Discover your own best self.

Discover your own best self.

We’re a nonprofit youth development organization that engages thousands of youth year round through community & school programs, summer camps, and leadership conferences at our beautiful properties in New Hampshire (Merrowvista) and Michigan (Miniwanca).

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.



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

Learn More


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.

Learn More

National Leadership Conference

June 10-17, 2017

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

Learn More
What's new.
Music makers in Boys Camp

Reasons Teens Should Go To Camp

By Will Shelton A few days ago, we stumbled across this article, and I was very eager to read it. We love to have teens …

Merrowvista school group embraces on mountain

Merrowvista: The Experience of a Lifetime

By Hawa (Codman ’16) Codman’s trip to Merrowvista is like being thrown into a pool of vulnerability and forced to swim out safely and stronger. …

Miniwanca early bird summer campers cheer during steal the bacon

Early Bird Excitement

In mid-August, the year-round summer camp teams at Merrowvista and Miniwanca each shared in countless hugs, tidied up, and waved as several hundred summer staff …

American Youth Foundation founder medals in bowl

Living the AYF Mission: Survey

We want to hear from you! If you have experienced an AYF program, directly or indirectly, we invite you to complete this survey in order to …

Pipers at the High Ropes Challenge Course for Adventure Day

The Value of Grit

By Anthony Marvullo Recent conversations on youth development and student success focus on resilience, sometimes called grit. In Paul Tough’s 2012 book How Children Succeed, …

Merrowvista summer staff and camper high five on A-field

Away in a Bahn

By Eva Bednar Last Friday night, a small, old barn in the Ossipee Mountains sat aglow on a hilltop in the Canaan Valley. This barn (or …

Our Blog

In Motion, On Mission

A 5-year generosity campaign for the AYF

Join Us