OEC Policies, Guidelines, Advisories, & FAQs

OEC General Information

What is the OEC?

 Located on 1,500 wooded acres, the Yale Outdoor Education Center (OEC) is nestled on the south shore of a pristine mile-long lake. There are cabins and campsites to rent, plenty of spots to picnic, a new hiking trail, and a clean lake in which to rowboat, kayak, paddleboard, fish or swim. The OEC is located in East Lyme, Connecticut, just northwest of the quaint, seaside town of Niantic and only 42 miles from New Haven. The OEC is available to all members of the Yale community via membership, day-use fee or rental. Nine rustic lakeside cabins and eight secluded campsites are available for summer rental. Campsites include a grill and picnic table; cabins have a picnic table, grill, and small deck. 

A large, H-shaped aluminum dock provides ideal swimming conditions in the lake. Nearby, a wooden dock houses 6 rowboats, and is also available for fishing. Our extended beach offers 8 single- and two-person kayaks and 12 standup-paddleboards. All paddlecraft may be used (only) during supervised waterfront hours. (See hours below)

The lakeside Pavilion, a big, open-air structure with large picnic tables, is available for group rentals. A grill & serving area connect by breezeway. A new 20’ x 24’ deck with seating fronts the pavilion. For a private atmosphere, the rustic Dining Hall*, situated on a hill, offers a panorama of the lake from its oversize deck and indoor seating. Small groups to 25 may prefer the lakeside Gazebo with large grill and tables nearby.

Additionally, the OEC offers a small dressing room, shower house (for overnight guests only), picnic grove with tables and grills, grass and sand beaches, campfire ring, clay volleyball court, and small basketball court. A spring water dispenser is located in the Pavilion.

OEC Location & Directions

The 2024 OEC Season is Friday, June 14th to Monday, September 2nd. 

The OEC is located at 297 Upper Pattagansett Road, East Lyme, CT

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

Know Before You Go: Unless you are part of a rental group, all visitors must either have a Membership or purchase a Day-Use Pass to access the OEC. 
Click Here for Information on Memberships and Day-Use Passes. 

Google Maps Link

Click Here for a Site Map


OEC Contact Information

Email: oec@yale.edu

Phone: 203-432-2492
(Note: This phone number is for administrative purposes only, i.e., memberships, rental questions, general information, etc., and is not answered on weekends or holidays.)

Mailing Address: 

Yale Outdoor Center
P.O. Box 208216
New Haven, CT 06520-8216

History of the OEC

The Yale Outdoor Education Center was founded and named by Yale Medal recipient Edward C. Migdalski, father of the current director, who was the director from its creation in 1966 to 1984, when his son Tom took over management. Ed passed away in 2009 at age 91. He was a pioneer of the outdoor recreation concept and club sports movement nationally, and the author of nine outdoor-sports books, primarily on fishes and fishing. Prior to joining the Athletics Department in 1966, Ed was a world explorer, specimen collector and taxidermist at Yale’s Peabody Museum in New Haven. Some of his work is still present there. His taxidermy work is also viewable in the fish display case on the OEC boat dock.

Prior to 1966, the OEC was called the Yale Engineering Camp, part of the Sheffield Scientific School, which was used for summer field-work experience for Yale students enrolled in the Engineering program. Some of the land was purchased by Yale, but most of it was gifted by donors for Yale’s use in perpetuity.

Yale dissolved civil engineering as major study in the mid-1960s, which is when Ed Migdalski was given control of the camp for two years on a trial basis to see if he could successfully turn it into a recreation center after his presentation to then Yale treasurer Charles Gage.

The cabins and other buildings were constructed in the early 1920s. The cabins were the summer dorm rooms for field study students, and they were comprised of five rooms each with one exterior door each. You could not walk between rooms, and they only contained two bunk beds and a single pull-chain light bulb hanging from the ceiling per room. There were no sinks, refrigeration, kitchenette, running water or decks.

The dining hall, which we now rent for special events like weddings, receptions and meetings, was a dining hall back then, too, staffed by two cooks, and the students would walk up the footpath from the cabins for three meals a day there. The showerhouse was only one large room, not divided into three like now, with two open tin showers and long, trough-like wash sinks with 10 faucets each for wash-up before meals. Back then, Yale wasn’t coed, so it was an all men’s camp; thus, the open showers weren’t an issue.

