Founder Fire 2020

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Aspire Nobly, Adventure Daringly, Serve Humbly INSIDE Letter from the President......................... 1 Partnering for Social Justice..................... 2 Connecting Across the Miles, Across the Generations. . ........................... 3 Enkindled Spirits. . .......................................... 5 An Enduring Inspiration: Dr. William “Bill” Danforth. . .................... 6 NLC-Z – A Deeply Rooted Community................ 8 In Memory of the Rev. Dr. Bill and Nancy Harvey...................................... 10 Remembering Our Founder Family.................................. 11 Invincible Summer...................................... 12 AYF by the Numbers. . ............................... 15 Annual Report. . ............................................ 16 Honor Roll..................................................... 17 Looking Ahead to 2021............................ 25

A Letter From the President Anna Kay Vorsteg

This Thanksgiving will be unlike any in recent memory. Instead of gathering, we’re asked to stay home for the collective good. Instead of packing the car or boarding our flights, we’re asked to be still. And yet, as we navigate a pandemic, racial injustice, and an environmental crisis, we are called to take a different kind of journey — to embark on a pilgrimage inward to become better versions of ourselves.

This season, we have been kept from our beautiful campuses, but not from our work. In fact, one of the early takeaways from 2020 was how deeply connected and engaged we can be despite distance. In this issue of The Founder Fire, you will read about our efforts to connect this year in online spaces. You’ll learn about the good works of others who continue the journey toward best in their home communities.

During a pilgrimage, we journey to an unknown and often sacred place in order to find an expanded understanding of self, others, nature, or a higher good. Ideally, a pilgrimage leads to personal transformation. 2020 is ripe for personal transformation.

We will also pause to remember and celebrate those who have completed their journeys, including Dr. William “Bill” Danforth, a man whose life serves as a powerful example of the great pilgrimage toward best. May these pages give you hope and encourage your journey forward in active ways, even though your movements are restricted.

Few take up pilgrimages from a place of calm and comfort – in fact, most take up these journeys in pursuit of this place. Perhaps we can turn this difficult time into a spirit-building pilgrimage in search of solutions to these overwhelmingly complex issues, and in the process, find our better selves and a greater love for one another.

Part of this forward journey includes building equitable community for all. The AYF highlighted the importance of anti-racist action during our virtual programs and will continue to do so. We know that we do not have all the answers and must reckon with our own history, and we are committed to educating ourselves and others and to doing the work of dismantling systems of oppression to create a more just world.

At Miniwanca and Merrowvista, we have always facilitated pilgrimages of sorts, encouraging AYF participants to embark on journeys in search of their true purpose and best selves. We seek physical environments that provide challenge and social exchanges that require courage. We carve out sacred space for prayer and inward reflection, and we encourage all to discover their assets to be used for the good of others.

I do not pretend this act of pilgrimage is simple. It is not. For it to happen, one must decide to actively take up the journey. You need not leave your home, but you must be willing to leave the comfort of old behaviors and beliefs as you seek what is most right. You must embrace discomfort and focus on the path and promises ahead.

We aim to inspire personal transformation, not because we are broken but because we understand we are not yet whole. Becoming our full best selves enables us to fix what is broken in our world, which in turn makes us better for doing so. This cycle is the great invitation of the American Youth Foundation, and it is why we do not give in to despair.

As you pack and unpack for the journey ahead, I hope you will take with you the belief that every day has good to offer, and such good can come to others through you.

Travel well,

We thank you for being with us during this difficult time and ensuring our organization’s future through renewed engagement and generous donations. Our fiscal needs are great, and the need for best selves acting to shape a more positive future is even greater. 1

Partnering for Social Justice by Dana Rieck

As Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets across the country after the death of George Floyd, the American Youth Foundation wanted to offer youth a space to connect with their values and to be voices for positive change in their communities. The AYF acknowledged that it was not an expert in anti-racism work and wanted to work with an organization to provide resources to its community during a time that, for many, is a reckoning of racism and racial inequity in the U.S. “We were already doing virtual programming. We had already been talking about if we wanted to be addressing the issues that are really confronting our young people right now?” said Lauren Abrami, AYF Director of Program Development. “And how do we do that in a virtual setting?” Longtime partner Kids4Peace Boston reached out to the AYF to offer online anti-racist training for preteens and teens. K4PB ran this workshop for middle school and high school students from Merrowvista and Miniwanca; about 60 AYF kids participated in late July and early August. The organizations have been partners for almost 10 years, as K4PB brings groups of their participants to Merrowvista each year for youth leadership development retreats. K4PB’s main focus is bringing together children from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths to create leaders focused on fostering peace and understanding.

ways that they may or may not have already been thinking about,” Waldman said. Hopkins said it was important to provide an understanding of the history of racism in the U.S. and explain concepts like systemic racism.

“In our program and Kids4Peace Boston, we talk about all kinds of issues that our communities are facing, and in particular, all kinds of divisions that exist between groups of people, and we often talk about bridging divides between different groups,” said Ati Waldman, Kids4Peace Boston Program Director. Abrami said the core missions of both organizations are well aligned. “Kids4Peace Boston is really in line with the AYF mission and values of teaching kids to understand each other’s differences,” she said. “Really encouraging kids to appreciate one another and open that area of empathy, conversation, and communication among young people, and then really using their voices for good in the world.” Walden and Megan Hopkins, K4PB Assistant Program Director and Camp Director, developed the program with a shared goal of decentering their own voices and using resources created by Black experts at the forefront of anti-racist work, such as Ibram X. Kendi. Approximately 150 kids have taken the course to date. “I think that kids should expect to be challenged, to be asked to have some hard conversations and to think about the world around them in


“This is a wound that has been festering in our society, and this process is really us cleaning out that wound and making sure that we, as a society, can heal going forward,” Hopkins said. “This process isn't about maligning a particular group, placing blame, things like that. The process is really about understanding that, although those of us who benefit from white privilege are not responsible for what people have done before us or things that are beyond our control, we are benefiting from those past actions, and we should take responsibility for being part of the solution.” Twelve-year-old Kit Hagenbuch is a seventh grader who attended the anti-racism workshop in July. She has attended Merrowvista for four years, and said she signed up for the training because she wasn’t allowed to attend protests during the pandemic and wanted to learn more about how to be effective ally. “It's a great space to ask questions if you want to do things, and it's great for people who already know about things,” she said. “But it also covers a lot of the earlier topics and more basic stuff, if you're new to it, and it encourages people to get out and do things or have conversations.”

CONNECTING ACROSS THE MILES, ACROSS THE GENERATIONS As the pandemic rocked the country in spring 2020, American Youth Foundation alumni sought connection and community with their Founder Family despite the physical distance. They asked AYF leadership for ways to connect and reflect, drawing strength from one another through their shared camp experiences. Within days, new virtual events and platforms began to take shape for participants and staff of all ages. The first AYF-wide live event on March 26 was an Evening Reflection on Zoom. More than 20 participants gathered to listen to poetry and music, converse, and enjoy a recording of the sunset over Lake Michigan. By focusing on the sights and sounds of Miniwanca and Merrowvista, these virtual programs allowed people to step outside the social confines of quarantine while staying in their homes. The limitless space made it possible for people from different AYF backgrounds to join events where the tools of Four Fold balanced living served as common ground.

by Liz Marshall


One AYF community that thrived in this new space was Summer Seminars for Women, a program that originated at Miniwanca in 1988. Each summer, women gather on the sand dunes for a five-day experience focused around reflection, community building, and retreat. During this unique season, the pandemic shifted SSW events online and drew more participants than ever. In July, AYF presented the 32nd annual SSW in a fully virtual format with the theme of “Living the Mission at Home.” The five-day program consisted of opening and closing circles, a social night, and two thought-provoking seminars. Each event allowed participants to meet, socialize, and dig deeper into their own goals.

Building on the success of Summer Seminars for Women, AYF also offered a series of virtual events for attendees of the Miniwanca Girls Camp Labor Day Reunion and Living the Mission Retreat this fall. The model of clustering events into a four-day experience has worked well, as it mirrors the community-building experience of a short camp program.

These sessions were free and open to the public, and they saw daily audiences of 40 to 80 participants. One highlight of SSW was AYF President Anna Kay Vorsteg’s seminar, “The Four Folds for Today,” which offered an update to the timeless philosophy of balanced living.

