Founder Fire 2022

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INSIDE Letter from the President. . .................... 1 Brave First Steps...................................... 2 Connection through Care. . .................... 5 Serving Humbly....................................... 6 Advancing Toward Our Best............... 8 Powerful Partners at Heart. . ............... 10 Solid Foundations.................................. 12 Ignite Your Spark.. .................................. 13 Remembering Our Founder Family.............................. 14 Board Highlights.................................... 16 Honor Roll.. ............................................... 17 Save the Date 2023.............................. 25

NOW HIRING! The AYF is seeking individuals for summer 2023 who believe in our mission and the core values of best self, balanced living, safety, inclusivity, and stewardship. The AYF recognizes the commitment the seasonal team makes to the youth we serve, and we have increased our pay rates to reflect that. Full-time and seasonal staff roles available. Visit for more information and to apply.

A Letter

from the President For most of my adult life, I have kept a small paperweight on my desk that reads, “Every wall is a door.” We all need reminders that, when faced with obstacles, we should look for opportunities that serve as doorways into new learning, new possibilities, and what's next.

In summer 2021, the AYF saw a short season that served a population of youth more fragile than I had ever experienced. This year, I witnessed improved physical, mental, social, and spiritual health in all, especially our younger campers. They made the rich discovery that we all need the positive presence of others to do great things and to keep us happy and healthy.

Team AYF began the year excited to make more programs happen than we could in 2021. And yet, it seemed nearly every door we previously walked through was now a wall: the struggle to rent vans, supply chain delays and price increases, difficulty recruiting seasonal staff, more children dealing with emotional health needs. Bringing a new program season into motion is never easy, but this year, walls rose at every turn.

Much credit for this positive outlook goes to our new Care Teams, who focused on supporting the mental, emotional, and social health of our campers and staff. The extra love and support they provided was the most important enhancement made to our summer program communities. This season demonstrated the power AYF programs have against the now well-documented youth mental health crisis. Our programs teach children that if a door is not obvious, they can find or build one with the best in them and the help of others. We will continue the important work of getting people outdoors so they can discover the in-doors to all the promise and possibilities ahead.

And then, those we serve – the campers, the staff, the participants, the alumni – arrived, and doors appeared. Once they crossed the thresholds of Miniwanca and Merrowvista, campers and participants discovered new strengths in themselves and others. Staff and volunteers found the joy and pride that result from overcoming challenges. We all saw what can be accomplished when we bring our best to the task at hand.

Your support allows us to offer life-changing outdoor experiences that inspire young people grappling with the limitations and challenges of so many closed doors in their lives. Thanks for ensuring we keep moving forward at a time when too many give up when faced with walls. Together, we can unleash a generation who hear the call and know they have the resources and resilience to build and open doors.

Volunteers appeared when hands were short. Campers adjusted to changes in trip itineraries, menus, and activities. Service-learning projects greatly enhanced what was once weary. In the footprint of the beloved Assembly building, the National Leadership Conference community constructed a stage with curtains and lights. Odyssey ascended Mt. Katahdin, and Voyageurs descended Mississippi River headwaters. So many charged through doors of possibility to make good things happen. You’ll read about more 2022 accomplishments in the pages ahead.


Anna Kay Vorsteg

s p e t s t s r i f B r a ve

by Matt Sorrell


For almost 100 years, American Youth Foundation campers have embarked on journeys measured in miles, challenges, and personal growth. Like any journey, camp begins with a single step, and for first-time participants, it can be a daunting one.

Miniwanca and Merrowvista staff know how overwhelming the initial camp experience can be and work hard to make the transition into camp a smooth one.

Shanti Eswaran’s daughter Ranya, 9, attended Miniwanca for the first time this summer. The three-week stint was the longest she’d ever been away from home. While Eswaran’s other daughters, Kavni, 11, and Miraya, 14, are Miniwanca veterans and gave their sister a good idea about what to expect, Ranya still had some butterflies. They flew away, though, as soon as she arrived.

Rising third, fourth, and fifth graders are the youngest participants at camp each summer. Called Darers at Miniwanca and Pioneers at Merrowvista, these programs are intentionally designed to introduce youth to living in community with their peers and to help them take “When I dropped her off, her cabin leader came right up and started their first steps toward identifying personal values. talking to her,” Eswaran said. “I was going to say goodbye, and she was already walking across the field with her cabin leader.” Miniwanca Girls Camp Director Emily Knuth said the Darer and Pioneer programs give young children their first taste of independence Once they take that initial step into the unknown, a whole new world and broaden their worldview. opens up for the novice camper. “Camp gives them some time to be away from home and their parents and creature comforts,” she said. “They get the chance to be their authentic selves. It also teaches them to live in community with five peers and experience getting to know different people from different places and start building some resiliency.”

Darer and Pioneer days are filled with lots of outdoor time pursuing adventure, from arts and crafts to hiking, kayaking to climbing. There are also quieter moments of reflection and intentional discussion that sow those first seeds of introspection and self-discovery. “I think the new environment and the lack of electronic devices really forces the kids to not reflexively bounce things off their parents or


their friends, but instead take some time to figure out how they feel about a situation before they react,” Eswaran said. “It’s a chance to let things rattle around in their head.”

her Odyssey trip – that helped her become a successful adult. It’s why she returned to camp to help instill that confidence in the next generation of campers.

For many Pioneers and Darers, their one to three weeks spent at “Camp taught me that anything you can put your mind to you can camp are the longest they’ve ever been away from friends and family. achieve,” Hardin said. “Merrowvista taught me perseverance.” Miniwanca Director of Programs Michael Harter said homesickness Merrowvista parent and former camper Ben Grant watched his is something nearly every camper experiences, and it’s something daughter, 9-year-old Lydia, take her first steps down that path this both the full-time and seasonal staff are well equipped to handle. year as a Pioneer. “We have one staff member for every four to six campers,” Harter “Camp gives kids a sense of independence, and it definitely builds said. “This camper-centered ratio allows us to really listen and spend confidence when you can walk into a new environment, meet people, time with participants who may need a little extra help with and make friends in a short time,” he said. homesickness. We work with them to name and understand the feeling, and then we distract with an awesome and engaging program Grant’s other daughter, Emery, 13, returned to camp this year for the focused on a variety of activities and a supportive community.” third time, and he’s seen how she’s blossomed since starting her Merrowvista journey. In spring 2022, the AYF program team completed Camp Mental Health Certification offered by Let’s Empower, Advocate, and Do, a “We talk in our day-to-day lives about being your best self,” he said. nonprofit that teaches youth development organizations how to “After a few years, she realized that camp is truly a place where she can provide proactive mental health support. be herself in a supportive community. It’s a place of true comfort, and you don’t have to put on a mask like you do in other parts of your life.” Harter said training like LEAD’s helps staff better respond to campers’ emotional needs. “We want to support campers so they can Miniwanca parent Patricia Sanders said it was remarkable seeing her participate and engage in our programs, while listening to them two first-time campers, 11-year-old Mary Ruth and 9-year-old Frank, and allowing them to advocate for themselves,” he said. respond to the same powerful programing she experienced as a camper and Leader in Training. Pioneer Program Coordinator Laura Hardin was a Merrowvista camper for eight years before becoming a seasonal staff member “Mary Ruth said it was so amazing being around women and girls and and current Community and School Programs intern. Hardin having so much fun,” Sanders said, adding that Frank felt empowered remembers having a hard time with homesickness during her first by his new level of independence at Boys Camp. year, but the friendships she made then and in subsequent summers “The first thing they said when they stepped off the bus was could they brought her back again and again. go back next summer,” Sanders said. “I have yet to find another place She credits a lifetime of camp experiences – from overcoming that gives children the space to find and be themselves completely.” homesickness to hiking more than 100 miles in three weeks during 4