The woods used to come right up to the front (lake side) of the dining hall, and there was therefore no view of the lake; likewise, we added the deck off the front to enhance special occasion usage. We also finished the bare floors, installed new windows, and added interior siding. The wood tables and benches in the hall are original antiques to the mid-1920s. But the sink, stove, hot water and refrigeration are all newer.

The outhouses back then were wooden and two-seaters, and one would sprinkle lime (like the white, granular type used on lawns) into the outhouse after doing one’s business to “cure” it; in other words, they were “dry” with no liquid. They had a trap door behind them, and a caretaker would shovel them out each winter.

Besides renovating the cabins, we widened the roads, previously only one lane and passable only by means of pullovers. Drivers would honk their horn in advance or be forced to back up a long distance to the last pullover. The speed bumps in our road were always there, but they are equally for water drainage purposes, and not just speed bumps. Their old-time name is a “Thank-You Mam” because on steep, long hills (not located here), they were used for horses to take a break and rest wagon wheels against them.

We built the pavilion in 1981, which was funded by a Mr. Don Hopkins, who paid for construction materials, and the Yale Graduate School of Architecture designed it and provided the labor as part of its graduation requirement. The design was one chosen by Ed Migdalski for its detached cooking area via a “breezeway,” one of a number in a competition from a series of to-scale models built by the grad students.

The picnic groves never existed either, and it was just a wooded shore where the tables are now, and it looked like the rest of the lake’s wooded shoreline. Likewise, we added the grass beach, sand beach, swim dock, boat dock and gazebo, all through alumni donations. (Please contact the OEC director if you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution for a special project or purchase at the Outdoor Center.)

Cabin 7 & 8 used to be one long cabin, like the others, and it was in front of the pavilion between the recreation cabin and the cabin 9. Tom Migdalski cut down two straight oak trees, and we built a sled from them. Caretaker Bill Kowalski cut the cabin in half with a chainsaw, and we used a bulldozer and a backhoe to load them onto the oak-tree sled and drag them to their current position.

We originally built the goat pen as a duck pond with a dozen ducks, and water pumped in from the lake. But predators got after the ducks. After that, it housed sheep for a few summers.

All the property surrounding the lake is private and owned by Yale. The dam, which is around to the right side, is state-controlled for water-level safety. The boat launch, located to the left and around the bend, is also state owned. The water itself is state controlled; therefore, anyone may swim or launch from the state ramp, but nobody may go ashore elsewhere on the lake. Motorboats are allowed from the state launch only, but the lake has an 8-mph speed limit. You also must have a state inland-waters fishing license to fish in the lake, which is named Powers Lake.

The current director Tom Migdalski started his “employment” at the OEC as a young boy, raking the entire beach each night for .50 from his father’s pocket. Tom was a lifeguard here through his high school and college days, eventually being promoted to waterfront director and assistant director. He has made four lifesaving rescues at the Center.

During the school year, Tom, who holds a Master’s Degree in Recreation and College Teaching, is the director of club sports and intramurals at Yale. Like his father, he is the author of many outdoor recreation magazine articles and three books.

What is MyRec?

MyRec is the web portal for members of Payne Whitney Gym, the Outdoor Education Center, and Campus Recreation programs. 

Click here to visit myrec.yale.edu

Yale Students are automatically provided a MyRec account.

Yale Faculty/Staff, Yale Retirees, Yale Alumni and Yale New Haven Hospital Employees who are members of PWG already have a MyRec account. Others can make an appointment with Membership Services to activate their account. Click here to make an appointment

East Lyme Residents can email oec@yale.edu to activate their account.

OEC Guidelines, Policies, & Advisories

Guideline & Policy Statement

Guideline and Policy Statement 

The Yale University Department of Campus Recreation encourages and embraces the diverse recreation, leisure, and wellness needs of our community.  Our support of and ability to permit activities and behaviors may be limited and impacted by the following:

  • The health and safety of both the individual(s) and/or others.
  • The impact on others and their ability to enjoy, utilize or access our facilities, programs, and services. 
  • The impact or damage to our facilities and/or equipment.

