Discover your own best self

Discover your own best self

The American Youth Foundation is deeply saddened at the passing of one of its greatest champions, Dr. William “Bill” Danforth. He wanted to better the world, and the AYF is the beneficiary of his tireless work. He will be sorely missed. His light will linger long.
Donate to the Bill Danforth Memorial Fund

We’re 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.

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

Invincible Summer 2020

July 6 to July 31

The AYF will offer a free month of online programming to supplement the work we do each year at Merrowvista or Miniwanca to help campers become their best selves and to connect with their camp communities.

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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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An Update About Registration

These last six months, our AYF family has gone through many adjustments as the world and our programs changed course. We all continue to live …

Join us for monthly Evening Reflections and Night’s Doings

We know you miss camp as much as we do. That’s why we’re bringing camp into your homes via Zoom twice a month with Evening …

Bill Danforth

Remembering AYF champion Dr. William “Bill” Danforth

“What starts as an individual dream can indeed build a mighty current, which will sweep the world. So hold fast to your dreams. Work hard …

friends on the Lake Michigan beach

Labor Day Girls Camp Reunion Goes Virtual

While we cannot host our Girls Camp Reunion at Miniwanca this summer, we hope you will join us for a free Virtual Labor Day Girls …

Enkindled Spirits: Willky Joseph

Willky’s AYF journey began at Merrowvista when was a 9th grader at Codman Academy. In the first days of forming their new school community, Codman …

Tell us about Founder Friends living the mission

The American Youth Foundation is always eager to hear about our program participants and alumni making positive change in their communities. Do you know a …

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