Connection through Care by Catherine Klene and Ryan Marquez

As they prepared for summer 2022, the American Youth Foundation “This moment stuck with me because it can be hard for children to team was determined to provide a strong network of support for have a heart-to-heart conversation with a parent and have it actually campers struggling with emotional health. Director of Community go well. I know this from personal experience,” Toliver said. “Seeing Life, Diversity, and Inclusion Ambrean Ford said summer 2021 showed them work out the problem and come to a meaningful resolution the lasting mental and emotional effects of isolation and worry unknowingly healed my inner child.” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford said the Care Team was successful because its members meet “During summer 2021, staff at Miniwanca and Merrowvista observed campers on their level. “We hear them, connect with them where the highest number of campers experiencing homesickness we’ve they are, and validate their experiences,” she said. “When children seen in recent years,” Ford said. “In 2022, we wanted to dedicate feel supported and safe, they can thrive in a camp setting.” resources to camper mental and emotional health, just as we have a Health Team on site to care for campers’ physical health.” To address these needs, the AYF created Care Teams comprised of individuals with experience in education, social services, or other related fields. The Care Team members circulated throughout camp and checked in with staff each day, working with campers who were struggling with homesickness, conflict with campers, or other emotional needs. They also supported campers who are part of marginalized communities, including youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth. “The idea for the Care Team existed before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ford said. “However, the impacts of youth being isolated at home without in-person socialization has amplified the need for this team.” Moiya Toliver served on the Miniwanca Care Team as a Community Life Coordinator this summer. She said the team’s presence allowed other camp staff to better focus on their primary responsibilities. “All summer, I heard comments from different individuals about how much smoother things went compared to previous summers. The Care Team took a lot of responsibilities and stress off the shoulders of Directors and Coordinators, and we provided assistance beyond what was expected from us.” When an issue surfaced, the Care Team took the camper aside to discuss and, if necessary, worked with them to create a support plan with choices that best met their needs. Toliver recalled helping two campers whose parents were also camp staff work through a difficult time and communicate their needs to their on-site family members. Community Life Coordinator Moiya Toliver and camper Khristian


Serving Humbly

The National Leadership Conference roared back to life this summer after two years of virtual and abbreviated gatherings and brought with it a fresh outlook supported by a strong sense of community.

by Dana Rieck

“We all look at NLC as such a place of hope,” said NLC Co-Director Erin O’Brien. “We see that in the participants, and it reminds us there are things to be hopeful for. Future generations will make big positive changes.”

This year, approximately 75 volunteers dedicated countless hours to planning and executing this powerful week. When volunteers describe their experience with NLC, the concept of community inevitably creeps into the conversation. It’s the driving force that motivates them to come back year after year – in some cases for decades – to put on a lifechanging program full of tradition and transformational moments.

This year, NLC saw new leadership under O’Brien and fellow Co-Directors Michael Harter and Beth Wilson. The three American Youth Foundation staff members worked hard to prepare a transformational eight-day experience for teens and young adults – familiar territory, as each spent several years as NLC volunteer staff.

Most people join the volunteer staff after they complete the NLC program themselves. That was the case for Shawn Herron, but unlike most volunteers, he returned in 2018, more than 30 years after he was a program participant.

Wilson said these dedicated individuals are key to the program’s success. “Volunteers work their tails off,” said Wilson. “Not only that, but they “It felt like coming home,” he said. “I don't remember the curriculum also have such a positive energy that we couldn't bring without them. and I don't remember a lot of the specifics from 30 years ago, but When I leave, my heart is so full because the participants and the I remember the feeling and the sense of community. That's the biggest volunteers give their all.” part of the experience.” Herron credits the passion NLC elicits to the connection, commitment, and shared values of staff and participants. Herron also enjoys being able to support the transformation of high schoolers knowing the impact NLC had on his life. 6

NLC staff Isabella Pallotto (left) leads a conference activity. Similarly, Isabella Pallotto’s experience as a participant stuck with her. Shortly after graduating NLC, she chose to volunteer and give back to the program that gave her so much.

If you’re interested in joining the NLC volunteer staff in 2023, please email

“We just get to meet so many great high schoolers who are truly leaders in their community,” she said. “It's so amazing, and I think when we go back into the real world where things like the political landscape can be so hard, we can feel a little helpless. Coming to NLC and seeing so many young people who are so excited and passionate … that’s really special and inspiring to witness every year.” Pallotto said everybody who attends leaves with new friends, whether they’re returning or first-time participants. The group works to make everyone feel comfortable and included from the start. O’Brien echoed that sentiment, noting that volunteers and participants feel like a family who provides unconditional support to everyone and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. She added that many volunteers choked up when they saw the participants walk into camp for the first time in two years. “There are so many people who have volunteered longer than I have and who have given up that time in their lives,” she said. “That's not an easy thing to do, to ask someone in the middle of summer to volunteer two whole weeks of their time. I think it really speaks to how much we love what we're doing, how much we believe in youth empowerment and how much it brings us together.” Wilson said one of the reasons she continues to give her all to NLC is because during every conference, the participants teach her something new about the world or herself. O’Brien said seeing and experiencing everyone’s personal growth keeps her motivated. “It’s life changing,” she said. “I think every single person who has been a part of it can say that NLC has changed their lives in some way – whether it's relationships or the things that they learned while they were there.”



The American Youth Foundation is dedicated to forming Diversity, and Inclusion, in late 2021. Ford holds a master’s degree in transformational, inclusive program communities at Merrowvista social work, spent years as a seasonal staff member at Miniwanca and Miniwanca. In May, AYF leadership invited alumni, families, and and Merrowvista, and is a member of the inaugural class of Mulcahy participants to gather online for Advancing Toward Our Best, a Fellows. webinar to learn more about how the organization plans to further “It’s so important to support our words with real, measurable action,” that goal in the next few years. Ford said. “The AYF is leaning into those difficult yet rewarding “The pandemic gave us the opportunity to listen to the needs of youth conversations. We are building strong foundations to make greater today,” said President Anna Kay Vorsteg. “Life in 2022 calls us to do change.” better, to support participants through difficult and sometimes scary One key element of this work was the creation of the AYF’s Diversity, times.” Equity, and Inclusion Committee in February 2022. This 16-member The AYF has spent the last two years listening to staff and participants committee is currently assessing the AYF’s larger mission and values discuss how programs can be safer, more welcoming spaces for all. through a DEI lens and developing a strategic plan with actionable “To be their best selves, youth must be able to be their authentic steps to support those objectives. selves,” Vorsteg said. “The AYF is committed to creating inclusive “It is important the committee represent different demographics, spaces for all participants, especially people of color and LGBTQ+ identities, and experiences within the AYF, including the amount of youth." time spent with the organization,” Ford said. “The committee includes To help lead the organization toward this multifaceted goal, the AYF people who have experienced programs at Miniwanca, Merrowvista, welcomed Ambrean Ford to a new role, Director of Community Life, and National Leadership Conference.”

Mulcahy Fellows gather for an annual retreat. 8

Director of Community Life, Diversity and Inclusion Ambrean Ford leads staff training.

Ford is also responsible for coordinating the Mulcahy Fellowship, an initiative that intentionally honors, supports, and uplifts seasonal staff who identify as historically underrepresented members in AYF program communities. The fellowship addresses the lack of diversity in program leadership positions and recognizes that individuals who hold these identities provide more emotional labor than other camp staff.

The AYF has also made physical, cultural, and social changes through site updates. At Miniwanca, murals in the I Dare You library and Upper Lodge were removed due to extensive water damage and harmful depictions of Indigenous people and people of color. The camp will replace the murals with art that celebrates all youth.

Today, there are 25 fellows, 10 of whom gathered at Miniwanca this year for the first Mulcahy Fellowship retreat. Ford said the group will meet annually to connect prior to summer staff training.

Merrowvista took steps to make transgender and gender-expansive community members feel more welcome by constructing a new restroom and shower house that includes nongendered single showers and bathrooms.

“The Mulcahy Fellowship retreat gives us an opportunity to bond and for older fellows to mentor the incoming class,” she said. “It also gives us the chance to plan long term, laying out our vision for the future of the fellowship.”

