Ed & Peg Donaldson were high school sweethearts who married in 1943 and started a family. Ed was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army and served in World War II. Upon the death of his father, Edwin B. Donaldson, Sr., he returned to take over the family business, E.B. Donaldson & Son, a paving contractor in the Washington D.C. area. In 1951 both Ed & Peg realized their spiritual need and accepted the Lord as their Savior. Throwing themselves into their local church, they began to teach Sunday School and lead Bible studies. During this time they were introduced to the Christian Home & League Conference and Child Evangelism, the combination of these two organizations helped birth the vision of a youth camp. As they taught and interacted with the youth around them, they began to feel the call from the Lord to begin a youth camp with the goal of sharing the gospel and training up Christian youth in Godís Word.
Ed & Peg purchased a dairy farm near Gettysburg, PA in 1957 with hopes that the farm would soon support a youth camp. God had other plans, and after realizing that dairy farming was not financially profitable and having a major road (Route 15) bypass dissect the farmís property, the Donaldsonís sold the property and began looking further away from the Washington DC area for a piece of property. In 1969 they saw a notice of some property available in Bedford County, PA and upon arriving to view the property, they knew that this was where God would have them begin the youth camp. In December of that same year, they purchased the small farmhouse and 150 acres and went about fixing the house up to live in and began putting their dreams of a youth camp into reality.
Providentially, the Donaldsons visited a small church in Kennelís Mill, just a few miles from the camp, which had a new, young pastor by the name of Ken Korns. With the help of many of the families of Calvary Bible Church (which moved to Ellerslie, MD) and their own family, work began to carve out a camp from the rugged mountainous land. Peg wasted no time in starting the programs while Ed put the infrastructure in place. In the summer of 1972 children were picked up in vehicles around the area and brought to camp where crafts, pony rides, and Bible stories were all a part of the first summer at New Life Bible Camp. Shortly after that summer work began on the Main Lodge and when it was complete in 1974, it was, and still is the hub of activity. The Donaldsons had six children, and all have had a part in the ministry. One of Edís favorite quotes was fulfilled, ďOnly one life will soon be passed, only whatís done for Christ will last.Ē
Since 1972 New Life has had summer camps each year and the mission remains the same as the vision that Ed & Peg had back in the early 1950s. New Life exists to share the Good News with all who attend and to encourage and equip believers to be useful in Godís service here on earth.