Entering grade 9

Explorer campers take their first steps in our Four Trails program and will embark on at least one outcamping experience. These challenges help campers develop important life skills such as resiliency, collaboration, organization and planning. Campers are introduced to the technical campcraft skills with emphasis placed on the journey as much as the destination. Staff-led village insight discussions help campers make connections between discoveries made on trail with real life challenges at home and school. Explorer campers spend a fair amount of their camp experience onsite at Merrowvista, providing opportunities for training and team building.

2022 Four Trails Details

2022 Four Trails will be different than previous years due to the ongoing pandemic. Our camp community’s health and safety are our top priority, and all Four Trails plans are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

We are confident these experiences will provide all the challenge, community, personal growth, and fun your camper expects on a Four Trails trip, even if the routes take us new places.

Explorers are taking their first steps exploring the outdoors beyond Merrowvista. They will:

  • Embark on a four- to five-day hiking trip in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
  • Learn the principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and backpacking.
  • Learn outcamping skills such as cooking with camp stoves, backcountry camping, and water purification.
  • Explore Merrowvista’s vast acreage while onsite, improving their canoeing, overnight camping, and hiking skills.
  • Enjoy Interest Groups tailored to the interests and skills of teenage campers.
  • Give back to the community through a service-learning project.

Upon arrival to camp, Merrowvista staff will conduct an extensive pre-trip evaluation to make sure all participants are physically and mentally prepared for trail life. A camper’s trip plans may be altered after individual assessment.

To best prepare for the physical demands of their Four Trails experience, Merrowvista will provide a pre-trip training plan with the 2022 Family Resources in the spring. We strongly encourage your camper to review and adhere to this plan to ensure the safest, most enjoyable Four Trails trip.

Summer 2022 registration will return to a first come, first served enrollment model (pending medical review), and waitlists will be created when programs fill.

2022 Dates & Tuition


Session A (Three Weeks)
Dates: July 3 to July 22
Rate: $5,000

Session B (Three Weeks)
Dates: July 24 to Aug. 12
Rate: $5,000


The AYF is committed to making summer camp accessible to all youth. As a nonprofit foundation fueled by generous donations from our alumni and families, the AYF offsets the price of every program for every participant. AYF also offers generous full scholarships and need-based financial aid.

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“Every summer my son returns having made a palpable leap in maturity. Sometimes the progress he's made comes out in a conversation where he expresses a belief system that has no doubt been influenced by the wonderful values reinforced at camp. We use 'best self' as shorthand for asking if behavior is in line with values, and when I ask, 'Are you being your best self right now?' That usually sparks some reflection.”

– Merrowvista Camper Parent