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.

Miniwanca

Michigan

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

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Merrowvista

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 10-17, 2017

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

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What's new.
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 …

Growing Up Camp

Last weekend I dropped my oldest son, Sam, off for college. It was an emotion filled day – mostly feelings of pride and excitement. Occasionally …

More Four Fold Tournament Week and a Four Trails Homecoming

Greetings once again from the shores of Dan Hole Pond! Life at Merrowvista has been an exciting affair as the days fly by in this …

Merrowvista Four Trails update August 10, 2016

It was a triumphant day in the Canaan Valley! At long last our far flung villages have finally all made their way back. All Explorer …

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In Motion, On Mission

A 5-year generosity campaign for the AYF

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