Family Programs

Year round community building.

Our Family Programs cultivate a unique environment for family members to connect in new ways with one another, and also to build connections with others. These programs bring together families with common experiences or goals.

Merrowvista’s unique location, nestled in the mountains on the shores of Dan Hole Pond, allow families to disconnect from the busyness of daily life and focus on connecting in new ways with one another. We intentionally create experiences that promote laughter and new learning as family members take on new roles and responsibilities. Individuals discover more about themselves and family members gain new understanding of each other.

Program activities vary based on the goals of the program, but may include ropes courses, hikes, team building activities, crafts and discussions. Days are a balance of family time, as well as opportunities for adults to connect with other adults and children to participate in ‘kids only’ activities. The goal is to promote a greater depth of learning to carry home and to inspire connections that can be resources year round.

Partnering with specialized non-profits, we are able to serve a wide diversity of populations. Our staff welcomes the opportunity to work with your group to create a family program to meet your specific goals.

Additional Information: Learn more through our FAQs, meet our staff or review parent & program contact resources.

A Day in the Life

Merrowvista Community and School Programs

These programs serve hundreds of youth, educators and youth advocates through programs designed to enhance not only a participant’s skills, but their confidence in themselves and their future.

Merrowvista programs help participants develop their character and their connections to the wider world. Our outstanding staff work to create communities where youth feel supported and empowered. Participants discover who they are and what they are capable of achieving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do students stay while they are at Merrowvista?

We offer 3-season heated duplex-style cabins, each with beds for up to 16 children and 3 adults. For larger groups or winter programs, we also offer a fully winterized lodge.

How are children supervised while they are at Merrowvista?

Our staff supervises children throughout all structured program activities. Teachers, administrators or chaperones serve as the primary guardians, and are responsible for free time and overnight supervision.

We are committed to a student to Merrowvista staff ratio no higher than 12:1.

What kind of food does Merrowvista serve?

Following our Food Program guiding principles, we aim to serve a variety of healthy options, including a balance of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables incorporated into a child-friendly menu.

What if a student has a food allergy or special dietary need?

We are able to accommodate certain allergies and dietary needs. Merrowvista is a peanut aware facility. We do not serve peanuts or tree nuts from our kitchen during meal service. In addition, we can provide vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options with advance notice. We may ask families to provide certain food items for children with complex allergies or dietary needs. We are committed to making a plan that works for everyone. Please contact us if you have questions about our offerings.

What qualifications do staff members have?

Our staff members are passionate about their work. Many of them have backgrounds in education, youth development and environmental education. They all hold first aid and CPR certifications, are at least 21 years old and have had background checks run against multiple national and local databases.

How many groups are at Merrowvista at the same time?

We hope Merrowvista feels special to every group we work with. Though there may be some small overlap between communities, we typically reserve our 600 acre site for one group at a time.

What should students pack?

Weather in New Hampshire is quite variable from day to day and season to season. Appropriate clothing and gear will depend on the length of the program, time of year, and scheduled activities. Please refer to the relevant packing list in the ‘Resources’ section of this page for more specific information.

Will my child feel included at Merrowvista?

We enthusiastically welcome children with diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities. We value each participant’s right to fully experience Merrowvista free from prejudice and harassment. All of our staff members are trained to supervise children and to prevent and address incidents of conflict or bullying based on any aspect of a person’s identity, including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.


Program Staff

Our program staff members come from a variety of backgrounds in education, environmental sciences, and experiential education.

Many of them have grown up with the AYF, others developed their passion for working with young people in the outdoors through other like-minded organizations. But no matter where they started, they all share a commitment to inspiring young people to discover their very best, and look forward to working with your community.

“At Merrowvista I learned a lot. One thing I learned was that we could transfer what we did into something that could strengthen our community or try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

– 6th Grade Student