The Department of Campus Recreation reserves to make final judgments for any activities, issues, or behaviors not directly addressed in the guidelines and policies below.  Indiviudals can e-mail oec@yale.edu for additional information or clarification as to if their activity is permitted at the OEC.

Members, day-pass users, guests, visitors, group rentals must follow direction of the Outdoor Education Staff and obey all posted signage and information.

The Department of Campus Recreation reserves the right to update, alter, or add guidelines and policies at any time. It is the responsibility of our Members, day-pass users, guests and visitors to comply with the information listed below.

Respect the OEC (General Guidelines & Policies)

Do Not Litter -Please use the appropriate trash and recycling receptacles/dumpsters provided.

Group and Overnight Rentals must clean their rental facility prior to departure. If the facility/space is not cleaned the group will incur an additional $200 fee. 

Please return all borrow recreational equipment prior to departure. 

Our water source is from a well and limited, please conserve it. Do not let faucet run.

Showerhouse is for Overnight Rentals only.

The primary contact for Group/Overnight Rentals, OEC Members, and Yale Affiliates are responsible for the behaviors of their guests and visitors, and are responsible for any damage they or their guests and visitors may cause.

Safety for all Members, Guests, & Visitors

General Safety Policies & Guidelines

The speed limit throughout the OEC is 8 MPH.

Motorcycles, ATVs, and motorized scooters are prohibited. 

Drones, fireworks, kites, firearms, and weapons are prohibited. 

Pets are prohibited. We welcome service animals who are wearing their indentification vests.

To preserve the enjoyment of all overnight rentals, we require all guests to observe quiet hours between 10pm and 8am. Music, singing, shouting, excessive noise, etc. is not permitted.

Charcoal briquettes only in barbecue grills.  Grilling on decks is prohibited. 

Campfires may be prohibited during droughts, staff decision. All fires must only burn low.

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


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.

Firearms/Hunting Policy

Firearms of any type, loaded or unloaded, are not permitted on Yale OEC property or trails.

Hunting, by any method, is not permitted on Yale OEC property or trails.

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.

Waterfront, Swimming, & Paddlecraft

Waterfront & Swimming

Swim only when and where lifeguards are on duty.  

Swim only in designated area, do not swim beyond float line.

Diving in the shallow area is prohibited.

Swimming from any shoreline is prohibited.

Swimming during thunder or lightning storms is prohibited. 

Pushing, running, or horseplay on docks or rafts is prohibited.

Swimming under docks or rafts is prohibited.

Fishing from swim docks or beaches is prohibited. 

Toddlers and weak/non-swimmers are not permitted beyond the shallow wading area (dock crossbar). A swim test required for youth swimmers to swim beyond the shallow area. 

Parents/guardians are responsible for and must accompany their children.

Proper swim attire required.

Keep off float lines, they are safety markers.

Rowboats & Paddlecraft

Swimming from rowboats or paddlecraft is prohibited.

Docking of boats/paddlecraft anywhere along shoreline except at our boat dock/beach is prohibited. 

Flipping or swamping of boats or paddlecraft is prohibited. 

Three-adult-person maximum in rowboats and canoes.

All persons, regardless of age or skill, must wear an approved PFD flotation device (“lifejacket”).

Always stay in view of the beach/lifeguards. Paddling around corners out-of-sight is prohibited. 

Only one person rows in rowboats.

Food or drink on boats or paddlecraft is prohibited.

Boating or paddling during thunder or lightning storms is prohibited. 

Swim test required for all youth paddlecraft use. Specific rules are posted at waterfront.

Canoes are only available when the OEC is sufficiently staffed. 

Outboard motors are prohibited on OEC craft, except electric motors on rowboats only for fishing.

Paddlers must demonstrate ability to handle rowboat/paddlecraft, including proper launching/docking, as well as correct paddling/rowing. Non-swimmers permitted only in rowboats.

Personal paddlecraft are permitted for carry-in only. You are responsible for securing your craft.

Paddlecraft must stay clear of raft and swim docks.  Landing on any shoreline is prohibited. 