Highlights of the virtual reunion included meetups for groups from each decade, as well as playful Night’s Doings and Interest Group gatherings. A camp-themed Grab Bag activity issued a lighthearted challenge to participants: a virtual treasure hunt to gather the most camp items at home. Meetups uniting former campers from the 1950s and 1960s through the 1990s and 2000s drew women who had intended to make the trip to Michigan for the in-person events, as well as others who had not planned to attend. Old camp friends discovered each other online, and several former cabin leaders found campers they hadn’t heard from in decades.

“Anna Kay’s session put forth a dare to meet three unique challenges of this moment — the pandemic, racial injustice, and climate change — all through the lens of being guided by one’s values,” said SSW coordinator Holley Young. “To see this group of women take time, reflect, and then open up in conversation really underscored how there is a need for spaces like these that give time to and honor the process of looking inside and engaging with the world.”

During the kickoff and closing events, all former Girls Camp Directors offered inspiration and advice for applying the skills learned at camp to the world’s current challenges. Suzy Marshall LaPine, Vanette McKinney, Mary Struckoff, Liz Marshall, and Hannah Patterson each issued a healthy dare as the sessions ended. “I have found this to be a wonderful few days,” said Marshall LaPine. “I feel somehow more positive and more empowered to do something about the terrible problems in our world today.”

SSW also gave participants the chance to explore their personal journeys through creative writing. Kirstin Anglea, a facilitator trained with the Center for Courage and Renewal in Greenville, South Carolina, led a session entitled “Where I’m From,” which invited the women to write poems that evoked specific memories.

As they reconnected with each other and made new friends, reunion attendees reflected on ways they can make an impact on the challenges we face. In October, Living Your Purpose, the latest in the series of Living the Mission adult programs, gave another group of adults the opportunity for selfreflection in an online retreat setting. As AYF develops these virtual offerings, there will be more opportunities to bring the work of our founders to life and to build community in uncharted new ways.

“I was so struck by the way women opened up to each other in their breakout rooms and discovered such specific and moving common elements of their life stories,” said Shannon O’Toole, another SSW coordinator.



Daniel Gottshall, 10, was disappointed when he found out the American Youth Foundation would not be able to welcome campers to Miniwanca in 2020. His family has spent many summers at Miniwanca and Merrowvista. Daniel is a fourth-generation camper who has attended Miniwanca for two years. His mother, Abbey Cleveland, and aunt, Ruth Cleveland, attended as children; Ruth was a camper and leader at Merrowvista, too. Daniel’s grandmother, Louise “Weezie” Orcutt Cleveland, attended Miniwanca, and his great-grandmother, Do Toren Orcutt, was a leader and athletic director in camp’s early years. (Daniel noted that he is the first in his family to attend Boys Camp.) While earning virtual badges during Invincible Summer, Daniel came upon the fundraising badge and had an idea. He could earn his Founder Medal and give back to the AYF – with tomatoes. Daniel’s family vegetable garden had become a “tomato forest” over the summer, and there were too many cherry tomatoes for his family to eat. What if, he thought, he could offer friends and neighbors a pint of homegrown produce in exchange for a donation to the AYF? With his mom’s help marketing his wares on NextDoor, a social networking app, Daniel found several neighbors eager for fresh cherry tomatoes and to donate to a good cause. Daniel raised $250 for the AYF in just a few weeks – and earned his Founder Medal for the summer.



Since the summer she spent on the sand dunes of Miniwanca in 2013, Taylor Eldridge has become an investigative journalist who has written award-winning work focusing on criminal justice. As a Girls Camp cabin leader, Taylor immediately connected with campers and staff as an inspiring counselor. Today, Taylor uses her voice and her writing to shine a light on injustice in the prison system and health care deficiencies.

Eight-year-old Kate Hampson had returned home to River Forest, Illinois after her first summer at Miniwanca in 2013. Almost every day, she watched a group of young adults with devel-opmental disabilities walk or ride their bikes to Opportunity Knocks, a nonprofit built to better meet the needs and potential of adults with disabilities.

Taylor’s path to Miniwanca was a sudden detour after a chance meeting with then Girls Camp Director Liz Marshall at a Yale alumni reunion. She expressed an interest in working with youth, and just a few weeks later, Taylor arrived at Miniwanca ready to lead campers in a summer of exploration and growth. Taylor honed her investigative reporting skills at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She was awarded a fellowship at the prestigious Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that covers the U.S. criminal justice system. There, Taylor wrote articles exposing abuses in the prison system. Her work in partnership with WNYC on the use of solitary confinement for teenagers won the 2019 Alfred I. duPontColumbia Award. The following year, Taylor was awarded an Ida B. Wells Fellowship with Type Investigations, where she wrote extensively on prison health care. Her article, “Why Prisoners Get the Doctors No One Else Wants,” was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist. Using her voice to amplify and share untold stories is how Taylor lives the AYF mission. 5

She and her mother met with the founders of Opportunity Knocks and learned more about the organization. Keen to give back, Kate asked friends and family to help her launch Knocktoberfest to raise funds for Opportunity Knocks through the sale of sell baked goods, doll clothes, and more. Each year before the big day, the Knockers (the kids who fundraise) and the Warriors (the young adults served by Opportunity Knocks) create signs and get to know each other. While the Warriors celebrate the efforts made for Knocktoberfest, the Knockers celebrate the time and efforts the Warriors give to the greater community through volunteering. In the seven years since its inception, Knocktoberfest has raised more than $45,000. Now 15, Kate has returned to Miniwanca each summer and currently serves on the junior board for Opportunity Knocks, where she helps plan and advise on other fundraising projects and works on site with the Warriors through her school service program.

What starts as an individual dream can indeed build a mighty current, which will sweep the world. Bill Danforth, 1985

An Enduring Inspiration American Youth Foundation champion and lifelong pursuer of his best Dr. William “Bill” Danforth passed away Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at age 94. As the grandson of founder William H. Danforth, Bill spent childhood summers at Miniwanca and stayed directly involved in AYF programs and planning throughout his entire life. He actively served on the board for 57 years. Bill was a hands-on, full-hearted supporter of the AYF’s mission to inspire youth to live lives of purpose. He always believed that, if we do our work well, the greatest result of an AYF experience is inspiration. No one has inspired us more than Bill Danforth. Bill leaves an impressive legacy of achievements born of his work as a doctor, scholar, chancellor, chairman, founder, board member, advocate, and so much more. He served as chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1971 to 1995. During that 24-year tenure, he grew Washington University into a national research institution. He also served four years as chairman of the WashU board of trustees, and in 1998, he founded the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. Bill was a humble man who did not seek attention for his many accomplishments. He believed passionately that our focus should be on making a difference in people’s lives and in the lives of those who will follow. He considered it his duty to use his gifts to better the world for future generation. At every stage of his life, Bill embodied his grandfather’s dare to “Aspire Nobly, Adventure Daringly, Serve Humbly.” AYF President Anna Kay Vorsteg said Bill did all he could to ensure the AYF’s continued success. “Bill understood the power and importance of the AYF better than most,” she said. “He was a giant, gentle presence who stood with us in program, in the board room, and always when challenges arose. He showed us that we have more to learn and give at every age and that the pursuit of best is not reserved for the young. I have always felt that the greatest compensation I’ve received while in my role with AYF was time shared with Bill. He was my generous, wise, and loving teacher.” His roles of husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, uncle, brother, son, and grandson seemed to bring him his greatest joy. He is survived by his brother, former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth; two daughters, Maebelle Anne Danforth and Elizabeth G. Danforth; and his son and current AYF board chair, David Danforth; 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Family was his deepest source of inspiration. Bill was a kind man of high character who had an unquenchable thirst to understand. He wanted to better the world, and we are the beneficiaries of his tireless work. He will be sorely missed. His light will linger long.


