Rules & Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Outdoor Education Center (OEC) and how far is it from New Haven?

The center is located in East Lyme, CT, only 42 miles from New Haven via I-95 north. For directions, click HERE.


When is the OEC open?

The OEC is open from the 2nd or 3rd weekend in June through Labor Day. Call the office for exact date.


What address should I use for my GPS or smart phone directions?

297 Upper Pattagansett Rd, East Lyme CT 06333 (Please don’t send mail here!)


How can I use the OEC?

To visit for just one day, present your valid Yale ID at the Center’s check-in station and pay the day-use fees. Seasonal memberships are available for sale at the OEC Office (Payne Whitney Gym, Room 521). Membership includes unlimited use of the OEC on a daily basis and facility rental privileges. For further information call the OEC Office at (203) 432-2492.


Can I bring non-Yale guests with me?

Yes, but you are limited to 6 people and you are responsible for their behavior. The regular day-use fees apply to guests.


Do I have to buy a membership to rent a cabin or campsite?

Yes, it is one of the membership privileges.


How do I rent a cabin or campsite?

Call the OEC office at 203-432-2492 or stop by Payne Whitney Gym, Room 521.


Can I rent a cabin for 1 night?

Cabins are rented for full weeks only, from early July through Labor Day. Weekends are sometimes available in June when the center is less busy.


Can I rent more than one cabin or campsite?

You can rent two cabins (or two campsites) for yourself and a guest(s). More than two rentals requires a signed Use Agreement and insurance policy of 2 million dollars. You are responsible for your guest’s behavior and must be present during rental.


What is in a cabin?

Cabins 2-6 have 2 sleeping areas (2 bunk beds, 1 twin trundle (pulls out to a full).  In the kitchenette there is counter space, a two-burner hot plate, small cube refrigerator and small kitchen sink with cold running water.

Cabins 1,7-9 have been renovated to include paneled walls, area rugs, painted floors. They have 2 sleeping areas (2 bunk beds, 1 twin trundle (pulls out to a full), a door separates the two sleeping areas.  In the kitchenette there is counter space, a two-burner hot plate, full-size refrigerator and small kitchen sink with hot & cold running water.

Each cabin has its own charcoal grill, picnic table and small deck with view of the lake.

*All cabins have electricity and bottled Poland Spring water.

*There are no indoor toilets at the OEC, portable toilets are located outside and behind cabins. They are cleaned twice weekly.


How many people can stay in a cabin?

4 Adults or 2 Adults and 4 children


What should I bring if I am staying in a cabin?

Partial list only!

Sheets or sleeping bags, pillows

Towels, soap, etc

Pots & pans (anything you will need to cook with)

Eating utensils (paper plates, plastic forks, spoons, etc)

Cleaning products (garbage bags, dish soap, paper towels, etc)

Bug spray and sunscreen

Flashlights

Charcoal for grill

Food and beverages

What is on a campsite?

The campsites have a grill, fire ring, picnic table, parking space and room for 1 large tent or 2 small tents. Bottled Poland Spring water. Campfire wood is available for sale.


How many people can stay on the campsite?

4 Adults or 2 Adults and 4 children


What should I bring for camping?

Partial list only!

Tent

Sleeping bag

Towels, soap, etc

Pots & Pans (anything you will need to cook with)

Eating utensils (paper plates, plastic forks, spoons, etc)

Cleaning products (garbage bags, dish soap, paper towels, etc)

Bug Spray and sunscreen

Flashlight

Charcoal for grill

Food, beverages and cooler


Are pets allowed at the OEC?

No pets are not allowed at the OEC, except seeing-eye/service dogs with vests and paperwork.

Drone Policy

Yale’s drone/unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) policy applies to “the operation by any person of an UAS on or above University property,” which includes the Outdoor Education Center

http://ehs.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/unmanned-aerial-systems-pollicy.pdf

All drone/UAS activities must be reviewed and authorized by the Environmental Health & Safety Department and the Office of Risk Management.  Purely personal use of any drone/UAS is prohibited.  If a professional person is looking to fly a drone/UAS for an OEC event (such as a wedding) he/she must complete the flight Request Form.  The request will be reviewed, and then approved or denied.


Severe-Weather Waterfront Policy

Unsafe weather conditions (strong wind, fog, heavy rain, thunder or lightning) postpone or cancel swimming and/or watercraft use for the day. Staff decisions final.  Water activities may NOT resume until one half hour after the last thunder or lightening occurrence.


Firewood Policy

The woodlands surrounding our dirt roads and campsites are littered with small downed trees and tree limbs. You may harvest any of this dead or fallen wood for campfires (only in provided campfire pits), no cutting of live trees is allowed. No chainsaws or axes are allowed due to risk of severe injury. Persons age 16 and older may use hatchets or pruning saws to harvest or cut up wood, and protective eyewear and gloves must be worn. When walking the woods, please take normal precautions against ticks and poison ivy. Professionally split and seasoned firewood is available in limited daily quantities from the Outdoor Center staff.  A complimentary lakefront campfire is provided on most nights by our staff; everyone is welcome to attend. All fires must be attended to at all times and extinguished or allowed to die out before bedtime due to risk of forest fire. Only charcoal briquettes may be used in barbecue grills. State law prohibits transporting firewood from New Haven County due to infestation.


What else do I need to know?

-       No firearms are allowed at the OEC.

-       No fireworks are allowed at the OEC.

-       No motorcycles are allowed at the OEC.

-       Lifejackets (PFDs) must be worn at all times on watercraft.

-       No swimming without lifeguards on duty.

-       Waterfront rules and “quiet times” must be strictly adhered to.

-       There’s not much to do at the OEC if it rains but there are many area attractions within easy driving distance.  http://www.ctvisit.com/mystic      

History of the Outdoor Education Center

 What do I need to know about Lyme disease? (information below from www.ct.gov/dph)

Preventing Lyme disease takes thoughtful preparation. It requires that you prevent ticks from getting on your skin. When you go outside into areas where ticks can be found, it is helpful to:
  • Avoid tall grass and over-grown, brushy areas.
  • Stay in the middle of the trails when hiking in the woods.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so the ticks can be easily seen.
  • Wear long pants to provide a better barrier than shorts.
  • Tuck pants into socks creates a barrier and ticks will not be able to get to your skin.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and closed shoes when in tick infested areas.
  • Use insect repellent to significantly reduce the chance of tick bites and the transmission of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
  • DEET is the primary active ingredient in most tick repellents and is considered the most effective. It must be used as directed on the container.
  • Examine yourself, your children, and pets for ticks when returning indoors.
  • Remove feeding ticks as soon as possible. Ticks need to feed for 24 hours before transmission occurs.
  • When returning indoors, shower using a wash cloth or buff to remove walking ticks on your body. Ticks have a tendency to walk on the body before biting and feeding.
The sooner ticks are removed from the body the less likely you will get Lyme disease.
 
Most people with Lyme disease do not remember being bitten by a tick because a tick bite is not felt; unlike mosquito bites. Ticks are very small and difficult to see, and many people do not get the expanding red rash that resembles a bull’s eye and identifies Lyme disease infection.