Miniwanca and Merrowvista also recognize that some site names at camp appropriated Indigenous cultures. These places are now referred to by their English translations or renamed to focus on creating community, such as the newly renamed Community Fire Circles.

The AYF is also working with Jen “Dusty” Clitheroe and Polly Williams, “We recognize changes like these can be difficult for some, but our co-founders of Strength Perspective, a DEI consultancy. Clitheroe most beloved camp memories come from life-shaping experiences and Williams connect regularly with Ford and the DEI committee, met in our program communities, not from physical structures or names,” with the Board of Directors in March, and facilitated seasonal staff Vorsteg said. “The timeless goals of best self and balanced living are training sessions at Merrowvista and Miniwanca this summer. the strong foundation for the next 100 years of the AYF. We invite the AYF community to advance with us as we inspire more people to make a positive difference in the world.”

Mulcahy Fellow Emrys Yamanishi (third from left) with their cabin at Miniwanca



by Dana Rieck

All youth deserve to experience the power of self-discovery and “To see the kids flourish outside of the hospital and outside of the personal growth American Youth Foundation outdoor education clinic is really rewarding,” said Leigh Hardiman, Camp Meridian programs provide. The strong relationships formed between the AYF Executive Director. “We encourage the whole idea behind why Dr. and its Community and School Program partners expands this access Gauthier founded this organization, which was that these campers to hundreds of young participants each year. are so much more than a heart condition and capable of doing more than they think they can.” Merrowvista and Miniwanca work with other mission-driven organizations and area schools to create collaborative programs that Merrowvista Client Relations Manager Jamie O’Hagin said fulfill the partner organizations’ needs and incorporate the values of Merrowvista staff advise on programmatic elements, such as the AYF. Community and School Programs take full advantage of the scheduling and activities (think climbing walls and ropes courses), sites’ many assets, including talented staff, youth-focused facilities, and provide staff who bring energy, joy, and playfulness to the and programmatic elements. weekend. One such successful partnership between Merrowvista and Camp “We call ourselves Camp Meridian staff that weekend because we try Meridian has flourished for nearly 20 years. Founded by pediatric to keep it immersive — and so the kids themselves might not even cardiologist Dr. Naomi Gauthier, Camp Meridian is a three-day know that there's a difference in staff,” she said. weekend program for children with heart conditions that prohibit Meanwhile, Camp Meridian puts together the program, builds them from participating in more traditional camps. The program is relationships with campers, and brings the mystery. free for youth to attend and staffed with doctors, nurses, and medical staff to ensure the campers’ safety while they participate in activities “In previous years, there was this mystery storyline the campers got designed with them in mind. to follow, and every activity they did provided clues,” O’Hagin said. “The campers and staff got really into it, and it created this awesome sense of wonder and joy.”



Camp Meridian participants at Merrowvista

Gauthier founded Camp Meridian in 2002 with other medical professionals and Astrid Wielens, Merrowvista Director of Programs at the time.

is in it for the right reasons, and definitely wants to watch the campers grow and experience new things and challenge themselves, which is huge. And we're able to provide some medical supervision so that nobody's worried.”

“Gauthier just has an amazing mind for creating magic,” O’Hagin said. “Joy is one of the great outcomes of this program. All the kids are so excited about everything, and they just want to have a fun weekend where they can be kids and not have to think about all the things that can be pretty worrying in their life.”

The camp is funded solely through fundraising by and donations made to the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and Health Foundation. Hardiman said the program “fosters a lifelong bond and connection that they're not going to make with everyone else.”

The camp, which took place in-person this October for the first time Camp Meridian has found a similar bond with Merrowvista, as staff since the beginning of the pandemic, offers tailored programs for and volunteers from both organizations plan what can be a camper’s three age groups: youths ages 8 to 12, teens 13 to 15, and older teens first overnight experience away from home. (called Navigators) ages 16 to 17. Hardiman said Camp Meridian created the two older groups when the original campers aged out of “Camp Meridian has been lovingly held through a lot of different the program but wanted to continue attending. hands at Merrowvista,” O’Hagin said. “Looking back, there were many people who passed the torch along. It's such a neat program, “In 2008, we got some very kind funding to start a teen program and I feel like we're really lucky to get the chance to work with these because some of the kids just didn't want it to end,” she said. folks.” While partnership with Merrowvista provides a beautiful landscape and Hardiman said working with the AYF has been an amazing experience. quality facilities, Hardiman said the staff makes the program so special. “I love everyone I've worked with at Merrowvista and have just been “The staff there year after year is phenomenal,” Hardiman said. “I continually impressed by the quality of people and the experiences don’t know where they find everyone. Everyone has hearts of gold, they provide,” she said.


Merrowvista Wayfinders work on a service-learning project.

Solid Foundations by Catherine Klene

As youth returned to Merrowvista and Miniwanca in 2021 and 2022, the facilities teams focused on how the sites could best serve participants in the future while bringing much needed updates to aging structures. The American Youth Foundation strives to preserve, restore, and renovate existing buildings, but Senior Director of Infrastructure Andy Mulcahy said Miniwanca’s shifting sand dunes made the Fellowship Building and Assembly unsafe to use. After much deliberation, the AYF made the difficult decision to take down both structures.

for use by all participants, as well as single-stall, gender-neutral spaces for transgender and gender-expansive participants. They also made living spaces more comfortable for onsite staff. They added a lower-level egress to the apartment below the Health Center and completed a gut rehab of the Treehouse, which includes a staff apartment above the camp pottery studio and commercial laundry space. Even the youngest community members saw improvements this year, as the Scout Village classroom was refreshed to create a more child-friendly space for staff children.

Built in 1951, the Fellowship Building was perched on a steep hillside and once served as a central meeting spot for leaders. “Before the building’s decommission, the facilities team saw an opportunity to preserve its legacy by carefully removing the building’s fireplace stones, which came from each of the 50 states,” Mulcahy said. “We have securely stored them for future use elsewhere at Miniwanca.”

Work at Merrowvista continued during the summer as older Wayfinder campers embraced new challenges through servicelearning projects under the supervision of Facilities Infrastructure Manager Adam “Boots” Smetana.

The spirit of fellowship lives on at that site. The facilities team replaced the structure with a large open deck overlooking Stony Creek, allowing campers to experience quiet moments of small group connection and conversation.

Session A Wayfinders carefully took down the aging structure that housed the camp bell, whose clangs signal the day’s activities. They constructed a sturdy platform as the base for the new bell tower, then followed Smetana into the woods, where they felled trees to support a new metal roof.

Mulcahy said significant structural issues over time caused the nearly 100-year-old Assembly building to lean precariously. Miniwanca took down the structure in spring 2022 but preserved the Assembly fireplace and mill stone.

Session B Wayfinders donned their hardhats and got to work on a log cabin on the A-field that interns built in the 1990s. Campers took it down to the studs and rebuilt the structure from the foundation up, adding and staining new logs, creating and installing floors, and adding a new roof.

“We know how important these historic structures are to our Miniwanca Founder Family,” Mulcahy said. “We hope to honor their legacies by repurposing key parts of the original buildings to create new spaces for youth to explore and enjoy for decades to come.” At Merrowvista, the facilities team renovated existing structures to make them more welcoming to youth. They renovated a Super BIFF (Bathroom in the Friendly Forest) that includes showers and restrooms

Smetana said these campers left Merrowvista with so much more than practical skills. “The Wayfinder program gives campers the chance to truly be of service to the Merrowvista community and to contribute to the future camp experiences of others,” he said. 12

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Remembering Our Founder Family Bruce Barmby

Bruce A. Barmby, 88, passed away Aug. 16, 2021. Bruce came to Miniwanca as a Danforth Fellow in 1953, returned as an Older Boys Leader in 1958, and stayed involved with Miniwanca almost every summer until 1982. He was the beloved mentor of the OB Class of 1972.