Perhaps because of his height, that twinkle in his eye, his interest in learning from and about others, and his commitment to change the world for the better, I always think of Bill when I see the challenge to ‘Stand tall, think tall, smile tall and live tall.’ Andi Van Cleve , AYF board secretary

I was privileged to call Bill Danforth a friend and colleague. Bill was quiet and self-effacing, but when he spoke, his comments were always insightful. To me, Bill was an inspiration for a life well lived. He was a true gentle man who will be sorely missed. Pat Mulcahy, AYF advisory committee member

He always signed his letters to us grandkids at camp, ‘Devotedly, Granddad.’ He was devoted not just to our family, but to the greater community. While Granddad was devoted to becoming his own best self, it wasn’t in pursuit of a legacy or reputation, but in hopes that it might inspire others to do the same. Gray Danforth, grandchild

Honor Bill’s legacy with a contribution to the Dr. William Danforth Memorial Fund at


by Sarah Browning

NLC participants in 2019

The largest Pando aspen grove in the world spreads across 100 acres of Fishlake National Forest. Each tree is a unique organism, yet it is rare to find a single Pando aspen in isolation, as they need the support and safety of an extensive communal root system to stay alive and thriving. Like the Pando grove, the National Leadership Conference family stood firm in community this year, adapting to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic when it meant they could not gather in person at Miniwanca. Third-year NLC participant Genevieve Skittone was heartbroken upon hearing the news. “I cried,” she said. “Camp is the one time of year where I am genuinely the happiest. In the moment I got the news, I was really struggling. Camp is what pushes me through the year.” For more than 30 years, NLC has empowered high school and college-aged youth to be confident leaders in their communities and discover and grow into their best selves. Traditionally, NLC participants, mentors, and staff gather for eight days each summer, engaging in community building and leadership training. Chelsea Bernthal, Director of School and Community Programs at Miniwanca, said the AYF immediately began looking for new ways to connect with NLC participants. “By early spring, we were brainstorming with our Merrowvista team and asking ourselves what will bring joy to the NLC youth in this current climate?”


NLC staff decided to launch NLC-Z (National Leadership Conference on Zoom) from June 15 to 18, part of a slew of free virtual programming options the AYF offered this summer. More than 100 National Leadership Conference participants joined together online to celebrate their community and center their collective voices to stand for social justice and work toward anti-racism.

This year Skittone said she truly recognized not only the value of gathering at Miniwanca, but also the value of the community she gathers with. “It’s very different than everywhere else. You can’t get the same feeling in your day-to-day life,” she said. “It genuinely is because of the community. Being able to communicate with those people any way that I can is very important because it reminds me of that place. It helps me get back to that place mentally.”

The online conference mirrored many traditions and practices of NLC in a virtual format. Participants started their days with a Call to Community, then spent time with their respective classes in leadership development, Interest Groups, and Affiliation Groups. They ended their days with Night’s Doings or Evening Reflection.

Motivated by a desire to help the NLC participants navigate this difficult year, a dedicated anonymous donor stepped up to offer care packages for all registered NLC participants. The AYF staff teamed up to put together and mail more than 200 care packages that included journals with writing prompts, stickers, NLC class pictures, and more. “It was an amazing collaboration, everyone pulling together, to create personalized care packages with gifts specific to their class and previous NLC experiences,” said Advancement Manager Annie Oliviero.

Skittone attended all the Calls to Community and Evening Reflections, as well as the LGBTQ Affiliation Group. “Obviously, it wasn’t the same experience at all, but to me, that didn’t matter,” she said. “It was still a reflective experience, and I was with the people that comforted me the most. I was so happy. I felt a sense of relief and comfort by the end of the week.”

Molly Mulcahy, Director of Alumni and Community Relations, said the participants were thrilled. “We received an incredible outpouring of positive responses when the participants received their surprise care packages,” she said.

Bernthal said the NLC community felt called to amplify their positive voices for change while learning to navigate the social unrest in the midst of a global pandemic.

NLC-Z encouraged youth leaders to grow stronger among the vast grove of mentors, staff, and alumni. The deeply rooted NLC community pulled together during this season of challenge, tending to each beautifully individual tree, resulting in the flourishing of their whole grove.

“NLC-Z started as Black Lives Matter protests were happening nationwide,” she said. “We created open discussion time for the youth to dive deep into the topic of the day and work through the hard questions of how do we focus on being anti-racist?” At the end of the week, each class shared a short video presentation that highlighted lessons learned and their future plans as individuals and a conference class.

NLC participants on Miniwanca sand dunes in 2019. Below: NLC-Z participants on Zoom this year.


Nancy Blake Harvey passed away on Dec. 4, 2019, and her husband, the Rev. Dr. William Harvey, passed away five months later on April 15, 2020. Nancy and Bill had a lifelong connection to Miniwanca as participants, parents, and volunteers. Bound by their common values of faith, love, loyalty, and kindness, Nancy and Bill leave an incredible legacy for their family and the many lives they touched. Nancy first attended Older Girls Camp in summer 1950. She became a cabin leader for Younger Girls Camp and returned each year, graduating as a Susquehanna tribal chief of the OG “Yaotamin” class of 1953. Nancy was inspired by many AYF leaders, especially Ruth Isabel Seabury, whose work led Nancy to pursue becoming a Methodist missionary.

Nancy and Bill would return to Miniwanca in 1975 to bring Sarah to Girls Camp, and Amy and Peggy followed in 1977. After completing camp in the mid-’80s, Amy and Peggy each remained involved as AYF staff and volunteers for nearly 20 years. Bill and Nancy’s grandchildren, Ryan, Erin, Madeleine, and Eliot, all attended camp from 1997 through a final Odyssey trip in 2016. Following his retirement, Bill volunteered at Miniwanca from the late ’90s through 2006, teaching a course called “I Dare You” that influenced hundreds of young people. A former camper wrote to him in 2005 about her experience: “After leaving class the first day, I became excited about going back every day to look deeper into myself to find the answers about my way of living and about how it can be improved… Thank you very much for your help with explaining the Four Fold way of life to me.” Bill and Nancy’s love for Miniwanca grew as they shared the experience with their daughters and grandchildren. In 2004, the family gathered at camp for the dedication of the Harvey Family cabin (cabin 53 in Girls Camp), which was generously donated by Bill and Nancy. A loving celebration of their lives was held on June 27, 2020, their 61st wedding anniversary. Family and friends gathered virtually to celebrate their lives and the lasting impact of their adventurous and loving spirits.

Nancy met Bill at a training program for missionaries the summer after they graduated college. Nancy was assigned to Algeria, and Bill was assigned to Kapanga in what was then the Belgian Congo. They stayed in touch, and their romance blossomed. They were married on June 27, 1959. Nancy and Bill invited Osbert “Kodaya” Warmingham, the legendary AYF poet, to read the closing prayer and benediction at their wedding ceremony, but he had to cancel due to health issues. In a letter to Nancy, Kodaya wrote: “I have never seen a couple so admirably suited to each other as you two appear to me to be. And the prophet in me sees ahead of you a wonderful life in mutual love, fruitful service, joy, and steadily deepening peace.” Throughout the 1960s, Bill and Nancy pursued their passion for missionary work and lived abroad in France and the Congo, where Bill taught at the theological school and pursued ministry. After they returned to the States, they settled in Ohio. Bill was a United Methodist minister, and Nancy was a busy volunteer and mother to their four children, Mark, Sarah, Amy, and Peggy.

Three generations of the Harvey family. From left, Madeleine Rule, Peggy Harvey Rule, Masayo Abe, Nancy Blake Harvey, Bill Harvey, Eliot Rule, Amy Harvey, and Jennifer Tucker


Samuel James Hearne Samuel James Hearne, 16, passed away on May 26, 2020. James was a third-generation Miniwanca camper who completed Adventurer in 2019. He was a 4.0 student, a leader, and a dedicated friend. He excelled in sports and was passionate about sailing and woodworking. James lived a life of strong faith and service to others as a mentor to many kids. James is survived by his parents, Sam and Terri; his sisters, Grace and Jacqueline; and his grandfathers, Jack Codd and Mark Hearne. James is in heaven with his grandmothers, Dorothy Codd and Donna Hearne.

Remembering Our Founder Family

Patricia Ann Drew Patricia "Pat" Ann Drew passed away on May 13, 2020. While never a camper herself, she was married for 54 years to Charles S. Drew Jr., who attended Miniwanca Boys Camp from 1938 through 1941, along with his brothers, Robert and George. Pat and Charlie sent their three sons, Buck, John, and Jeff, to Miniwanca from 1964 through 1971, as well as two grandchildren, Mark Drew and Nicolle Drew Callier. Pat and Charlie remained involved with AYF throughout their lives. The Charles S. Drew Jr. Boathouse at Miniwanca is named in his honor. Patricia will be dearly missed by family and friends.

