Discover your own best self

Discover your own best self

Read the latest updates:

Please note: We have received many inquiries about visiting Miniwanca and Merrowvista. At this time, both of our sites are currently closed and will continue to be as we follow CDC recommendations, state regulations, and federal guidelines. We understand that being physically at camp can be incredibly powerful, but we please ask that you not make plans to visit until we can open the sites safely. When we can open the sites to visitors, we will do so and communicate how and when you can visit.

Our communities, our nation, and our world are being changed daily by the coronavirus pandemic, and so too are the program possibilities for the AYF in 2020. We have come to the difficult realization that we will not be able to gather for residential programs at Miniwanca or Merrowvista this summer. This cancellation includes summer camp at Miniwanca and Merrowvista, the National Leadership Conference, Summer Seminars for Women, and Alumni and Family Camp. Along with national leaders in outdoor programming, we are announcing that we need to make a major change of course this season. In this time of physical distance, we will offer only free online programming to connect our community until we can safely gather in person.

Read the complete message from AYF President Anna Kay Vorsteg



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

June 12-19, 2020

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

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Participants gather around a banner with class name

We Must be the Change

The American Youth Foundation stands in solidarity with communities of color who continue to bear the weight of longtime, systemic injustice and who have suffered …

Our Community Rises to the Challenge

by Catherine Klene Summer 2020 will undoubtedly be different than years past, but president Anna Kay Vorsteg shared that the AYF community has already exceeded her expectations.  “This …

DePauw University Prindle Institute partners with NLC

Members of the National Leadership Conference Second Year class sat in small groups, listening intently as Dr. Andrew Cullison, Director of the Prindle Institute for …

Wash Your Hands, Send Your Letters: Chapter 2

Coordinators Kal Bowers and Caroline Zerilli are back with another chapter of their original story, Wash Your Hands, Send Your Letters. This week, Kal visits …

Wash Your Hands, Send Your Letters: Chapter 1

2019 Merrowvista coordinators Kal Bowers and Caroline Zerilli have written an original story about campers who embrace the spirit of the valley at home even …

Adjusting Our Sails

 Over the past month, you have adjusted to changes and experienced the loss of many beloved aspects of your lives. You’ve heeded the call …

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