. Challenging yourself and trying new things can bring joy and vitality into your life. And that might be in the form of an Outback trip.”
Rock Climbing in California Cost: $300
Back Packing Trip in Utah Cost: $325
Deadline to sign up for either trip is March 21, but trips will be canceled if there are fewer than 5 signed up by March 16.