Carolyn Anderson Beimdiek

Carolyn Anderson Beimdiek, 89, passed away Jan. 24, 2021. Carolyn was a Danny Grad in 1952. Carolyn is survived by her husband of 62 years, Donald. Daughters Karen Beimdiek Baratz and Lynn Beimdiek Morris, as well as multiple grandchildren, attended Miniwanca from the ‘70s onward. Carolyn is also the cousin of Druscilla Anderson, who attended Miniwanca in the 1970s.

Sarah Schneider Chesney

Sarah Schneider Chesney passed away Aug. 31, 2021 at age 80. Sarah attended Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp from 1952 to 1956 and returned as a YG Leader in 1959. Her son, Scott, was a Miniwanca camper, and grandchildren Ben and Emmy are current campers.

Shirley Dungan Cline

Shirley Dungan Cline passed away April 30, 2022 at age 87. Shirley first attended Miniwanca in 1948 and was part of the Older Girls Class of 1953. She attended Summer Seminars for Women in her later years. She is survived by her three daughters, Eleanor Cline Trent, Dr. Emily D. Cline, and Margaret Cline Curl, who attended Miniwanca in the 1980s. She is also survived by her sister, Jean Van Buskirk, who first attended camp in 1946 and remained involved for many years.

Evelyn Ramsdell Ferguson

Evelyn Ramsdell Ferguson, 83, passed away July 30, 2021. She was a member of the Miniwanca Older Girls Class of 1958 and a Girls Camp Leader in 1960 and 1962. She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Ramsdell McMullin, who is part of the OG Class of 1964.

Joan Lawson Hallsteen

Joan Lawson Hallsteen passed away May 16, 2020 at age 92. Joan attended Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp in 1939 and returned annually through 1944 and as a YG Leader in 1946. She is survived by three children: Craig Hallsteen; Kyle McRobie, who attended YG from 1965 to 1966; and Ariel Biddle, who attended YG from 1968 to 1969.

Maribeth Porter Hambrick

Maribeth Porter Hambrick, 93, passed away July 16, 2021. Maribeth attended Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp in 1943 and 1944 and Older Girls in 1944 and 1946. Maribeth’s son, Horace, attended Younger Boys Camp in 1969 and 1970.

Dorothy Mae Hanpeter

Dorothy Mae Hanpeter passed away June 7, 2021. Dorothy began attending Miniwanca in 1941 and was a member of the Older Girls Class of 1947. She returned in the '50s and '60s as a Girls Camp Leader. Dorothy's brothers, William, Robert, Paul, and Edward, all attended Boys Camp between 1941 and 1948. Robert’s four children, David, Claire, Douglas, and Stephen, also attended Miniwanca and Merrowvista in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Edward's son, Brad, attended Miniwanca in 1969. Dorothy was a lifelong friend of the late Marie Prange Oetting (OG Class of 1946).

Dr. Ann Tukey Harrison

Ann Tukey Harrison, PhD, passed away Oct. 28, 2021 at 83. Ann began attending Miniwanca in 1953 and was a member of the Older Girls Class of 1956. She returned to Miniwanca in many roles from 1958 to 1969, from a Younger Girls Leader to an OG faculty member. She was the mentor of the OG Class of 1969. Her brother, Harold, also attended Miniwanca Boys Camp in 1947, as did multiple nieces and nephews in the ’60s and ’70s.


Mary Louise Herminghaus Palmer

Mary Louise "Mary Lou" Palmer passed away Aug. 7, 2021 at age 74. Mary Lou attended Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp from 1959 to 1961, returning as a YG Leader in 1966. Her sister, Susan Herminghaus McLeod, first attended YG in 1956 continuing through Older Girls camp until 1961, the same year she also worked as a YG leader. Her sister, Elizabeth Ann Herminghaus, attended YG from 1966 to 1967. Mary Lou's mother, Helen Heigold Herminghaus, was an OG Leader in 1954.

David F. Jones

David F. Jones passed away Nov. 1, 2021. David dedicated much of his time to fundraising and consulting work for the AYF. He also volunteered with the AYF for many years. He is survived by his wife, Lori; his son, Peter; and his daughter, Becky Hanrahan. His granddaughter, Poppy, has attended Miniwanca since 2018, and another granddaughter, Rosalie, was a first-time camper in 2022.

John Bart Jones

John Bart Jones, 66, passed away June 7, 2022. John first attended Miniwanca in 1974 and was a member of the Older Boys Class of 1976. He returned as a leader and staff member through 1980. He is survived by his mother, Elizabeth “Bartie” Jones (Older Girls Class of 1945), and his sister, Lynn A. Jones (OG Class of 1974). He is predeceased by his sister, Judy Jones Muhn (OG Class of 1969).

Anne Pickett Marblestone

Anne Pickett Marblestone, 84, passed away Oct. 5, 2021. She first attended Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp in 1948 and graduated with the Older Girls Class of 1958. She returned as a YG Leader in 1959. Anne is survived by her two daughters. Tracy Ann Marblestone Brant attended YG Camp from 1974 to 1976, returning as a YG leader in 1981. Sara Marblestone attended Girls Camp from 1978 through 1983.

Judy Jones Muhn

Judy B. Jones Muhn, 72, passed away Feb. 26, 2022. Judy first attended Miniwanca Older Girls Camp in 1966 and was a member of the Older Girls Class of 1969. She is survived by her mother, Elizabeth “Bartie” Jones (OG Class of 1945), and her sister, Lynn A. Jones (OG Class of 1974). Sadly, her brother John Bart Jones passed away June 7, 2022.

Remington Rea Williams

Remington Rea Williams, age 25, unexpectedly passed away June 8, 2022. He attended National Leadership Conference and was a member of the Class of 2016, To Ignite Change.

Jane Frances Paysinger

Jane Frances Paysinger passed away Jan. 26, 2021 at age 69. Jane was a member of the Miniwanca Older Girls Class of 1973 and remained an OG Leader through 1980. Jane attended Miniwanca with her sister, Nancy Paysinger. Nancy began attending OG in 1973 and is a member of the Class of 1974. Nancy has remained deeply involved in the National Leadership Conference since 1980.

Anne Pennock Linton

Anne Pennock Linton passed away Jan. 19, 2021 at age 89. She began attending Miniwanca in 1947 and was a graduate of the Older Girls Class of 1950.

Shawman Lee Detterman Meireis

Shawman Detterman Meireis passed away unexpectedly Aug. 28, 2022 at age 40. Shawman attended Merrowvista from 1991 through 1999. She is survived by her mother, Karen Burke, who was the Camp Nurse at Merrowvista Younger Camp in 1991 and 1992. Shawman is also survived by her brother, Brook Detterman, and her sisters, Annie Detterman Talmage and Emily Detterman Ingwersen, who all attended Merrowvista between 1989 and 1997.

Kim Strube Scartelli

Dr. Charlotte Reed Ward

Kim Janette Strube Scartelli passed away Aug. 10, 2022 at age 52. Kim attended Miniwanca Girls Camp from 1981 to 1986. She worked as a Girls Camp leader from 1989 to 1991. She became involved in Summer Seminars for Women in 1994 and remained deeply dedicated to the program as a participant and a coordinator until she passed away. Kim is survived by her husband, David, and her two sons, Ethan and Jack, who both attended Miniwanca. She is also survived by her mother, Janet Hoetker Strube, Older Girls Class of 1963. Jan continues to serve the AYF as Archivist, preserving the stories of all Founders for generations to come.

Dr. Charlotte Reed Ward passed away Jan. 30, 2022 at age 92. She first attended Miniwanca Girls Camp in 1964 and was a member of the Older Girls Class of 1971. Charlotte is survived by her son, Mark, who attended Merrowvista from 1969 to 1973, returning as a leader in the late ’70s. She is survived by her daughter, Emma Ward Morris, who was a member of the Miniwanca OG Class of 1971. She was also a staff member at Merrowvista in the ’70s. Charlotte is also survived by her daughter, Bess, who attended Merrowvista, then Miniwanca, and was a member of the OG Class of 1973.