Wildlife Advisories

Wildlife Advisory   

Part of the attraction of the OEC is its wilderness setting. You may be lucky to see many forms of wildlife, especially if you’re overnighting, including racoon, skunk, opossum, coyote, red fox, bobcat, wild turkey, deer, squirrel, chipmunk, turtles, non-poisonous snakes, and even the remote possibility of a black bear. We’ve spotted bald eagles and ospreys over the lake! You should appreciate all wildlife from a distance and not engage with or bother it. Please do not feed any wildlife, and do not leave ANY foodstuffs out at night or dropped on the ground


The lake is state owned. A license is required for persons 16 or older fishing in the lake.  Fishing is permitted on the boat dock when not crowded – please be cautious of boaters. No fishing from the swim dock, beach, or gazebo. For license information visit the CT DEEP website.

Bears – Do’s and Don’ts

Bears in natural settings normally leave an area once they sense a human. if you see a bear, enjoy it from a distance. aggression by bears towards humans is exceptionally rare.

  • DO make your presence known by making noise while walking. Hike in a group. If you see a bear, make noise, and wave your arms so the bear is aware of your presenceDO back away slowly if you surprise a nearby bear.
  • DON’T approach or try to get close to a bear to take a photo or video.
  • DON’T come between a bear and her cubs.
  • DON’T run or climb a tree. If possible, wait in a vehicle or building until the bear leaves the area.
  • DO be offensive if the bear approaches you. Make more noise, wave your arms, and throw objects at the bear. Black bears rarely attack humans. If you are attacked, do not play dead. Fight back with anything available (rocks, sticks, pocketknife, keys, cellphone, bear spray, etc.).
  • DON’T cook food inside your tent or camp shelter. Instead, keep food in a secure vehicle (windows closed) or use rope to suspend it between two trees. Bring and use a “bear-proof” heavy-duty cooler to store food (outside of your tent or camp shelter).
  • DO empty nearby trash bins daily. We provide dumpsters and trash bags. Don’t leave food stuffs in trash bins overnight. Don’t throw used foodstuffs (chicken bones, fish carcasses, barbecue ribs, corn cobs, etc.) in the woods. Don’t feed bears.
  • DO bring and spray your barbeque grill grates with household bleach cleaner (like “Clorox Cleaner & Bleach”) to eliminate bear-attracting food smells after cooking.
  • DO use a flashlight after sunset.

Ticks - What do I need to know about tick-borne disease? 

(Information below from www.ct.gov/dph)

Preventing tick-borne 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 crawling and feeding ticks as soon as possible. 
  • 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 a 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 or other infections.

Bees, Mosquitos and Biting Flies

Like in any outdoor environment, bees, mosquitos and biting flies sometimes occur at the Outdoor Center; therefore, please come prepared with proper protective clothing and insect repellent. If you or your child is allergic to bees, be sure to pack your EpiPen.


Consumption of alcohol by individuals 21 years of age an older is permitted.

Mass distribution containers such as kegs, beer balls, etc. are prohibited. 

Cans and cups are highly encouraged in lieu of glassware throughout the OEC grounds. Glassware and glass bottles are prohibited within the waterfront area. 

Group Rentals: A licensed/certified bartender is required for all alcohol service. 


Parking is available to the left of the Pavilion near the lakefront. Overflow parking is available just before the Dining Hall. Please park in a space-conservative manner

Group Rentals must provide a parking attendant and signage for events of 100 or more persons, unless arriving in buses. Please remove all signs, balloons, etc. before departure.

Front Gate

The front gate closes at sunset and reopens at about 9:30am daily.

Overnight Rentals: Please leave it closed if entering or exiting during nighttime hours.