Sipho Msipa Sipho Msipa passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 17, 2019, at age 24. Sipho was a Merrowvista camper from 2007 to 2011. Sipho’s sister, Aida, has also been a longtime Merrowvista camper. Sipho is survived by his parents, Anne Fitzgerald of North Canaan, and Charles and Mercy Msipa of Harare, Zimbabwe; and his siblings, Aida and Macie Blue of North Canaan, and Nozizwe and Mandhla Msipa of Harare. Sipho lived an extraordinary life filled with joy, music, art, and a dedication to serving others. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Jeremy Eller Jeremy Eller, 18, passed away on Nov. 6, 2019, after being struck by a car while with the KennedyLugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program in Rabat, Morocco. Jeremy attended Miniwanca Boys Camp from 2012 to 2016 and NLC for two years after. He is survived by his parents, James and Kriston (Sites) Eller. His mother graduated from NLC in 1987 and was an NLC leader for several years. Jeremy’s brother, Kyle, is a current Miniwanca camper. Jeremy is deeply missed and will forever be remembered by family and friends for living his best life.

Charles M. M. Shepherd Charles M.M. Shepherd passed away on Oct. 30, 2019, at age 89. He attended Miniwanca Younger Boys Camp in 1945. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Susanne Woods Shepherd. Susanne attended Miniwanca and graduated from Older Girls Camp in 1954. Their three children, Susan, Sally, and Charles, along with six grandchildren, have remained involved with and supportive of AYF. He is remembered by all who knew and loved him for his integrity, wit, kindness, and inexhaustible desire to serve others.

Paul M. Gross Paul M. Gross, age 91, passed away Jan. 19, 2020. He was a Miniwanca Boys Camp leader in 1954. He valued committed engagement for the greater good and service to others. He gave generously to the community and shared his thoughtful care with his church family and many friends. Paul was a generous person who never said an unkind word. A friend said, “If the world were populated by more people like Paul, it would be a better place.”

E. Joann Wollerman E. Joann “Jolly” Wollerman, passed away on Jan. 28, 2020 at age 90. A graduate of the Older Girls Camp Witiya Class of 1950 and later the Leader’s Institute, she remained active in Miniwanca programs for over 40 years. Jolly served as comentor of the Kicitawa Class of 1980 and kept its newsletter alive for 20 years. Jolly met her husband, Lou, when they served on Miniwanca work staff. They often attended Family Camps with their children, Eric and Lynn, who was also an OG graduate. Jolly truly lived “Miniwanca, our camp, we will be loyal to you.”


INVINCIBLE SUMMER by Catherine Klene

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

The American Youth Foundation grew in new and unexpected ways this year, adjusting its sails to adapt to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in its nearly 100-year history, the AYF made the heartwrenching decision to cancel in-person summer programs at both Miniwanca and Merrowvista. Summer is usually the culmination of months of planning for an intentionally offline, in-person camp experience. Now, the AYF programming team had to pivot.

“Invincible Summer was born out of the idea that what we do is important and just because the world has changed and we couldn’t do it how we normally would doesn’t mean we can’t do it,” Patterson explained.

“We live to program,” said Merrowvista Camp Director Chris Wellens. “We live to connect as a community, and even though we are used to connecting in the summertime at camps, both in Michigan and New Hampshire, since that was not feasible this summer, we knew we had to find a way to continue our traditions and our legacy that took place at camp in a different way.”

More than 200 participants joined AYF staff from July 6 to 31 for free virtual programming. Wellens said Invincible Summer was not intended to replace the in-person experience, but to supplement the work of best self that campers do each summer.

When COVID-19 first hit the United States in the spring, the AYF quickly began to offer online versions of camp fixtures like Evening Reflections, Interest Groups, and Night’s Doings, seeing how campers responded to this new digital format and engaging alumni in virtual gatherings open to the entire community.

“We know there is something special that can only happen at Merrowvista and Miniwanca, and we weren’t trying to find a replacement for that,” he said. “We were trying to find the areas that we can replicate in this virtual setting and look for opportunities we don’t have when meeting in camp and in person. We were really surprised to find so many activities and programs that we could run.”

Youth weren’t the only ones logging onto Zoom and Instagram Live during the first tumultuous months of the pandemic. Julie Austin of Naperville, Illinois and her two children, Franklin, 13, and Evie, 10, were early adopters of the virtual programming. “Evie and I did Morning Stretch every day. It was a wonderful mix of Social and Physical, and even a little Mental and Religious,” Austin said. “We were at the heart of a global pandemic, so being able to connect with the staff members and the other participants and talk about what we value… It was very grounding to be connected to something so special to us.” Miniwanca Girls Camp Director Hannah Patterson said staff were determined to continue the mission of the AYF despite the miles. As they conferred via email and Zoom, the programming team took inspiration from a line in The Stranger by Albert Camus: Sam Bell builds a fairy house at home during Invincible Summer

Bell photos courtesy of Katie Bell 12

Sam and Nate Bell explore nature during Invincible Summer

Invincible Summer focused on offering a wide variety of a la carte online and offline activities.

Inspired Best Selves One of the most successful offerings of Invincible Summer was Inspired Best Selves, a class that gave teens the chance to engage in the thoughtful work of goal setting, personal growth, and community building.

Campers, parents, and alumni gathered on Zoom for larger community events like Opening Fire and Evening Reflection. Smaller group events united youth by age and program, then divided them into breakout rooms with their village and group mates so they could connect with familiar friends and staff.

Developed by Miniwanca Program Coordinator Jensen Pennock, the program was created to “allow people to make deeper connections with themselves and with the other participants involved.”

Meetups like these quickly proved a valuable tool to connect with peers around aspects of life at home. “I loved some of the moments when campers were able to share experiences about their personal lives with each other,” Wellens said. “Simple things like seeing each other’s rooms and each other’s pets. Little moments of, ‘You always talked about that!’ but now they actually got to see that. I’m really excited to see what that will do for future summers.”

Twice a week, campers ages 12 and older gathered online to dive deep into rich topics like self-worth, values and vulnerability, community, and leadership. Pennock said participants felt they could open up while discussing real-world issues in a community with shared values.

Each week, participants could also sign up for Interest Groups that met on Zoom twice weekly to create and play. Those 12 and older could also register for Inspired Best Selves, a four-week program during which campers focused on the deeper work of best self and bringing those values to their home communities.

“They were really craving a connection to other people from camp who don’t necessarily have the same world views, but have the same values through the AYF,” she said. “They really valued the reflective growth space.”

Getting away from the screen and into nature was also a vital part of Invincible Summer. Members of the AYF community logged their physical activity (miles hiked or cycled, for example) via a program called My Virtual Mission to complete the distance equivalent of Four Trails treks.

Miniwanca Girls Camp Director Hannah Patterson said that before COVID-19, this program was intended to span four years of high school programming, and Pennock was able to successfully distill it to a four-week online experience.

The programming team also created downloadable worksheets that brought home camp traditions like making GORP or seed bursts. Campers could earn more than 25 digital badges for completing a combination of online and offline tasks in pursuit of their 2020 Founder Medal.

“To see this thing come to life, and even though it was just a month, to know that a small piece of it had such an impact and will keep happening as we build it out into a larger program… it takes my breath away,” she said.

“There were so many ways to do activities like Polar Bear or Go Getters at home,” Wellens said. “We’re not going to jump in Dan Hole Pond or Stony Lake or Lake Michigan, but we can dump a cold bucket of water on ourselves or jump into a kiddie pool or all the other fun things folks came up with.”

Inspired Best Selves culminated at the Invincible Summer Closing Fire, where four participants shared moving reflections on the Four Folds and balanced living. “That was a very proud moment,” Pennock said.


Austin said her children spent hours constructing forts in the living room, rigging a bucket of water to dump on their heads for Polar Bear, and camping out in the backyard to earn their Founder Medals. “It’s funny, I asked the kids which of the Four Folds do you feel like you worked on through Invincible Summer? And Franklin said the P-Fold,” Austin said. “Ironically, having Invincible Summer online made him more physically active because there were so many options to do offline, and they really enjoyed that flexibility and the challenge of doing something offline.” Austin said she was surprised at how well the AYF staff was able to build community in an online forum. “That’s exactly what they do in-person at camp, but they did it online in a way that made sure everyone was welcome, making sure if someone had something to say, there was a moment for them to speak up to share what they were thinking about,” she said.