Dona Basler Sutherin

Joan Denny Witter passed away Feb. 4, 2022 at age 83. Joan attended Miniwanca Older Girls Camp in 1959 as a home economics senior. Joan is survived by her daughter, Jane Witter Ridings, who attended the National Leadership Conference in 1982 and 1983.

Dona Basler Sutherin, 91, passed away Feb. 16, 2021. Dona began attending Miniwanca Younger Girls Camp in 1942. She was a member of the Older Girls Class of 1949. She also worked as a YG leader during her time as an OG camper. She is survived by her son, Daniel, who attended Boys Camp from 1965 to 1970, and her daughter, Sharna, who attended Girls Camp beginning in 1967 and graduated with the OG Class of 1976. She was predeceased by her son, Thomas, who was a Younger Boys Camper from 1963 to 1967. Sadly, her husband of 70 years, James, passed away Nov. 1, 2021.

Mary Schmidt Twiddy

Mary Charlotte Schmidt Twiddy passed away Jan. 4, 2021. Mary first attended Miniwanca Girls Camp in 1965 and continued through Older Girls camp until 1961. Her daughter, Becky, attended Girls Camp from 1983 to 1984, and her son, Scott, attended Boys Camp from 1981 to 1984 and was a leader in 1985 and 1986.


Joan Denny Witter

Kathryn Mary Wood

Kathryn Mary Wood passed away Sept. 5, 2021. Kathy attended Miniwanca as a Younger Girls camper from 1976 through 1979. She attended Older Girls Camp in 1980 while also working as a YG Leader. Kathy is survived by her daughter, Lacy, who attended Miniwanca Girls Camp in the ’90s. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these memorials. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any errors or omissions.

Board Highlights The American Youth Foundation Board of Directors has been deeply engaged in the work of supporting the organization this year. During in-person meetings and virtual calls, the Board has been a vibrant source of guidance and an active partner in assuring the direction of the AYF. Here are some highlights of 2022.

Belonging and Equity In March 2022, the Board of Directors gathered at City Academy in St. Louis for a two-day retreat to engage in conversation and learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. The Board explored themes of belonging and privilege with Strength Perspective co-founder Jen “Dusty” Clitheroe. Through exercises focused on personal experience, the Board began to envision how AYF activities can be both welcoming and limiting in their culture and traditions.

have been integral to the Board’s strength and development, and their unwavering dedication to the AYF is heartily appreciated.

Focus on Programs During the in-person August meeting at Miniwanca, the Board leaned into discussion supporting the full range of AYF programs. Board Chair DD Danforth-Burlin noted the continued progress the AYF has made building back full use of the campuses for summer and year-round programs for a variety of audiences, including conferences, adults, Celebrations and Transitions schools, and community partnerships. Following the meeting, several Also at the spring meeting, the Board honored Neil Sweeny’s decades Board members attended the Girls Camp Reunion at Miniwanca. of service and work as the Board Treasurer, acknowledging his transition Visioning for the Future to the Emeritus Board. David Danforth’s many years of service as Board The summer meeting also focused on work with Change Develop Move Chair were marked by a lively celebration and the founding of the David Principal Tucker Branham to vision in preparation for AYF's centennial Danforth Ready About Regatta, which will take place annually at celebration in 2025. The Board delved into planning to position the AYF Miniwanca and Merrowvista. Both David and Neil’s years of service for the next 100 years. BOARD OF DIRECTORS



DD Danforth-Burlin

Gretchen Butler Clayton

Kathryn Lemaire

Chandlee Dickey

Kay Bell

Patrick West

Christopher Danforth

Jeffrey McDonnell

John Drew

J. Patrick Mulcahy

Andrea Van Cleve

Donald Danforth III

Daniel Miller

Shannon O’Toole

A. Neil Sweeny

Glenn E. Davis

Deborah A. Seidel

Astrid Wielens

Patricia Jones

Kelly Tyson


Treasurer Secretary

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


Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021 While we were able to welcome youth back to Miniwanca and Merrowvista for limited programming in 2021 and 2022, the American Youth Foundation felt the financial strain of reduced program revenue.We extend our deepest gratitude to the following individuals, corporations, and foundations for their support of our programs and the youth we serve.We hope you will continue to give generously in 2022 and 2023 as we continue to recover from the pandemic’s lasting effects.Thank you for your support. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. Please accept our sincere apologies for any errors or omissions.


Joan Braswell DD Danforth-Burlin and Johannes Burlin The Estate of William H. Danforth MD The Estate of Paul Gross The Mulcahy Family JoAnn Mulcahy O'Brien Family Foundation

Michael and Dianne O'Brien Jeff Prince and Beth Firmin Marilyn Ripley Scheerbaum Service Metal Pipe Fittings, Flanges & Valves Janet G. Strube A. Neil and Barbara Sweeny John and Christa Tinker John R. Woods Foundation


Anonymous Donald and Susannah Danforth Robert Funkhouser and Jeri Ballard Keith and Virginia Smith Family Foundation Kennelwood Village Inc. Katie and Christophe Lemaire Earl and Cara Littlefield David and Mary MacMillin Jeffrey and Jennifer McDonnell Ellen Danforth O'Bannon Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd Barbara J. Washburn Patrick and Kim West Laura Young


Anonymous Julie and Mike Austin David and Sara Bailey Tom and Hunter Bailey Bank of America Private Bank Kenneth Baughman Gary J. Bloomfield, Ph.D. Kregg and Rochelle Bodily Christena Bolton Mr. Thomas G. Brackman Clayco, Inc. Louise Orcutt Cleveland


Kathleen Beyerman and Rick Hawkins Teresa Bowers Stacy and Doug Bratcher


The Albers/Kuhn Family Foundation Elizabeth Calhoun Gretchen and Jay Clayton Shirley Dungan Cline Christopher and Molly Danforth David and Christina Danforth Mrs. Donald Danforth, Jr. The Honorable and Mrs. John C. Danforth Chandlee Dickey and Lawrence Panych John Drew Evelyn and Edwin Franks Chris and Kelly Gould Craig and Katherine Hyland Charlie and Leah Koch Thearon and Vanette McKinney Nestlé Purina PetCare Company The Pillsbury Foundation Margaret Rush Deb Seidel The Stuart Foundation Andrea and Peter Van Cleve

Jan and Craig Cook Sean and Julie Dalton Glenn and Susan Davis Tony and Shawna Gehres Paul and Jennifer Gunning John and Barbara Hecker Kevin and Jana Hunt Emily and Dennis Knuth Susan Marshall LaPine Dean and Pat Messinger Daniel and Anne Miller George and Irene Minich Andy and Molly Mulcahy Michael and Lynn Mulcahy

Rebecca Cook Marcia Corbett Buck Drew DDS PA George Deuble Foundation Marjorie Goetzke Entorf The Fifield/Philippides Family Edman and Virginia Gray Frederick S. Hammer Kenneth and Bonnie Hargreaves Robert and Sally Harrison Dr. and Mrs. R. Mark Hatfield Shawn Herron and Phuoc Le Ronald B. Howe


Thomas and Hilary Hoynes Blake Ives Jerry and Robin Jaeger Alan Jones Patricia Cobb Jones Amy and Nathan Kostal Jeffrey and Chris Libson Katherine Lindholm and Neil Lewis Kelsey Livingston Jean and Charles Luckhardt Liz Marshall Paul and Georgia Martin Laura and Larry Mason H. Smith and Janet McGehee Kip and Carol McGilliard Susan H. McLeod Meta Pavlik Charitable Fund Carol Davis Moakley and Brien Moakley James Oetting Tom Oxtoby and Shirley Fleming-Oxtoby Anne and Jack Palomaki Kenneth J. Perkins Margaret Ride Peterson Laura and James Redmond Peter Ribbens Derek Schwendinger Victoria Sherman and Bill Tucker Amy Skalinder and Erin Mays Linda Slagell Cody and Carrie Smith Santha Stall Standard Process Barbara W. Strawn Mary Struckhoff Dr. Dean Telthorst Michael and Jennifer Trippeer Washington University Athletics Amy and Morris Westerhold Bob, Debbie, Emily, and Tom Whitman Emily Willingham Mary Jane Wiseman