Assumption of Risk & Safety

Assumption of Risks and Safety 

1. Program Risks. You voluntarily and freely elect to participate at the Yale Outdoor Education Center (YOEC or “Program”), and you are not required by Yale to do so.  You understand that participation in the Program involves risks that Yale cannot eliminate, including, among others, risk of property damage, illness, bites or stings, bodily injury, permanent disability, and death. 
2. Assumption of Risk. You voluntarily take responsibility for all risks of participating in the Program for you and your dependent children.
3. Assumption of Medical Obligations: You should consult with a medical doctor regarding your medical needs and acknowledge there are no health-related reasons or problems that preclude or restrict you from participating in the activities of the Program. You should arrange, through insurance or otherwise, for payment of medical care, if necessary, while participating in the Program. You recognize that Yale is not obligated to attend to any of your medical needs, and you assume all risk and responsibility therefore. If you require medical care during your participation in the Program, Yale is not responsible for the cost or quality of such care.
4. Release. In exchange for Yale allowing you to participate in the YOEC Program, you release Yale from all legal and financial responsibility for any harm that you, your family, or your property, might suffer as a result of your participation, even if the harm is caused by Yale’s negligence. 
5. Indemnification. By participating in the Program, you agree to indemnify and hold Yale harmless from (that is to say, you agree to pay or reimburse Yale for) any costs, penalties, legal fees, or judgments (“Costs”) that Yale has to pay related to your participation in the Program, even if the Costs resulted from Yale’s negligence.
6. Waterfront Safety. You, your family, and guests understand that waterfront (swimming, fishing and all watercraft) use has inherent risks, and you will and must follow all YOEC waterfront safety rules and policies, including, but not limited to, the following: Only swimming in the designated areas, only swimming with a lifeguard on duty, not swimming in the deep end if you are a weak or non-swimmer, and wearing a PFD (Personal Floatation Device or “lifejacket”), properly fastened, aboard all watercraft at all times. You may not swim from any watercraft, and you may not land your watercraft at any point around the lake except at the designated beach or boat dock.

7. Lost, damaged or stolen items: Neither Yale University nor the OEC is responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items. Please keep valuables locked in your car, and remember to remove your cellphone/wallet/car keys from your pocket before swimming or paddling. Use caution over speed bumps on our gravel roads to prevent damage to the underside of your vehicle.

Refunds & Cancellations

OEC Memberships & Day-Use Passes

Requests for refunds of memberships and day-use passes must be submitted in writing to oec@yale.edu. Information must include member/guest name; Yale Net or member ID; reason for request; dates for requested refund; and any other pertinent information.

Decisions for refunds will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Athletic Director – PWG and Campus Recreation.  If an OEC Mebership refund is approved, the refund will be prorated and a $25 early cancellation fee will be applied. 

Campus Recreation will not provide refunds for the following:

  • Lack of use
  • Failure by the member to notify Membership Services of a change in their employment or any other causes which would justify a change to their OEC Membership Category/Status
  • Unhappiness or displeasure from and including but not limited to services offered, facilities, hours of operation, fees, staff etc.
  • Scheduled closures and adjusted hours of operation
  • Emergency closures and adjusted hours of operation
  • Misconduct by other members, guests, or visitors, including but not limited to theft, harassment, disputes, etc.
  • Suspension/termination of a membership due to violation of Campus Recreation or Yale University polices or guidelines

OEC Rentals - Cabins, Campsites & Group Facilities

Notification of Cancellations must be made in writing to oec@yale.edu.

Individuals who cancel within 10 days of receiving the email confirmation containing their invoice and payment instructions will receive a fund refund for any payments applied to their invoice. If no payments have been applied the invoice will be voided with no further penalty.

Individuals who cancel after the date of the 50% down payment is due or 14 days before the final payment is due will receive a full refund for any payments applied to their invoice minus a cancellation and processing fee.

Individuals who cancel within the 14 days when their final payment is due will not be refunded their 50% deposit and the cancellation and processing fee will be applied to any remaining payments made before the 50% deposit fee. A refund will be issued for any remaining balance thereafter.  

Cancellation & Processing Fees: Campsites & Shelters: $50, Cabins: $150

OEC Hours Of Operation

OEC Hours of Operation

OEC Hours of Operation

2024 OEC Season: Friday, June 14th - Monday, September 2nd


 OEC General


Notes & Additional Information Includes picnic areas
& general access
Includes swimming
& water craft access
Tuesday - Friday 9:30am - 5:30pm 10am - 12pm
& 1pm- 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 9:30am - 6pm 10am - 12pm
& 1pm- 5:30pm

OEC Memberships

OEC Memberships

2024 OEC Season: Friday, June 14th - Monday, September 2nd

OEC Memberships 

Benefits of OEC Membership include:

  • Access during all operating hours throughout the season.
  • Discounted rates for Overnight Rentals & priority scheduling for overnight rentals the following season.
  • Discounted rates for Guest Passes.

How to purchase an OEC Membership

OEC Memberships can be purchased online via MyRec. Those with a MyRec account can click here to purchase a membership. 

Yale Students are automatically provided a MyRec account.

