The American Youth Foundation inspires people to discover and develop their personal best, to seek balance in mental, physical, social and spiritual living, and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the wider world.
AYF programs bring the mission to life, challenging individuals to act at their best. Programs actively engage participants in creating communities where all feel welcome and respected. In these safe environments individuals can learn and grow. Days are filled with activities that are fun, encourage creativity, and allow participants to take on real responsibilities in the care of themselves, one another and the world we live in. Staff support participants as they problem solve challenges, developing resilience, confidence and a greater sense of who they are and what they are capable of achieving.
As young people face an increasingly complicated and pressured world, the need for helping youth develop character is more important than ever. We believe participants in AYF programs will learn to:
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. Trails lead through the forest to mountain peaks just waiting to be explored. Dan Hole Pond, a crystal clear lake, is the hub of waterfront activities. This beautiful setting provides the perfect backdrop to discover what it means to be my own self, at my very best, all the time!
The AYF mission is the foundation for all we do. Programs are intentionally designed to encourage all to stretch beyond what is comfortable to see what is possible, to allow participants to discover more about their unique capacities, and to practice putting their own best into action in big and small ways. Our staff, whom we call youth development professionals, facilitate these discoveries in fun and engaging ways, and then encourage participants to put their new knowledge into action back at home.
Merrowvista operates year-round, with Community & School Programs (CSP) serving children, families and adults from neighboring communities and distant cities.
Merrowvista’s Summer Camp offer elementary through high school age campers the chance to discover and develop new strengths through residential and adventure trip programs.