Sam Bell joins a virtual Interest Group

Patterson said Invincible Summer had another unexpected outcome: Merrowvista and Miniwanca campers got to know each other in a new and powerful way, culminating in an AYF-wide Closing Fire.

“We have the same grounding, the same footing, and in many ways the same language. You get them together in a space and you introduce a song or game that everybody already knows, and it’s like, ‘Oh, you do this, too?’”

“I am somebody who started at Merrowvista and now work at Miniwanca. I’ve known a handful of folks who’ve done that as well in both directions over the years,” Patterson said. “You see it happen less frequently on the campers’ side, so I think they are sometimes hesitant to interact with the other camp, but we really do have the same values.

Wellens hopes the Invincible Summer experience inspires campers to continue to pursue the values of camp in their home communities until they can once again gather safely at Miniwanca and Merrowvista. “I loved seeing the moments when campers embraced best self and Four Fold living at home with such creativity,” Wellens said. “It was really heartwarming not just in the moment, but to really be able to see how the work we’re doing carries over outside of our time at camp. What we’re teaching is most impactful if it carries over into our lives.”

Evie and Franklin Austin complete Polar Bear at home with buckets of water.

Miniwanca Girls Camp Director Hannah Patterson helped develop Invincible Summer.




Issues of Founder Sparks, our new e-newsletter



Virtual Summer Seminars for Women participants



Participants who joined Invincible Summer

Virtual Miniwanca Girls Camp Reunion participants


Raised by Summer Seminars for Women Giving Challenge


Donated 2020 tuition

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS | Operating Actuals: January 1 to December 31, 2019 Thank you for continuing to support and share our mission with others. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Danforth Chair

Christopher Danforth Vice Chair

Neil Sweeny Treasurer

Andrea Van Cleve Secretary

DD Danforth-Burlin Donald Danforth, III Glenn E. Davis Patricia Cobb Jones Kathryn Lemaire

As a nonprofit organization, the American Youth Foundation depends on the generosity of our alumni, families, and friends. We are so grateful for the support of the many volunteers and donors who give their time and resources to help move our organization forward. Your commitment allows thousands of young people to experience the core values of Four Fold balanced living every year, and it enables the AYF to continue to build toward the future, creating important foundations that ensure the health of our organization for years to come. COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Amy Campbell Gretchen Clayton Chandlee Dickey John Drew Astrid Wielens

Jeffrey McDonnell Daniel Miller Deborah A. Seidel Patrick West


Kay Bell J. Patrick Mulcahy

REVENUE Program Fees (Camps, Conference, Schools)

$ 5,149,948

Contributions (Grants, Donations & Other)

$ 851,303

Releases from Restriction: Construction/Campaign

$ 701,970

Endowment Draw

$ 736,313


$ 7,439,534

Breakdown of 2019 Revenue

10% Program Fees




Releases from Restriction



Endowment Draw

Breakdown of 2019 Expenses

Program Operations

$ 5,070,235

Scholarships Awarded

$ 905,452

Facility Maintenance & Construction

$ 647,057


$ 429,100

Alumni Relations & Development

$ 387,690


$ 7,439,534


5% Program Operations


Scholarships Awarded Facility Maintenance & Construction

12% 68%

Administrative Alumni Relations & Development

For more information about our financial statements, including our annual audit, and annual IRS Informational Return Form 990, please visit A 16

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 The American Youth Foundation extends our deepest gratitude to the following individuals, corporations and foundations for their generous support of our programs and the children we serve. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. Please accept our sincere apologies for any errors or omissions.


The Albers/Kuhn Family Foundation Gretchen and Jay Clayton David and Christina Danforth William H. Danforth, MD Harold and Susan LaPine The Mulcahy Family JoAnn Mulcahy NestlĂŠ Purina PetCare Company O'Brien Family Foundation Michael Roarty The Pillsbury Foundation


Dan Harbaugh Ms. Yvette Hartsfield Dr. and Mrs. R. Mark Hatfield John Hecker and Family Shawn Herron and Phuoc Le Michelle Hirsch Margot Hoerner and Family Charles and Jeanne Horsey Kevin and Jana Hunt Impressions Direct The Jaeger Family Andy and Kristen Jensen John R. Woods Foundation Patricia Cobb Jones Kaspick & Company Amy and Nathan Kostal Shannon O'Toole Kuhlman James Langan The Lemaire Family Earl and Cara Littlefield Kelsey Livingston


Aaron's Presents Inc. Allsup Anonymous Jeffrey Armitage The Bailey Family Bank of America Private Bank Kenneth Baughman Kay and Harvey Bell Kathleen Beyerman and Rick Hawkins John and Penelope Biggs Mr. William B. Blakemore III Chris Bolton Teresa S. Bowers The Bratcher Family Susan J. Buckley Elizabeth Calhoun Meg Campbell Christian and Carol Campos


Dorothy Danforth Burlin and Johannes Burlin Mrs. Donald Danforth, Jr. Ms. Elizabeth G. Danforth John and Sally Danforth John Drew Charlie DuBois Kenneth and Bonnie Hargreaves Craig and Katherine Hyland John Brewster Trust Keith and Virginia Smith Family Foundation Kennelwood Village Inc. The Ketcham Family The Legere Family Jonathan and Suzann Lupton David and Mary MacMillin Jeffrey and Jennifer McDonnell Smith McGehee Thearon and Vanette McKinney The O'Bannon Family Deborah A. Seidel The Stuart Family Mark and Mary Unangst Andrea and Peter Van Cleve Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd Barbara J. Washburn Patrick and Kim West Emily Willingham

Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Don Pace The Palomaki Family Kenneth J. Perkins Margaret Ride Peterson Andreas N. Philippides Scholarship Fund Richard and Jessica Plass Jeff Prince and Beth Firmin Marilyn Ripley Scheerbaum Brian and Sara Schneidewind Linda Slagell South Sudanese Enrichment for Families St. Louis Christmas Carols Association Santha S. Stall Janet G. Strube Mary Struckhoff A. Neil Sweeny and Family Matt and Cathy Thayer John, Christa, Anna and James Tinker James Tobin and Virginia Heagney Michael and Jennifer Trippeer Susan W. Venn Walmart Washington University Athletics Gail and Randy Weller Mary Jane Wiseman Laura Young


Cindy Christensen and Gerard Oprins Harriet Collier Christopher and Molly Danforth Donald and Susannah Danforth The Daniel & Henry Company Glenn and Susan Davis Donald Danforth Plant Science Center The Fifield-Philippides Family Pepe and Terry Finn Jerry and Connie Fritz Robert Funkhouser and Jeri Ballard Laurie and Bruce Geisel Marjorie Goetzke Entorf Hanes

Matthew Loper Allen Mahler and Family Liz Marshall Paul Martin Laura and Larry Mason Kip and Carol McGilliard John and Christine McGrath Clara McLeod Daniel and Anne Miller George and Irene Minich Andy and Molly Mulcahy Michael and Lynn Mulcahy James Oetting Sarah Forbes Orwig Tom Oxtoby and Shirley Fleming Oxtoby


James W. Abshagen Amazon Smile Nancy Baldwin John Bear The Bendersky Family Dan Bigelow and Suzanne Cole Mary Jane and Robert Bolle Kevin and Karen Brockman Stephanie Brock-Wilson Ms. Katie Brokaw Louis and Rochelle Cain Amy Campbell Susan Chandler The Cobin Family Commerce Bank of St. Louis Peter DiGasbarro Mark and Katie Drew Patricia A. Drew Scott and Holly Fesler Fusion IT LLC Lori and Sarang Gadkari Connor Garvey Jeffrey Giles

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 Robert Gilmore and Family Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt Do Won and Myung Hahn Carol Hardenbergh William R. Harvey Anne Hughes and Stan Livingston Jamis Bicycles JP Morgan Chase Foundation The Karr Family Kuhn Foundation Keith and Monique Lawton Katherine Lindholm and Neil Lewis The Link Family