Yale Faculty/Staff, Yale New Haven Hospital Employees, Yale Retirees and Yale Alumni who are members of PWG already have a MyRec account. Others can make an appointment with Membership Services to activate their account. Click here to make an appointment

East Lyme Residents can email oec@yale.edu to activate their account.


OEC Membership Rates


Individual Season

Family Season

OEC Access Provides access for the duration of the 2024 Season. Provides access for the duration of the 2024 Season.
Membership Definition Membership is for individual use only.

Membership is for family use only.
At least one parent/guardian must qualify as a Yale Student, Yale University Faculty/Staff, Yale New Haven Hospital Employees, Yale Alumni, Yale Retiree or East Lyme Resident.

Family is defined as 2-parent/guardians and 4-dependents 17 years of age or below.

Additional Guests

Guest Passes must be purchased
for any additional guests.
In total, the party cannot exceed 8 individuals.
(including the sponsoring member)

Guest Passes must be purchased for
any additional guests.
In total, the party cannot exceed 8 individuals.
(including the family members)
Yale Students

Mid Summer Fee: $55


Mid Summer Fee: $87.50

Yale University Faculty/Staff
& Yale New Haven Hospital Employees

(not Yale New Haven Health Employee)


Mid Summer Fee: $75

Mid Summer Fee: $112.50
Yale Alumni & Yale Retirees $150
Mid Summer Fee: $75
Mid Summer Fee: $112.50
East Lyme, CT
Mid Summer Fee: $75
Mid Summer Fee: $112.50

PWG/OEC Membership Services: Book an Appointment

If you already have a MyRec Account

Renew or Purchase Your Membership Online

Renew Your Locker Online

Prospective PWG & OEC Members who need to create their MyRec account

Schedule a Membership Appointment

Contact PWG/OEC Membership Services

Phone:  203-432-2497

Email Us

OEC Day-Use Passes & Guests

OEC Day-Use Passes & Guests (How to Purchase)

2024 OEC Season: Friday, June 14th - Monday, September 2nd

  Day-Use Passes Visitors Guest Pass Visitors
Definition A Day-Use Visitor is an individual or group of individuals who do not possess an OEC Membership.

A Guest Pass Visitor is an individual or group of individuals who are sponsored by a current OEC Member. 

Sponsor & Size Limit

At least one member of the party must qualify as a  Yale Faculty/Staff, Yale New Haven Hospital Employee (not Yale New Haven Health), Yale Retiree, Yale Alumni or East Lyme Resident and may serve at the party’s sponsor.

In total the size of the party cannot exceed eight (8) individuals. 

For example, if you are a current Yale Student you may sponsor up to seven (7) individuals with you to enjoy the OEC for the day.

A current OEC member may sponsor up to eight (8) individuals within their party. The eight (8) person limit includes any other individuals within their Family Membership. 

For example: If you are a current OEC member and have three (3) members of your Family Membership with you, you may sponsor up to four (4) other individuals with you to enjoy the OEC for the day.

Access to the OEC

Day-Use Passes provide one-day access to the OEC. Day-Use users must exit the OEC at closing. This includes visitors for Overnight Rentals. 

If the party sponsor exits the OEC, then the entire party must leave as well. 

Guest Passes provide one-day access to the OEC. Guest Pass Visitors must exit the OEC at closing. This includes visitors for Overnight Rentals.

If the OEC member exits the OEC, then the guests must leave as well.

Children 5 years of age or younger. Free Free
Individuals 6 years of age or older.

Advanced Purchase: $12

On-Site Purchase: $15

Advanced Purchase: $10

On-Site Purchase: $10

Advanced Day-Use and Guest Pass Purchases

Advanced Purchases are encouraged. They limit the queue and wait times for members, day-use visitors, and guests to enter and enjoy the OEC.

To to purchase an Advanced Day-Use and Guest Pass you will need a MyRec account. For more information about MyRec accounts and how to obtain one see the section below: What is MyRec?

Click Here to purchase a Day-Use / Guest Pass.

On-Site Purchases Methods of Payment

Cash, check, or debit/credit cards are accepted at the OEC Gatehouse. (Cash payments cannot exceed more than $20/transaction.)

What is MyRec?

MyRec is the web portal for members of Payne Whitney Gym, the Outdoor Education Center, and Campus Recreation programs. 

