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.

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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Women gathered sitting on the floor of room with wood and stone walls

Creating A Sense of Belonging

By Dana Rieck Dozens of participants attended the Summer Seminars for Women this year, a three-day program that for 35 years has created an intergenerational …

Miniwanca welcomes families for weekend of fun

Miniwanca’s annual Alumni & Family Weekend took place Aug. 17 to 20. More than two dozen people gathered for a long weekend of fun, community, …

Working at Summer Camp: More than Just a Job

At first glance, it may not be obvious how coordinating a high-energy skit or Night’s Doings correlates to an office environment. However, plenty of former …

Merrowvista wraps up summer 2023

Summer 2023 was filled with cannonballs into Dan Hole Pond, songs sung at the top of campers’ little lungs, and bowls of chicken tenders. For …

Merrowvista Odyssey campers return triumphant

With arms linked and faces caked with dirt, 10 Merrowvista Odyssey campers and their two leaders finished the final stretch of their 16-day trip: the …

New campers dare to adventure at Miniwanca

Nearly 20 seventh and eighth graders took bold first steps into a new camp experience at Miniwanca at the inaugural Dare to Adventure program in …

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