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.

Registration for Summer Camp and NLC 2023 is now open!

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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First-year AYF campers take brave first steps toward independence

For almost 100 years, American Youth Foundation campers have embarked on journeys measured in miles, challenges, and personal growth. Like any journey, camp begins with …

Miniwanca will host open house in Columbus, Ohio

Miniwanca is coming to Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday, April 5! Join us at Everal Barn and Homestead from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Learn more about …

Miniwanca to host open house in Cleveland

Miniwanca is coming to Cleveland on Friday, March 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.! Open house will take place at the von der Heydt family …

Staff Spotlight: Merrowvista’s Steph Dasman

Steph Dasman’s childhood camp experiences sparked a passion and interest in youth development from an early age. The enthusiasm and passion those program staff members …

Purina Leadership Labs expand AYF reach across the country

The American Youth Foundation continues to connect with new communities across the country. Recently, nearly 50 teenagers in Iowa experienced a taste of the AYF’s …

AYF facilities teams focus on solid foundations

As youth returned to Merrowvista and Miniwanca in 2021 and 2022, the facilities teams focused on how the sites could best serve participants in the …

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