Discover your own best self

Discover your own best self

The American Youth Foundation is a nonprofit youth development organization that engages thousands of youth year-round through community and school programs, summer camps, and leadership conferences at our beautiful properties, Merrowvista in New Hampshire and Miniwanca in Michigan.

Since 1925, we have welcomed young people from around the world to our campuses to discover the richness of our outdoor environments, the fun of interacting with a positive community, and the challenge of self-discovery.

Summer 2024 Registration

Summer 2024 registration is a first-come, first-served model, and waitlists will be created when programs fill. A $300 fee is due upon summer camp registration. The AYF is committed to making summer programs accessible to all youth through financial aid and scholarship. More information is available in the application process.

Learn more about next summer’s program offerings, rates, and registration process below.

Miniwanca          Merrowvista          National Leadership Conference

Stay updated and engaged with the AYF community! Sign up for our monthly Founder Sparks email newsletter and follow the AYF on Facebook and Instagram (Merrowvista, Miniwanca).



Set on 360 wooded acres and a mile of private Lake Michigan shoreline, Miniwanca Girls Camp and Boys Camp is a breathtaking and inspiring setting for growth.

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New Hampshire

Set on over 600 acres in the pristine Ossipee Mountains of New Hampshire, Merrowvista draws you into a life that is rustic, uncomplicated, and filled with excitement.

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National Leadership Conference

An 8-day conference for high school and college students, held in June at Miniwanca in Shelby, Michigan.

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Meet the Spark 2024 Coordinating Team

Spark, the American Youth Foundation’s retreat for adults, returns to Miniwanca for its third year from September 12 to 15. AYF Director of Adult Programs …

Register now for Miniwanca, Merrowvista Volunteer Weekends

The entire family is invited to lend a hand this spring at Miniwanca and Merrowvista! This year, Volunteer Weekend takes place April 26 to 28 …

Staff Spotlight: Merrowvista’s Katsu Okuma

Katsu Okuma wasn’t a “camp kid” growing up. Instead, he spent summers traveling around Ohio playing baseball. The camp bug finally got him in high …

2024 NLC Class Challenge kicks off March 4

The National Leadership Conference community is a prime example of serving humbly. Each summer, dozens of dedicated volunteers staff the American Youth Foundation’s longest running …

AYF facilities teams build on legacy

Before sites are flooded with summer campers, the facilities teams at Miniwanca and Merrowvista prioritize larger structural projects that enhance the quality of life for …

Meet the 2024 Summer Seminars for Women team

The American Youth Foundation’s Summer Seminars for Women celebrates its 36th year in 2024. Its longevity and popularity couldn’t be sustained without dedicated leadership, and …

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