Camp Edison: 50 Years of Fun

Paul Kasick's wife fishing with their children and friend.

Administrative Aid Diana Hall went horseback riding along the shores of Shaver Lake in 2012.

Manager Edward Cartaya’s son at Shaver Lake around the mid to late '80s.

Project Manager Evan Birenbaum had a picture-perfect view of Shaver Lake on a volunteer trip with the EcoIQ employee resource group.

Paul Delaney's brother-in-law kisses a fish.

Technical Specialist Keith Manning’s friend wakeboarded through fog rising off Shaver Lake on an early morning in 2003.

The EcoIQ employee resource group volunteered at Shaver Lake and adopted a trail to maintain.

Manager Edward Cartaya’s daughter at Shaver Lake around the mid to late '80s.

Administrative Aid Diana Hall spotted a deer in the forest surrounding Camp Edison during a camping trip in 2012.

Rose Smith and Martha Hernandez on a 1995 trip to Camp Edison.

Kathy Martinez’s grandson Ryan learned to steer the boat on Shaver Lake.

Meter Technician Dennis Connolly's daughter made friends with a fish at Shaver Lake.

Project Manager Kerry Smith with Rose Smith and friends Dave and Martha Hernandez on a 1995 trip to Camp Edison.

Dennis Connolly with his family at Shaver Lake.

Account Manager Mary Finn’s beach site on a July 2013 trip to Camp Edison with several Southern California Edison employee families.

Manager Edward Cartaya’s daughter at Shaver Lake around the mid to late '80s.

Manager Edward Cartaya’s daughter at Shaver Lake around the mid to late '80s

Black and white photo of a family at Camp Edison in the 1960s.

In a 20,000-acre forest along the shores of Shaver Lake in the central Sierra Nevada sits Camp Edison, a campground owned and operated by Southern California Edison. Camp Edison has hosted thousands of happy campers each year since it opened in the early 1960s, including SCE employees and their families, and it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this August.

H O W    I T    C A M E    T O    B E

In 1919, SCE purchased the land where Shaver Lake now sits. The land included a pond—originally used for a steam-powered lumber mill—where SCE planned to build one of six reservoirs for the Big Creek hydroelectric project. The mill pond was already a popular vacation spot among Fresno locals, and after SCE constructed a dam for the Shaver reservoir, the expanded lake became even more appealing. SCE built a small camp, called Camp Shaver, on the land in the 1920s. The camp expanded over the years and was eventually renamed. Camp Edison opened to the public on August 22, 1963.

The company originally used Camp Edison to promote electricity use. Rather than including a barbecue pit at each campsite, the camp provided electric cooking stations. The number of campsites has grown over the years from 100 to 252, and the campsites now have all the comforts of home, including power and cable television connections. Additional amenities have been added, including an amphitheater, laundry facilities, a basketball court and a boat launch, along with a marina and a general store.

Today, the campground lets SCE give back to the community by allowing recreational activities on the property. “People have been camping in this area since the lake was built,” said Richard Bagley, Forestry and Campground manager. “The company operates the campground as part of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license requirement in exchange for the right to use the water to produce electricity.”

Mike Stewart and his sister in 1964.

A    F A M I L Y    T R A D I T I O N

More than 100,000 campers visit Camp Edison annually, including hundreds of SCE employees, some of whom began visiting as small children in the early 1960s. Saddleback District Performance & Resource Supervisor Mike Stewart vacationed at the campground for years. “I was only three years old when my family first stayed at Camp Edison back in 1964,” said Mike. “My father and uncle were both linemen and loved the outdoors. We visited almost every year from 1964 through the ’80s, and I always looked forward to those trips growing up.”

C E L E B R A T I N G    5 0    Y E A R S

The campground’s 50th anniversary celebration started on Memorial Day weekend with special activities and giveaways that will continue through September. Visitors can participate in sporting events, games and activities such as “Longest Fish Friday.” Drawings for prizes take place daily, although SCE employees and their families aren’t eligible to win. “We’re celebrating 50 years of family camping in the best way possible—with good old fashioned family fun,” said Lorene Mock-Neville, Camp Edison campground attendant.

Shore of Shaver Lake.
Entrance to Camp Edison in 1963.
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Black and white photo of a couple in front of a sign reading Electric Cooking Center.

Camp Edison was originally used to promote electricity use and included electric ranges instead of barbecue pits.

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March 2013

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