James Abshagen Anonymous Michael and Holly Arnold Neil and Cheryl Bartnett Kay and Harvey Bell Wendy and Lee Bendersky Meghan and Chris Bliss Brad and Amy Bowers

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021 Steve Brown John A. Buchman Susan Buckley Arthur Bulger Judith Bushouse Rochelle and Louis Cain The Campos Family Gerard Oprins and Cindy Christensen Don and Elizabeth Cobin Commerce Bank of St. Louis Daniel and Doris Devereux Ayn Dietrich-Williams

Mark and Katie Drew Anne and Judson Duncan David and Jennifer Eaglesham Bill and Sue Etling Missy Foote Kris Gaziano Laurie Geisel Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt Carol Hardenbergh Rachel and Alexander Hawes Joseph and Mary Herald-d'Oronzio Michelle Hirsch Mimi S. Holmes Anne Hughes and Stan Livingston Dr. Jennifer Hull Laurie and Donell Humphrey Gary Kaplan Dennis and Sharon Karr Allyson Knox Brad Kosem Bill and Amanda Kuhnert James Langan Keith and Monique Lawton Steve Lilly Peter and Margaret Link Martha D. MacMillin

Mitchell Margo Byron and Margaret Martin Bill and Carol May Deborah McDonald Terese Mitchusson Deborah and John Murphy Walter Mutter Patrick and Jamie O'Hagin and Family Sara and Mathew Ottman Stephen Owens and Ann Owens Miles Panych Ginger Solon Partee

Kelly and Cleveland Tyson Mark and Mary Unangst Susan Venn Griffin Vogler and Michael Harter Robert and Nancy Early Wagoner Alan Ward Michael and Donna Warren Paul and Marianne Weichselbaum Dickson and Ann Whitney Pamela Wise Cynthia Meiners and James Wright


Dru Anderson Annette Augsburger Phil and Kathy Baggett Nancy Baldwin Karen and David Baratz Marguerite and Richard Bliss Karen Potter Bohuski Stephanie Borum and Celeste Jordan Lisa and Barry Boucher Matt Boxdorfer Tucker Branham Kevin Brockman Jane Brock-Wilson Katherine Brokaw Jay and Abby Brown Richard H. Burst Meg Campbell John and Kay Clark Lisa and Tim Clark Stew and Emilie Collins Paul and Deborah Craun Gray Danforth Laurie Desai Ellie Dixon Barbara and Richard Doerrer-Peacock

Marian Reineke James and Mary Roberts Clare Sanford John Santelli and Jennifer Hirsch Jon and Nancy Schindler Sara K. Schneidewind Karl Schults Lina Slack Judy Straka Michael Tchou Mike and Kathy Thomas Alana Toabe


Wayne and Susan Duckworth Elizabeth East Frances Ekern Mike and Ann Ficken Mary K. France Douglas and Jane Goodrich Tom Granneman Barbara J. Greig Robert and Cynthia Grimm Ken Grosskopf Don and Debie Guenther Becky and Peter Hanrahan Barbara Henrichs Earl and Eugenia Henry Nancy and Raymond Hill Gail Hindle Susan and Neil Horning Susan Melson Huffman Mr. Brady & Dr. Brigid Hunemuller Keith Johnson Carl and Marybeth Kantner Jennifer Keller and Mary DeBisschop Elizabeth J. Kelly Martha Kropf Lake Forest Dental David Limbrick and Catherine Seltzer Matthew Loper Paul Mackzum Ken MacLean and Juliet Feibel Bruce Marshall Judith Jobbitt and Thomas Marshall Gregg Merz Laurie Miller and Steve Nichols Annie and Todd Oliverio Sarah Forbes Orwig Margaret Oxtoby Julie Palomaki-Meadows

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021 Nancy Paysinger Julie C. Pett-Ridge Dr. Richard and Ethel Phillips Steven and Frances Piesbergen Mary Sue Fortner Pollitt Catherine Skinner Powell Janet Reece Karen Reimer

Evelyn Williams Kate Wissman Holley Young

Charles Rimmer James Ringwald Chloé Risto and Kevin Byerley Barbara Roden Richard and Victoria Rubin Robert and Doni Schumacker Julius A. Seidel Bill Shea Alisa Shin James and Kelley Skidmore Thomas Spiegelhalter Carol and Mitch Swayze Ramon Tabtiang and Joanna Gilbert Justin Traxler and Regina Wu Brent Underwood Elizabeth and Gadalia Vainer Callie Ward Robert and Margaret Watson Ruth Wattles Carrie and Jay Weaver Linda and Nicholas Wenri Astrid Wielens and Bridget Stearns

Mark and Cindy Adams Dale and Mardie Anderson Megan Andrews Rhonda Rogers Armor Jay O. Aronson Jeffrey and Ann Bach Gary Baran and Family Rev. A. Otto Baumann, II Douglas and Karen Beattie Katie and Albert Bell Jacqueline Bencker Carol Bigelow Thomas Blanke Amy J. Bohigian Steven Borgelt Henry W. Boyd III Vincent C. Bresch Mr. William T. Brown Gloria Browne-Marshall Dr. Robert Bruce E. Chandlee Bryan Deborah and Derrick Buddemeyer

Nancy Burke and Don Burn The Staff & Board of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Charles W. Cammack III Alan and Diane Campbell Amy Campbell Betsy Cannon Elizabeth Carnahan Eric Chamberlain and Deborah Smiley Susan Chandler Holly Clayson Ruth Cleveland Kenneth Collier Chris Collins Dr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Collins Sally and Gregory Connell Dr. Margaret H. Cooper Peggy Mill Copeland Paul Costa and Mia Carpiniello Catherine E. Cox Ross Ann Craig Jay Crosson Rev. Beverly J. Crute, Ph.D. Marie Dalton-Meyer and Les Meyer Bruce and Linda Damstra Doug Darr Mary Jane Davis Robert Denta Fredrica and Charles Depew Marilyn Detrich Matthew Dolezalek Hallie Dovich Audrey Durrua Elizabeth Early Nancy L. Eckfeld Leslie Ahrens Ellis Carol Emens Dr. Joan Essen Allison Farnen Brian Ferguson Dona and Thomas Foerster Richard and Barbara Fox Nancy and Donald Fraser Susan Gall Dr. Gail G. Gamble Gannett Foundation Sarah Garner Ann Ladenson Garrison Joseph and Louise Gazzoli Regan Gibson Wiesler Peter and Emily Glore Rebecca and Brian Goldstein Polly Gongwer Margaret Gonzales


Priscilla Abbott Mr. Howell E. Adams, Jr.


Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Larry and Nancy Goodlund Nancy and Michael Goyda Karen M. Grane Matthew Gray David and Debra Grimm Lynn Hall Robert S. Hamilton, Jr. Dawn Hammersley M. Kay Hannah Robert and Cindy Harlan Joseph and Kim Harmon Kathryn Mellis Harper David and Julie Harris Jim and Marty Harris Veronica Johnson Harris Yvette Hartsfield Amy Harvey and Jennifer Tucker Susan and Timothy Harvey Carissa and Douglas Hensley Herman Miller Cares Foundation Shane Hinde Sarah K. Hindle Ruth Hintz Al and Kathryn Hodgdon Nancy Hoerner Sandra Holcombe Shirley and Roger Holt Hale Deborah Hoover and Malcolm McPherson Roger Humphries Helaine Hunscher Susan and Thomas Hurd Jonathan and Sarah Igoe Linda Meyer Jackmond Mary Clare Jakes Heidi Frielingsdorf Johnson Jory and Calvin Johnson Maryhelen Jones Bettina Getz and William Judge Pat Benedict Jurgens Nancy and Charles Kaelber Tara Karr Aleta Keel Kevin and Carrie Kennedy Flora Kitzman Catherine Klene Randy and Laura Kniffen Jeffrey B. Knudson Chandler and Elysian Koglmeier Stephen Kohlbry Jane Koten Ann and Lionel Kreamer Jack Kuhlman

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021

Virginia Kurrus Roger Labrie and Kate Tomlinson Robert and Erica Lam Dominic Lambek Jana and Walter Lane Katherine DeVries Lasker and Dan Lasker Mariann Laue Baker Meredith Lee-Clark Melinda Lindell Jeanne D. Lischer Nicholas and Diane Litton Lynn and Matthew Litwiller Robert and Joan Lohrey Sandra Lonsfoote Chip MacLeod Kathleen Madrey Fisher Sara Marblestone and Sheri Tracey Andy and Nancy Marr Marianna and Byron Martin Jay Todd Max David and Christina McCallum Jay and Meg McDermott Sean and Cristina McGroarty Sue McKinney Payal and Ashwani Mehta Barbara J. Michael Beverly Cosner Miller Christopher Miller William Minnich Gwen Henry Monahan Rebecca and Bruce Montgomery William R. Morris Anne and Kurt Mueller

Michael and Joan Mullen Terry Muller Alexis Parks Myton Kaz Naganuma Judith K. Nettles Charles and Patricia Newhall Barry and Elaine Nocks Sheila Nollen Elizabeth Ohle Sverre and Sara Olsen Kathryn B. O'Toole Blankenship Trey Paloucek Donald and Barbara Parrish Debbie Parrott and Erik Johnson Bob Pearson Amanda Perkins J. Stuart and Debbie Pettitt Jennifer Pett-Ridge Suzanna Gordner Pollak Rebecca Pressel James Price Merlin Prior Martin and Mary Proudfoot Lisa Kaptur Puma and Scott Puma Jan Queal Diane Rabe Sharlyn Stephens Radcliffe Josh Reed Susi Reed Jane Reynolds Peter Rich Doug Richmond Don and Deborah Riley Elizabeth Roghair

Sarah Ruiz Kerry Ryan and Dr. Noaman Siddiqi Sharron and Daniel Sanborn Helene M. Saunders Dr. Thomas and Carole Sawa Kim and David Scartelli Mary Dee and Ed Schmidt William Schults and Elizabeth Maislen

Kathleen Schweich Jennifer Sebolt Manoochehr and Maryann Sharifi The Shepherd Foundation Linda S. Shirk Lois Farley Shuford Bruce Shuman Janet Christy Silvester and Terry Silvester


Amy and Kevin Simmons Laura Spence Edith and Charles Spencer Steamboat Springs High School Thomas Steen and Carol Cook Julie and Donn Stengele William and Margaret Stude Luella Swisher Piroska Ludwig Szabo Susan Steiger Tebb Bets and Chris Thomas Michael and Karen Thomas Geraldine J. Thompson Michelle Thompson Patricia Thrash Trevor and Leslie Uhl Fred Vahle Margaret Van Cleve Sarah Van Cleve Gracie Van Huffel Norma Jean Vavra Klein Sarah A. Wagoner Thomas and Lynn Wahle Eva Wailes John and Vicki Waller Dr. Charlotte Ward Donald E. Ward Chad and Amber Warner Katherine Weih

Phyllis Carrington Wertime Beverly White Frank Whitington Wendell and Mary Williams Kevin Williamson Nancy and William Wittkamp Shirley Nesbitt Young Nancy and Bill Ziegelmueller

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021 DARERS CIRCLE ($1+)

Catherine P. Alexander Judson M. Armstrong Judy and Barry Baker Urica Baker-Cron and Mark Cron Patricia and William Ball Doreen and Billy Beaudette John Benckenstein Meg Bergen Patricia Bergstrom Lance Bernhardt Burke and Jo Hoyt Bero Arthur and Louann Bodenbender Marilyn Bokrass Melissa Boyle and Jennifer Stenersen Lynn Bradley Tracy Marblestone Brant Ruth and John Britton Casey Brock-Wilson Laurie Buchta Katie Burrows John and June Carter Catheryn and Megin Charner-Laird Stacy M. Chriswell Bernard Citron Theodore Clair Laurel Clayson David and Diana Colpitts Susan R. Danielson Roger and Harriet Davidson Donovan DeJong Adam Demorest Barbara DeYoung Sara Streed Dick Nancy S. Dickinson Rebecca Doane Barbara Dolan and Natalie Nowicki Cathleen Dorinson Sarah Dreyer-Oren Kimberly Ellis Alaine Emens and Jackie Fields Sue Essen Penny Estes Alison and Tod Ewing Kathleen J. Faulkenberry Delaney Feighan Suzanne Lilly Ferrall Julie Miller Figg Ambrean Ford Carol and Loren Ford Robert and Sylvia Frank Sarah Garvin Margaret Gast

Lindsay and Hunter Gordon Kathryn Gorman Louis Green Paul and Evelyn Green Karen Lynn Grogan Anne Davis Grothe Joseph and Sally Grube

Nancy Lau Aliza Lee Katie and Joe LeGrand Megan Lemaire Jill Lewis Elizabeth Lilly Jane Lindberg

Carolyn Metzger Harmon Priscilla and James Heininger Carolynn Heller Judith and Eugene Hertelendy Calista L. Hillman Frederick Hird Robert and Elizabeth Hoffman Thomas R. Hoober Dale Hood Tanya Hopson Carolyn Hubenak Marie and Philip Huizenga Beverly Stevens Jensen Bette Jolly Lynn Ann Jones Andreava Kasianchuk Barbara Kelley Crystal and Brian Kennedy Joy and Paul Kerkhoff Faith Killough Aria Killough-Miller Amy and Tim Knauff Judy R. Koehl Sara and Richard Kopacz John Kotanidas, Jr. Kelsey Johansen Kreyling Jane Mahler Kuipers Meredith LaCagnin

Eileen Dressel Lischer Jo and Kiau Loi Jerie Lukefahr Edgard Membreno and Jessica Burton Steve Meyer Joseph and Kathryne Mitchell Laura J. Mohr Steve and Elizabeth Murrill Calvin and Karen Mutti Mary Cooper Nelson Martha Neuman Carolyn Ohle and Todd Cooper John Pape Halisha Patel Sarah L. Paugh Bonnie and Evan Pearson Bill and Jennifer Pennoyer Beth Perkins Edward Peters Joan Peterson Susan Pietrantozzi Nancy Ratliff Bruce and Page Reed Brent and Meehan Repp Judith and Kenneth Rhoads Anne and John Ribble David and Nadine Richardson 21

Denotes Member of the Eternal Flame Society

Sandra Nelson Richardson David and Diana Ricks David Riel Marci and Tim Riggs Jim and Kim Rosborough Lisa Rosenbeck Robert Ross Robert Roy Gary and Sandra Ruggiero Peggy Harvey Rule Suzanne Runge Marsha Rusco Dena Rutter Brenda Ryan Meredith and Justin Sanders Patricia and Eric Sanders Melissa Rooney Sarver Julia Yvonne Schenck Phillip and Mary Schenkenberg Lesley Mellis Schuldt Michael Selby Shouhei Senno Billie Shelton Patricia and William Simmons Dan Slavin Ross Smith Leslie and Larry Snyder Lisa Srnka Fisher Bridget Stack Bruce Stuckel Sarah Suggs Nancy Tellier Andrew Thomas Jane Torpie Dr. Margaret E. Towner Bill Van Cleve Susan Vercruysse Sovann Vorsteg-Boyd Jane Wallace Cinda Lou Walton Michael and Kathy Warren Nancy and Robert Weed Sanford Weiss Chris Wellens and Becky McCluskey Carol Crain White Anna Whitehead Nellie Jane Whitton David and Mary Anna Wicker Jennifer Wilford Tara and Rich Williams Eunice Wong Bob Yates Kathy Zenk