Jeffrey and Christian Lisbon The Low Family Martha MacMillin and George Plesko Byron Martin and Family Rev. Amy E. and Brian McCreath Ben, Peter, Meg and Jay McDermott Susan H. McLeod John and Nancy McMillan Moneta Charitable Foundation The Nystrom Family Patrick O'Hagin and Family Amanda Perkins Barbara Queal Mark and Amy Reed and Family John Reichenbach and Family Carol A. Robbins James and Mary Roberts The Santelli Family Elyn S. Schmitz Karl Schults Carolyn A. Sharp Cody and Carrie Smith PJ Smith State Farm Companies Kevin and Jill Stubbs

Michael Tchou Susan Steiger Tebb Carol Teener Angela Villela Bob and Nancy Wagoner Michael and Donna Warren Paul and Marianne Weichselbaum Linda and Nicholas Wenri Amy Westerhold and Family Dickson and Ann Whitney

Mark Arnold and Kathryn Koch Jay Aronson and Family James Arthur Annette Augsburger Thomas and Hunter Bailey Joe Baty

Tucker Branham A. Jason Brauer Jane Brock-Wilson Will T. Brown Richard Burst Charles Cammack III John and Kay Clark Stew and Emilie Collins Ross Ann Craig Paul Craun and Family Margaret and Michael Curl The Desai Family Hallie Dovich Wayne Duckworth and Family Tyler Dunaway Bill and Sue Etling Derek Filcoff Bill Fletcher Douglas and Jane Goodrich Robert and Cynthia Grimm Ken Grosskopf Amy Harvey and Jennifer Tucker Mrs. Barbara Henrichs Gail Hindle Sandra Holcombe Deborah Hoover and Malcolm McPherson Jennifer Hull Keith Johnson Patricia and Chauncey Johnstone Kevin and Carrie Kennedy Emily and Dennis Knuth Jane Koten Sara J. Kremer

Thomas Marshall and Judith Jobbitt Carol Maus and Family The Maxeiner Family Gregg Merz Dean and Pat Messinger Laurie Miller and Steve Nichols Scott and Katie Myers Alexis Parks Myton George and Tara Off Kurt John Olsen James Olson Ossipee Children's Fund William and Debra Patterson Dr. Richard and Ethel Phillips Barbara Pierson Catherine Powell Marian Reineke ChloĂŠ Risto and Kevin Byerley Barbara Roden and Family Richard and Victoria Rubin The Saudek Family The Schindler Family Manoochehr and Maryann Sharifi Dan Shea Steven T. Smith The Sonricker Family Thomas Spiegelhalter Lou Stemmler and Sarah Wilson Linda W. Stewart Eric Struckhoff Leigh and Ellen Turner Robert Tomaso Kelly Tyson

Beaumont Consulting, Inc. Marguerite Bliss and Family Stephanie Borum and Celeste Jordan Missi Bowman

Reid Ladenson Lake Forest Dental The Lanphier Family C. Michael Lowrey Elizabeth Lupfer

Elizabeth Vainer Diane and John Verhoff Jane and James Weingartner Phyllis Carrington Wertime and Family


Martha Allard


HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 Astrid Wielens and Bridget Stearns Wildflower Camp Foundation Kate Wissman


Diane Adair Mark and Cindy Adams

Susan Anderson-Bauer Phil and Kathy Baggett Clarence Barksdale Neil and Cheryl Bartnett Andy Bauer Reverend and Mrs. A. Otto Baumann, II Katie and Albie Bell and Family Dianne Bennett and Family Terri Bennett Lance Bernhardt Thomas J. Blanke Meghan Bliss and Family Bob's Roofing Company Kregg Hogan Bodily Amy J. Bohigian Kerrie Boodt Ann Bowyer Boren Steven Borgelt Lisa and Barry Boucher Matt Boxdorfer Margo Brackett

The Bradley-Ferrall Family Allan Breed and Family Vincent C. Bresch John A. Buchman Deborah Sittner Buddemeyer and Derrick Buddemeyer Nancy Burke and Don Burn Stanley and Judith Bushouse

Mary Jane Davis Frank Dellaquila Robert M. Denta Jennie and Robert Depke II Marilyn Detrich Nancy and Hugh Devine Robert and Dawn Downey Holly J. Dreger Jeffrey Drew Meg Duke Kathy Dunnewald Audrey Durrua Elizabeth Early Kimberly and Brad Earnest Leslie Ahrens Ellis The Ellston Family Wendy Facteau Frank and Eileen Field Francille and John Firebaugh Missy Foote and Family Dona and Thomas Foerster George and Sharron Fowler Richard and Barbara Fox Carrie Francis Nancy and Donald Fraser Tyler Freeman Beverly Davis Garner Sharran L. Gavin Emily Max Glore and Peter Glore Brian and Rebecca Goldstein Larry and Nancy Goodlund Michael and Nancy Goyda Barbara J. Greig David and Debra Grimm Charlie Guterman Marilyn Haberle Robert F. Hagemann III M. Kay Hannah Becky and Peter Hanrahan Robert Harlan and Family Carolyn Metzger Harmon Kathryn Mellis Harper Adolph and Veronica Harris Robert and Sally Harrison Carissa and Douglas Hensley Emily Hereford, Trey Ross, Montana Gill, CeCe Moore, Natalie Singer, Mimi Shepley, Merrill Hermann, Talia Assi, and Claire Rush Nancy and Raymond Hill Sarah K. Hindle Susan and Allan Hinton Ruth Hintz Al Hodgdon and Family Michael Hogan

Nicolle and Jeremy Callier Alan S. Campbell Sandy and Bob Cannon The Carne Family Mike Carson Eric and Deborah Chamberlain Rosalyn A. Chrenka, Ph.D. Katie and Charlie Claggett Kristen Clark Laurel Clayson Kenneth Collier Dr. Margaret H. Cooper Chris and Victoria Cosby Tom Cowan Charles Cowles Albert and Sarah Creighton Rev. Beverly J. Crute, Ph.D. Charles P. Curtis Gray Danforth Doug Darr Jacinda Davis and Kris Slava Julia Davis and Family


Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Mimi S. Holmes Shirley Ann Holt Hale and Family Gwen Houser Ron Howe Elizabeth Howland and Adrian Doran J. Peter and Lucy Howland Susan Melson Huffman Helaine R. Hunscher Jonathan and Sarah Igoe Linda Meyer Jackmond Jory and Calvin Johnson The Jones Family Bettina Getz and William Judge Emily Jurgens Patricia Jurgens Nancy and Charles Kaelber Chuck and Julie Kaiser Sarah Spence Kallman Carl and Marybeth Kantner Gary Kaplan Aleta Keel Jennifer Keller and Mary DeBisschop Elizabeth J. Kelly Jo Kincaid Neale Koenig Chandler and Elysian Koglmeier Sara and Richard Kopacz Jim and Pam Krekeler The Krigbaum Family John Kullman Lisa Lambeth Jana Lane and Family Mariann Laue Baker Meredith Lee-Clark Robert and Joan Lohrey Chip MacLeod Matt and Deb Mariola Andy and Nancy Marr Byron and Marianna Martin Sean and Cristina McGroarty The McGuire Family Kate McKinney Maddalena Cathy Meeks Oona Metz Charles Meyer Beverly C. Miller Christine Mohn Scott and Jane Molden Judy Moldenhauer William and Martha Monroe Rebecca and Bruce Montgomery The Montie Family Scott Moriearty and Family

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 Lynn and Dave Morris Bill Morris Jim Mosby Phil Moulden and Family Michael and Joan Mullen Eilert and Sharon Muller Ed and Barb Mumford Thomas Murphy and Richard Clark Stephen Murrill and Family Mary Naeher Helen and Jack Naleid Mary Cooper Nelson Judith K. Nettles Barry Nocks and Family Sheila Nollen Sonny and Kimberly Novotny Annie and Todd Oliverio Sverre and Sara Olsen Adaeze and Emeka Onuoha Robin and Jon Outcalt Todd and Maria Palmer Bob Pearson Anne Peschel Stuart and Debbie Pettitt Julie C. Pett-Ridge Steven and Frances Piesbergen Suzie Gordner Pollak Raymond and Nancy Powers Becky Pressel Martin and Mary Proudfoot Christopher Pryslopski Ms. Jan Queal Diane Rabe Kristi and Michael Reck Janet Reece Charley Reed Karen Reimer Caroline Reinstadtler Sandra Nelson Richardson Keith and Chris Rickert