Click here to visit myrec.yale.edu

Yale Students are automatically provided a MyRec account.

Yale Faculty/Staff, Yale Retirees, Yale Alumni and Yale New Haven Hospital Employees who are members of PWG already have a MyRec account. Others can make an appointment with Membership Services to activate their account. Click here to make an appointment

East Lyme Residents can email oec@yale.edu to activate their account.

OEC Rentals: Overnight & Groups

OEC Rental Rates & General Information

2024 OEC Overnight Rentals

Reservations cannot exceed 2 cabins and/or 8 individuals in total.  Each overnight rental can accommodate up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children. 
Individual requesting the reservation must be a OEC member to qualify for member rates.
Rates include access and use of OEC amenities and waterfront.

Reservation requests for cabins and campsites are being accepted now.

Email oec@yale.edu or call 203-432-2492 to request or to check availability for OEC Overnight Rentals

  6-Day, 5-Night 4-Day, 3-Night 3-Day, 2-Night
  Length of Stay Check in Tuesdays
Check Out Sundays
Check In Day 1
Check Out Day 4
Check In Day 1
Check Out Day 3
OEC Member $360 $270


OEC Non-Member $560 $420 $350
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8
OEC Member $128 $96 $80
OEC Non-Member $328 $246 $205
Campsite 2
Small Shelter

OEC Member $152 $114 $95
OEC Non-Member $352 $264 $220
Campsite 9
Large Shelter

OEC Member $160 $120 $100
OEC Non-Member $360 $270 $225

OEC 2024 Group Space Rental Rates

Email oec@yale.edu for questions about Groups Space Rentals.
Please include the following: Name, Date of Request, Space Request, and Yale Affiliation (if any).

OEC Group Rentals will require a Facility Use Agreement and possibly proof of insurance (Certificate of Insurance).  
CLICK HERE to view information on Facility Use Agreement and Insurance requirements.

Group Spaces Fee/Day
Pavilion $775
Dining Hall  $1,000
(Dining Hall & Pavilion)
Gazebo $150
Round Table area
(under 15 people)

Group Spaces are priced for the day of the event and include the space only.

There is an additional $10/person fee for each guest of your event.

If additional setup/breakdown time either the day before and/or after is required there will be a fee of $200 for every four hours. 

CLICK HERE For information on Refunds and Cancellations

General Rental FAQs

How do I rent a cabin or campsite?

Email oec@yale.edu for questions about overnight rentals. 

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

No, there are both member and non-member rates for overnight rentals. 

Can I reserve an overnight rental (cabin, campsite, or shelter) for a single night?

No overnight rentals require a 3-day, 2-night minimum. 

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.

How long is an overnight rental week (cabin, campsite, or shelter)?

A rental week is 6-days, 5-nights, beginning Tuesday check-in at 10am to Sunday checkout at 5pm.

When can we check-in and when is check-out?

Check-in for your reservation is between 10am and 5pm on the date of your scheduled arrival. Please note that if you arrive prior to 10am we may not be able to accommodate your check-in or load-in. Check-out is anytime before 5pm on the date of your scheduled departure.

How many people can a rental accommodate and are visitors allowed?

Rental Party Size: Reservations cannot exceed 2 cabins and/or 8 individuals in total.  Each overnight rental can accommodate up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children. You will be asked to provide the names of your party upon check-in.

Day Visitors: You are welcome to invite additional visitors during your stay, however there is a $10/person fee for each visitor. Visitors must depart the OEC by 6pm.

Behavior & Presence: Members and primary rental contacts are responsible for the actions of their rental party and day visitors at all times. Primary rental contacts must always be present and on-site with their rental party and day visitors. Rentals are not transferable to others.

When are quiet hours?

To preserve the enjoyment of all overnight rentals, we require all guests to observe quiet hours between 10pm and 8am. Music, singing, shouting, excessive noise, etc. is not permitted.


Cabin Rental FAQs

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, refrigerator with freezer and small kitchen sink with cold running water.

Cabins 1,7-9 have been renovated to include paneled walls and 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


Charcoal for grill

Food and beverages

Campsite Rental FAQs

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. Limited campfire wood available upon request.

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!


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


Charcoal for grill

Food, beverages and cooler