Camp Edison is turning 50 years old in August and Southern California Edison (SCE) is celebrating all summer.

Set in a 20,000-acre pine forest in central Sierra Nevada, the year-round campground officially opened to the public on Aug. 22, 1963. Today, it’s a popular vacation spot for thousands of visitors.

To mark its golden anniversary, Camp Edison’s staff has kicked off the summer time party with a variety of activities and events through September.  

“We’re celebrating Camp Edison’s 50th year all summer long,” said Richard Bagley, manager, Forestry/Campground at Camp Edison. “We actually started the celebration in May over the Memorial Day weekend.”

Visitors to the campground on Shaver Lake will enjoy games, sporting events, contests, food and snacks. Scheduled activities include “FunFest Contests,” “Longest Fish Friday,” daily drawings for prizes, and twice-weekly drawings to win $50 in merchandise or $50 toward a future stay. Also, the traditional campfire talks and guided nature walks will take place.

Edison International CEO Ted Craver and SCE President Ron Litzinger are scheduled to visit on Camp Edison’s birthday to mark the occasion.

“Camp Edison is a unique family camping experience. It’s been great for many, many families,” said Bagley. “We have people who have been coming here since they were kids, when we first opened. It’s a family tradition for a lot of folks and they keep coming back.”

Camp Edison draws about 105,000 campers and 61,000 day-use visitors annually.

The facility also has come a long way since it debuted with 100 campsites and six bathrooms in 1963.

These days, the site - nestled in a well-managed forest with abundant wildlife - boasts 252 campsites, bathrooms with flushing toilets, hot showers, electricity, cable television, high-speed Internet, a boat launch, an amphitheater, and volleyball and basketball courts.

It also offers several hiking trails and recreational facilities for fishing, cross-country skiing and water sports — a fun escape while preserving the environment. Also available next to the campground is a full-service marina, a historical museum and horse rental stables.

Think “glamping,” glorified camping with all the comforts of home.  

That is, if home includes wildlife — namely bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, bald eagles spotted owls and “anything you would expect to find in the mountains,” said Bagley.

Reservations at Camp Edison are accepted by U.S. mail or FAX only and spots fill up quickly. A $150 reservation deposit is required to use the campsite in January, and a $75 reservation deposit is required between February and December. 

For more information about Camp Edison and its 50th anniversary celebration:  www.SCE.com/CampEdison.