Don and Deborah Riley James Ringwald The Roelle Family Margaret Rush Kerry Ryan and Noaman Siddiqi Ryan's Tripmates and Founder Friends Sharron and Daniel Sanborn Julia Ann S. Sanders Clare and Frank Sanford Missy Rooney Sarver Helene Saunders and Family Ed and Mary Dee Schmidt John and Sheryl Schreiber Kathleen Schweich Ginger G. Scott Chip Seidel Bill Shea John Shea The Shepherd Foundation Victoria Sherman Linda S. Shirk Bruce Shuman SaraAnn Smeaton Frank So Edie and Charles Spencer Chris and Lisa Spiek Brent and Katherine St. John Julie and Donn Stengele Bret and Courtney Stewart Bruce Stuckel William and Margaret Stude Julia Stupp The Sullivan-Fielding Family Luella Swisher Piroska L. Szabo Bets and Chris Thomas Geraldine J. Thompson Justin Traxler and Family The Twiddy Family


Fred Vahle Margaret Van Cleve Sarah Piper Van Cleve T. Varney Norma Jean Vavra Klein Connie Vivrett Charlie Walch and Family John and Vicki Waller Dr. Charlotte Ward Betsy Warner and Kathleen Corcoran Chad Warner Robert and Margaret Watson Dr. and Mrs. Donald L. Weaver

Eric and Jackie Wright The Yaney Family Holley Young

Marguerite Welch Mary Katherine Welch and Jonathan Musco Chris Wellens Jane Wentzien Charlie Wheeler Nicholas Williams Wendell and Mary Williams Martha Welch Wilson and Family Nancy and William Wittkamp Douglas Woodward

Urica Baker-Cron and Mark Cron The Baran Family Doreen and Billy Beaudette Patricia Bergstrom Chelsea Bernthal Carla Bettano and Laurie Glassman William and Jill Beute Don and Debra Black Christy L. Bland Elizabeth Blew Arthur and Louann Bodenbender Lynn Bradley Marilyn Bokrass Melissa Boyle and Jennifer Stenersen Cindy Brewbaker Ruth Britton Casey Brock-Wilson Marcia Brown Mary Brown Elizabeth Burns John and June Carter The Charner-Laird Family Kristi Chiodini Cassidy Cisneros


Ali Alalou and Elizabeth Letts Catherine P. Alexander James and Bobbi Anderson Sally and Robert Anderson Kathy Wood Armstrong Matt Arthur Eileen Baer Judy Barry and Barry Baker

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 Caroline Clark Ruth Cleveland Bradley and Mary Collins Dr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Collins Nancy and Tom Conforti Sally H. Connell James and Patricia Cook Jeff Cooper Peggy Mill Copeland Lannon Hoy Corley and Family Catherine E. Cox Jiin Cruz David Cunningham Marie Dalton-Meyer and Les Meyer The Davidson Family Debbie Davis Betty J. DeWitt Barbara Ruhl DeYoung and Family Nancy Dickinson Jessica and Jake Rellstab and Mickie Dissett Mr. and Mrs. Karl Eberhard Sarah Ekern-Schumacher Scott Evans Alison and Tod Ewing Allison Farnen Delaney Feighan Brian Ferguson Mrs. Evelyn Ferguson Adam and Susan Fleischer Rita and Dan Forbush Carol and Loren Ford Robert and Sylvia Frank Jeremy Fryberger Anne T. Fukumitsu LK Gagnon and Shannon Banks David Gaillardetz Kelly and Brian Gallagher Joseph and Louise Gazzoli Eric S. Gehres Molly Wilson Gibson Milt and Maggie Gonzales Grace Goodman Lindsay and Hunter Gordon Helen Goss Dave and Laura Grabowsky Lizzie Green Barbara and Stephen Griffith Thomsa E. Haas Lois Greenleaf Halsted Dawn Hammersley Rebecca Harberts Mary Hardy Lindsay Hicks

Calista L. Hillman Frederick S. Hird Webster and Lori Hoener Robert and Elizabeth Hoffman Dale Hood and Family Stuart Huffman Laurie and Donell Humphrey

Bruce Marshall Margie Martin Lee Jay Todd Max Janet McDermed Sean and Hope McGuan Sue McKinney Kelcie Meyer

Charlotte Huth Alan H. Johnson, Ph.D. Lynn Ann Jones Heather and Douglas Kiley Aria Killough-Miller Trey Kirtian Flora E. Kitzman Jim and Jennifer Koman Ann and Lionel Kreamer Keith Krebeck Kelsey Johansen Kreyling Robert Lam Kendra and Calder Leingang Megan Lemaire Mike Leopold Max Leslie Jill Lewis Kris Light Steve Lilly Eileen Dressel Lischer Elizabeth Litton Katherine Litton The Litwiller Family Marc Lusskin Charles Lyon Tory and Ken Mallin Caterina Marconi

Steve Meyer John Mike Margot Miller Joseph and Kathryne Mitchell Laura J. Mohr Rebecca Moore Meg Morrow Martha Neubauer Martha B. Neuman Meredith Nierman Tanya Nikituk Terry Nolan Robert P. Olson Allison O'Malley


Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Roger Paredes and Anna Hochkammer Carol Paronis Hannah Patterson Nancy Paysinger Anne Peckham Michelle Penney Kathleen Yarish Pentek Abby Rand Nancy Ratliff Erica and Chris Recker Jeff and Patty Reed Andrew Reese Patric Reinbold Brent and Meehan Repp Kenneth and Judith Rhoads David and Nadine Richardson Elizabeth Riot Paul and Susie Robillard Elizabeth Roghair Gary Ruggiero and Family Kenny Rumsey Mark E. Saurer Julia Schenck Phillip and Mary Schenkenberg Edwin and Katie Schmid Ronald and Jane Scholl David and Lun Schrepper Lesley Mellis Schuldt Anson Scoville Jennifer Sebolt George and Sarah Seidel Elinor Selkirk The Senno Family Eleanor and Ed Shaheen John A. Shearer Anne Sherwood Amy and Kevin Simmons Neal Smeltzer Carey Smith Penelope A. Smith

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 Ross Smith Mary and Andrew South Derek Sterling Sarah Suggs Pamela and Stanley Switlik Jean E. Tanner Peggy and Kent Taylor Nancy Tellier Kim Thompson and Angela Ching Dr. Margaret E. Towner Jeff and Denise Turner Carmen Dressler Ward Sarah A. Wagoner Cindy Waldman-Sanchez and Panfilo Sanchez Cinda Lou Walton Donald E. Ward Nancy and Robert Weed Joann and Arthur Whipple Beverly J. White Carol Crain White and Family N. Jane Whitton David and Mary Anna Wicker Tatiana Wildeman

HONOR/MEMORIAL In Honor of Lois Armstrong, Miniwanca Camp Nurse 1982 Mark Saurer, Wakonse In Honor of Albie and Katie Bell and Family Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt Carol Maus and Family Eric and Jacqueline Wright In Memory of Judith Rae Bennett Susan Melson Huffman In Memory of Jean Booker Aleta Keel Becky Pressel Marilyn R. Scheerbaum Santha S. Stall In Honor of Ann B. Boren Grace Goodman

In Honor of the Danforth Family Lou Stemmler and Sarah Wilson

In Memory of Sallie R. Ekern Sarah Ekern-Schumacher

In Honor of Tucker Branham Lisa Lambeth

In Memory of Dorty and Horace Gwen Houser

In Memory of Laverne M. Bunting Doug Darr

In Honor of John Drew Jeffrey Drew

In Memory of Felipe Estela, NLC Class of Ptayela Wasaka Carrie Francis

In Honor of Mark Drew Jeffrey Drew

James Williams and Family Kelley and Bruce Wolff Robert and Pamela Wunder Bob Yates John and Virginia Yates Joe Zuccarello

In Memory of Patricia Ann Drew Nancy and Chris Allen Robin Bell J. Wray and Elizabeth Blattner Marguerite and Richard Bliss Frank and Pele Childress Ed and Carol Costigan Laura and Jim Dille James and Mary Ann Donahoe John Drew Mark and Laura Ebell Rispah Gamble Schwering David and Holly Gulick Robert and Sally Harrison Judy Hayward Carolyn Metzger Harmon Stephen Kohlbry Mark and Meg Mannion Laurie Miller Francis Moore Amy Opatz Dorothy Reimers Scott and Alice Seyfried Richard Soaper The Daniel & Henry Company Andrea and Peter Van Cleve Louise Wilson Zemenick & Walker, Inc.

