Thank you so very much. It worked! After the overwhelming response from current students, staff, faculty, Outback alums and friends, we got word 2/15 that UCSD returned to a June move-out for Outback. Our spring quarter programs are preserved. A temporary “3 year” home is going to be built near Spanos/the track. We should move-in August 1st, just in time for Wilderness Orientation. For the second half of June and July, we will continue to serve groups at the challenge course but will move into temporary offices and put gear into storage.

Before we depart our long time beloved home, we will definitely celebrate this treehouse. We hope you will join us, details TBD.

All of your comments and energy turned a ripple into a wave. Thank you from all of us.

Adventure on,

Tom Rottler, Simon Teale, Denise Ouellette and the fine Outback team

Help Outback Adventures

As a friend of Outback Adventures-UCSD Recreation, your help is needed.
On February 6, we were informed that campus wanted Outback Adventures to vacate our building by April 1, the start of spring quarter. No location was proposed for us to move into between April 1 and August 1. We are faced with cancelling our entire spring quarter trip schedule and leadership development programs. This would have lasting negative impact. To help us convince campus decision makers to honor their commitment of moving our operation starting June 2018, please take a moment to share your comments in the box below. Comments will be compiled and shared with campus leadership on Friday, February 16. Additional background is included below. To view submitted comments, click here.

Please share on facebook, email etc. with any person or group that might add their support. 

Thank you so much,
Tom Rottler, Simon Teale, Denise Ouellette and the Outback Adventures team

Background: With the arrival of the light rail to campus, Outback Adventures location in Pepper Canyon is slated for removal and will be replaced with "Pepper Bowl", an outdoor amphitheater. Starting August 1, 2018, Outback Adventures is scheduled to move into temporary buildings to be built near the track on the grassy area south of Spanos for a 3-year time period. The permanent home after those 3 years has not been identified.

Outback has the fewest number of trips in the early summer and we rely less on the kitchen/food storage/equipment for our programs in June/July. From the early planning stages, we stressed to campus decision makers that moving our considerable operation and equipment was best timed during these summer months to avoid disrupting our trips and leadership development programs during the academic year. The plan was to move our trips program infrastructure into storage and then transfer to the new building in early August to be ready for Wilderness Orientation. Pro-staff would work out of temporary offices on campus in June/July. Campus understood and agreed that our move would be timed in June 2018 to minimize disruption.

Here is the letter that was sent to campus decision makers on 2/12/18

I recently learned that the project manager for the LRT project wants Outback to vacate its current building by April 1st rather than the previously scheduled July 1 so that the off-campus contractor can dump fill dirt at our current location sooner. While closure of our building with a gap before moving into our temporary home (August 1) was always going to be a strain, pushing this exit into the academic year during the peak of our student programming and extending the gap to 4+ months would be a major disruption to our programs and will result in significant negative outcomes for students, our student staff, and our academic partners.

To deliver our field programs we rely on considerably more than offices and a meeting room. Without functional use of our field program infrastructure, will need to cancel all of our spring quarter field programs. This infrastructure includes food storage, refrigeration and food preparation areas, program equipment storage and staging (tents, boats, stoves, etc), participant rental gear storage and issuance, laundry and more.

Here is a short list of negative impacts from early building closure and cancellation of field programs.

  1. Spring quarter is the culmination of the 3 quarter Outdoor Leadership Certificate. At the end of spring, the students earn academic credit for completion. We will need to cancel the 3rd quarter of the curriculum and students will not earn credit. This would lead to a series of negative outcomes for academic year 18-19.
  2. We are committed to provide experiential programs for several academic classes (ERC, Scripps, Muir) in spring quarter. Without infrastructure to run field programs, these programs will be cancelled leaving the professors without a core part of their curriculum.
  3. Elimination of opportunities for hundreds of student participants to benefit from spring programs. Student participant satisfaction is very high for our trips program and the trips provide a needed stress release for participants.
  4. Each of our trips provides our student leaders with hands on, direct experiences they need to progress as competent leaders. Cancelling spring programs will mean our student staff lose an entire quarter of development. They will lack the necessary experience to safely lead our Wilderness Orientation programs for incoming students or to lead Fall 2018 programs. The effects of these lost leadership opportunities will cascade throughout the next 1-2 academic years as our leaders won’t be ready to fill the gaps left by graduating seniors.
  5. Loss of employment and income for 70 students. Not only is this a financial loss for them individually, the decision to disrupt a student service program prior the end of the academic year has led to significant concern by our student staff about UCSD’s commitment to student centric programs.
  6. Cancellation of programs with UCSD and UC partners. We are scheduled and contracted to provide several programs to UCSD partners and UC Berkeley. This will cause a significant disruption to their programs and our relationship.
  7. Loss of income for Outback Adventures which operates on very thin margins already.

Please reconsider the timing of the building closure back to the originally committed to June dates when closure will result in the least disruption for our programs.



 Tom Rottler
 Director of Outdoor Education, Outback Adventures
 (858) 534-9098 office