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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6 comments
The picture of Mike Stewart and his sister was taken at Florence Lake, another of Edisons reserviors in the Big Creek Project. From someone who knows. Thanks for the good article on Camp Edison.
myself and 3 other Edison employees camped in Little Billy campground by Shaver Lake a few years back. While there, we toured Big Creek and fell in love with the little town surrounding it. However, when we took a drive to Camp Edison, we were so dissapointed. It's all concrete, with sites jammed together and reminded us of a campground you'd see at Disneyland. I prefer rural campgrounds that actually seem like camping in the wild.
My family and I have been camping here for 15 years since before our son (now 14) was born and we absloutely love it. We camp with a group of SCE employees who have been camping for here for 30 years plus. Each year we meet fellow SCE employees who have also been camping here for years. The campground is beautiful and well maintained, and contrary to the previous response, our sites are very spacious. A great place to create family traditions!!!!
My family have been camping at Shaver for the last 3 years and we love it! Everyone is so friendly and the surroundings are beautiful. Visiting Big Creek is always a treat. Who knew we could go camping and then enjoy Yoga along the lake! We also view beutiful eagles with wingspan over 6 feet! Just an awesome place!
Lucky to have it..........just maybe Edison Employees should not have to pay for use of it.
My friend and I had a great time Horseback riding at Camp Edison in 2012. Can't wait to take my family and be in the real outdoors again. If you haven't been, Please take the time, enjoy fresh air and relax.

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