In Honor of Kathy Cagle Marker Laura LeDuc In Memory of Ruth Mary Picard Campbell Meg Campbell In Honor of the Class and Staff at Merrowvista NLC 1992 Christopher Pryslopski In Honor of Kathleen Corcoran Betsy and Kathleen Warner In Memory of Betty Crispen Billie Shelton


In Honor of Suzanne Lily Ferrall The Bradley-Ferrall Family In Honor of Reed D. Forbush Dan and Rita Forbush In Honor of Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt and Family Albie and Katie Bell and Family Eric and Jacqueline Wright In Memory of Nancy Blake Harvey Dr. William R. Harvey In Memory of Dr. William R. Harvey Brian Bishop Amy Harvey and Jennifer Tucker John and Peggy Hooper Ann Pumphrey Linda Slagell Katherine Truter In Honor of Joan M. Hoener Webster and Lori Hoener In Honor of Aaron Jaeger's acceptance to MIT Jerold and Robin Jaeger In Honor of Joy Johnston Molly Wilson Gibson In Honor of Keith King Rev. Amy E. and Brian McCreath In Memory of Dr. and Mrs. Roland P. Ladenson Reid and Patty Ladenson

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 In Honor of Susan Marshall LaPine Margo Brackett

In Honor of Troy Murray Ayn Dietrich-Williams

In Memory of Virginia Lupfer Elizabeth Burns Nancy and Tom Conforti Jennie and Robert Depke II Janet McDermed Suzie Gordner Pollak Raymond and Nancy Powers Anne Sherwood Peggy and Kent Taylor

In Honor of the NLC classmates who came from different backgrounds than myself Martha Neubauer

In Memory of Audrey Lupton Jonathan and Suzann Lupton

In Memory of Marie Prange Oetting Carolyn Metzger Harmon JoAnn Mulcahy Julia Stupp Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd Kelley and Bruce Wolff

In Memory of Florene L. Mahler Allen Mahler and Family In Honor of Liz Marshall Bruce Marshall In Honor of Lucy, MJ and Liz Marshall Meredith Nierman

In Memory of Allison Reed Marcia Brown Frank Dellaquila Beatrice Dissett John Drew The Ellston Family Scott and Holly Fesler George and Sharron Fowler Marilyn Haberle Her brother Charlie's high school friends: Emily Hereford, Trey Ross, Montana Gill, CeCe Moore, Natalie Singer, Mimi Shepley, Merrill Hermann, Talici Assi, and Claire Rush Chuck and Julie Kaiser James and Jennifer Koman Keith Krebeck Jim and Pam Krekeler Tory and Ken Mallin Charles Meyer Todd and Maria Palmer

In Honor of Erin K. O'Brien Dennis and Sharon Karr Tara Karr Michael and Dianne O'Brien George and Tara Off

In Memory of Martha and Ernest Ohle Liz Ohle

In Honor of Lucia Marie Martin Miguel and Kirsten Martin In Memory of Jennifer Mason Laura and Larry Mason In Honor of Vanette McKinney Anonymous Nancy and Hugh Devine Jory and Calvin Johnson Sue McKinney

In Honor of Sarah Okuma Tatiana Wildeman

In Honor of Dorothy Grace Stryker Meyer Linda Jackmond

In Honor of Mary Tess O'Sullivan Jeremy Fryberger

In Honor of Daniel Miller Margot Miller

In Honor of Clara, Henry and Oliver Peschel Anne Peschel

In Memory of Andreas Philippides The Fifield-Philippides Family

In Memory of Betsy Keiser Roarty Michael Roarty

In Honor of Ann Cameron Phillips Allison Farnen

In Honor of Karl Robillard and Bob Thornton's Wedding Mike Carson Kendra and Calder Leingang Matt and Deb Mariola Elizabeth Riot

In Honor of the Staff at Camp Merrowvista Susan Chandler

In Memory of Elizabeth Mulcahy Telthorst Patricia and Chauncey Johnstone JoAnn Mulcahy Michael and Lynn Mulcahy Meg and Jay Nystrom Jane Wentzien Astrid Wielens and Bridget Stearns

Paul and Susie Robillard Astrid Wielens and Bridget Stearns In Honor of Isabella Schirripa Penny Straka In Memory of Shirley T. Shearman The Senno Family In Memory of Charles M. Shepherd The Shepherd Foundation In Honor of PJ Smith Tucker Branham In Memory of Lewis B. Stuart III The Ketcham Family The Stuart Family In Memory of Jack C. Swisher Luella Swisher In Honor of Adam and Jack Thomas Kate Wissman In Memory of Ryan Thomas Grace Danforth Lizzie Green Meg Morrow Patric Reinbold Ryan's Tripmates and Founder Friends The Sullivan-Fielding Family Bets and Christopher Thomas Kate Wissman In Memory of Lee Tidball Anne Hughes and Stanley Livingston

In Memory of Steven R. Meadows The Palomaki Family In Memory of Lucinda Melichar Jodi Melichar

Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

In Memory of Dorothy T. Orcutt Ruth Cleveland

In Memory of Phillip Ranney and In Honor of his granddaughter, Margaux Ann and Dan Austin


Charley Reed Jeff and Patty Reed Mark and Amy Reed and Family Edwin and Katie Schmid John and Sheryl Schreiber Brent and Katherine St. John Robert Tomaso Charlie Walch and Family John and Virginia Yates

In Honor of Amrine Tomlinson-Tunick Jeanne and Mitchell Tomlinson In Honor of Patricia Wenzel Uhl Lynn Ann Jones In Honor of Andrea Van Cleve Joseph and Louise Gazzoli Georgia Van Cleve Colwell In Memory of Mary Vorsteg JoAnn Mulcahy In Memory of Marilyn "Lynn" McCluskey Wermuth Dr. Margaret E. Towner In Memory of E. Joann (Jolly) Wollermann Carolyn A. Faber Nancy Paysinger Janet G. Strube

HONOR ROLL | Campaign and Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2019 GIFTS IN KIND The Bailey Family Baumann's Fine Meats Blueberry Hill Breeze Blow Dry Bar Brown Sugar Baking Phil Carter Chase Park Plaza Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Crush Music Glenn and Susan Davis Defiance Ridge Vineyards Dewey's Pizza Mark and Katie Drew

Drury Inns, Inc. Energizer Holdings, Inc. Folk's Folly The Harris Family Mimi S. Holmes Hycel Retail Group Alan Jones Kennelwood Village Inc. The Magic House Meadowbrook Country Club Michael Genovese, Diamond & Estate Broker Missouri Botanical Garden Missouri Historical Society Lynn and Dave Morris

JoAnn Mulcahy Andy and Molly Mulcahy Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum Old Town Trolley Tours of Nashville Edward and Nancy O'Leary The Pageant Panera Bread Company Pi Pizzeria Pole Position Raceway The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Deborah A. Seidel The Sheldon Concert Hall Susan Smith St. Louis Distillery Saint Louis Zoo


Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Stax Museum Strauss Peyton Portrait Studio Kevin and Jill Stubbs Studio Branca Summit Distributing Tilford Restaurant Group Topgolf Total Wine & More Truffles Diane and John Verhoff Vie Gail and Randy Weller Westrich Photography Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Services

We are deeply committed to offering high quality, safe programs that give campers and participants the opportunity to connect with their own best selves, to engage in meaningful friendships, and to practice making a positive difference in their communities. Right now, we are taking time to better understand how other camps operated this summer, how academic institutions navigate this pandemic, and if an effective vaccine will be widely available by the 2021 camp season. As we gather this information, we are delaying the start of our typical enrollment period and will share our plan for the upcoming summer season in early 2021. We invite you to stay updated and engaged with the AYF community online at and on Facebook and Instagram. There, you’ll find more information about our plans for 2021, links to join us on Zoom for monthly Evening Reflections and Night’s Doings, and you can sign up to receive our monthly Founder Sparks email newsletter. The current moment demands adaptation, reflection, and careful planning to bring our powerful community together again, but rest assured, we will be together again.



American Youth Foundation Merrowvista



147 Canaan Rd.

6357 Clayton Rd.

8845 W. Garfield Rd.

Ctr. Tuftonboro, NH 03816

St. Louis, MO 63117

Shelby, MI 49455