The original camps started in 1957 under the name Plymouth and District Assemblies Youth Camps (PDAYC), and initially only a small number of children from Underwood Chapel in Plymton went along. The camp was held in Teignmouth Gospel Hall and they had around 20 campers to begin with.
As the years went on, other young people from different Assemblies joined and the camps slowly grew and moved around to different locations in the South West each year, including Salcombe, Strete and Carlyon Bay.
In 1966, the camps found a permanent home at a campsite in Mortehow, (North Devon) and they stayed there until 1983. When the camps started, everything was held under canvas including the cooking facilities! However, throughout the years at Mortehow, PDAYC purchased new equipment which improved the experience for everyone there, including an ex army hut to use for indoor games, camp circle and accommodation. The water for showers and cooking had to be pumped manually, often by the campers themselves! As well as experiencing the joys of proper camping, the children at those early camps made the most of the beautiful surroundings that they were situated in by taking part in games and competitions come rain or shine. One of the traditions we have carried on to this day is the man hunt competition which has always provided a good laugh!
It wasn’t until 1980 that PDAYC started looking for another site; one that provided scope for expansion and better facilities. It was then that the Lord led them to the site at Menadue Farm. The purchase of the site (which included a derelict barn, a farmhouse and cottage and some run down out buildings) was completed in 1983. After a considerable amount of work from volunteers from various churches to renovate the site, the first camp was held there in 1984. Since then the Lord has faithfully provided the resources to enable the camps to keep running in this beautiful location in North Cornwall.
Since 1984, PDAYC has expanded to allow more children to hear the Gospel. Junior Explorers camp started, allowing younger children to come, and Senior House Party was introduced to give the older campers something a little extra in the year. In recent years, PDAYC has become Menadue Christian Camps and many of the campers who grew up through the camps have become leaders of them today. Menadue Camps are open to people from across the country and across the world as we seek to give children not only a great holiday but an opportunity to meet with God. We prayerfully look to God to provide for all our needs in the future.