TRIBUTE & MEMORIAL GIFTS | January 1, 2021 to September 9, 2022 In Honor of Rhonda Rogers Armor Nancy Paysinger In Memory of Kathleen Armstrong Judson M. Armstrong In Memory of Trisha Ballestero Missy Foote In Memory of Bruce Barmby Bette Jolly Kip and Carol McGilliard In Memory of Carolyn Anderson Beimdiek The Baratz Family In Honor of Albie and Katie Bell and Family Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt Carol and Philip Maus In Memory of Judith Bennett Susan Melson Huffman In Memory of Jean Booker Aleta Keel Joy and Paul Kerkhoff Rebecca Pressel

In Memory of Shirley Dungan Cline Sarah Barney and Dr. Melissa Barney Lynn Carson Susan and John Huesing Peter and Anne James J.A. Lacy Family Melissa Martin Jessie Merand Bill and Gloria Rigg PJ Smith

In Honor of Carolyn A. Faber Nancy Paysinger In Memory of Carolyn Finch Ford John Benckenstein Elizabeth East Alaine Emens and Jackie Fields Carol Emens Kris Gaziano Mary Clare Jakes Ann and Lionel Kreamer Melinda Lindell Donald and Barbara Parrish David and Diana Ricks Marci and Tim Riggs Suzanne Runge The Staff & Board of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Eva Wailes Bob, Debbie, Emily, and Tom Whitman

In Memory of Harriet Hart Collier Steamboat Springs High School In Honor of David Danforth Kelly and Cleveland Tyson Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd In Memory of Donald Danforth Jr. Derek Schwendinger In Honor of Keaton Day Kimberly Ellis

In Memory of Albert and Martha Gremse Joan Peterson

In Honor of Ada Deer Sarah Forbes Orwig

In Honor of Karen Bell Gwidt and Jesse Gwidt and Family Katie and Albie Bell and Family In Memory of Joan Hallsteen Laura Colebank James Langan Anne and Kurt Mueller Liz and Jeffrey Sharp In Honor of Marty Harris Michael Andreani In Memory of Dr. Ann Tukey Harrison Frances Ekern In Memory of Nancy and William Harvey Erin and Mark McGaughey

Santha Stall Piroska Ludwig Szabo

In Honor of Dorty and Horace Helene M. Saunders

In Memory of Hailey Buddemeyer Jennifer Peterson

In Memory of Virginia "Wink" Dunn Anne and Jack Palomaki

In Memory of Laverne Bunting Doug Darr In Honor of DD Danforth-Burlin Ranon Kent In Memory of Charles Chriswell Louis Green

In Memory of Mary Lou Herminghaus Palmer Susan H. McLeod In Honor of Sara Hofverberg and her lifelong Miniwanca Friends Nancy Lau In Honor of Ace Holmberg and Natalie Skye Lapar Nancy Wilson

In Honor of Pat and Bruce Dutcher of Maple Lane Farm The Skidmore Family In Memory of Virginia and Robert Dunn Susan Marshall LaPine In Memory of Talia Ewing Alison and Tod Ewing 22

In Honor of Aaron Jaeger's MS Graduation from MIT and completion of his solo crosscountry bicycle adventure Jerry and Robin Jaeger In Memory of David F. Jones Daniel and Anne Miller Bernard Citron Clayco, Inc. The Honorable and Mrs. John C. Danforth Rebecca Doane Matthew Dolezalek Crystal and Brian Kennedy Michael and Kathy Warren In Honor of Angela and Kevin Kovarik Anna Whitehead In Honor of Rachel Krishnan Nancy Paysinger In Memory of Roland P. Ladenson, Miniwanca Camp Physician 1964-1968 Ann Ladenson Garrison In Honor of Ava Lancaster Nancy Paysinger In Memory of Harold LaPine Martha and James Harris In Honor of Matt Loper Anonymous Sarah Caliendo Denise Loper Patricia Cobb Jones Emily and Dennis Knuth Liz Marshall Andy and Molly Mulcahy Steve Palley and Kate Stein Cody and Carrie Smith Judy Stockman Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd Hannah Williams and Rica Bryan Holley Young In Memory of Anne Marblestone Tracy Marblestone Brant Donovan DeJong Martha Kropf In Honor of Liz Marshall Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd

In Honor of Robert Hopkinson Missy Foote

In Memory of Jennifer Mason Laura and Larry Mason

In Honor of Susan Melson Huffman Nancy Paysinger

In Honor of Peter and Ben McDermott Jay and Meg McDermott

TRIBUTE & MEMORIAL GIFTS | January 1, 2021 to September 9, 2022 In Honor of Thearon and Vanette McKinney Sarah Forbes Orwig Nancy Paysinger

In Memory of Marie Prange Oetting Buck Drew DDS PA Julie and Donn Stengele

In Memory of Shawman Lee Detterman Meireis Acquis Consulting Group Sherry Adams Attralus, Inc. Janet Benson Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Hallie Boger Matthew Burke Karen and Daniel Detterman Linda Detterman Chris Farr Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons Andrew and Betty Golub Goodman/Van Riper Photography David and Lynne Judd Daniel Kim Patti, Carol, Maureen, Michelle, Jane and Sheila Gleeson Ann O'Brien Eileen O'Keefe Judith Pitchfork Eileen Rodriguez Erica Sandler Jennifer Smith, Robert Jones and Family Jenny and Hal Spiers Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd Kurt, Joanne, Beckie, Rachel and Mark Wagner Kyle Weaver Regan Winkler Richard Winters

In Memory of Martha and Ernie Ohle Carolyn Ohle and Todd Cooper

In Memory of Minisino Richard and Barbara Fox In Honor of Hannah Montgomery Rebecca and Bruce Montgomery In Memory of Donald Morgan Janet G. Strube In Memory of Elizabeth Mulcahy Dr. Dean Telthorst In Memory of Jamie Nielsen Stephen Owens and Ann Owens In Honor of Erin O'Brien Megan Andrews Dennis and Sharon Karr Tara Karr Michael and Dianne O'Brien

In Memory of Kim Strube Scartelli 80 Bay of Miniwanca: Libbie Adam Ginny Coleman Elizabeth Early Eileen Dressel Lischer Amy Harvey Jory Johnson Vanette McKinney JoAnn Mulcahy Erica Recker Linda Slagell PJ Smith Jennifer Tucker American Living, Inc. Tracy Bautista Todd and Lori Bianchine Robert Bloomfield Steve Boggs Tracy Marblestone Brant David Bright Cayman Chemical

In Memory of Dorothy Toren Orcutt Ruth Cleveland In Memory of Ricky Owens Blake Ives In Memory of Steven R. Meadows Julie Palomaki-Meadows In Memory of Jane Paysinger Susan Melson Huffman In Honor of Nancy Paysinger Susan Melson Huffman In Honor of Ann Phillips Allison Farnen

Andy and Molly Mulcahy JoAnn Mulcahy Heidi Nelson Ashlie O'Reilly Shannon O'Toole Karen Reimer Ritz-Craft Corporation Pam and Joseph Ruth Sandra Sabatini Jill Schantz Nancy Schwartz Victoria Sherman and Bill Tucker The Shorter Family Stacey Siak Bob and Henley Smith Faye Sturhahn and Ted Smith Michelle Thompson Anna Kay Vorsteg and Vicki Boyd George and Jennifer Yohrling In Honor of Marilyn Ripley Scheerbaum Jo and Kiau Loi In Honor of Katie Schindler, NLC 2021 Graduate Jon and Nancy Schindler In Memory of Shirley T. Shearman Shouhei Senno In Memory of Jack C. Swisher Luella Swisher

In Honor of Karen Reimer Sandra Lonsfoote

Melissa Cosby Tracy Diiacovo Bruce Dunbar Sarah Ekern-Schumacher Lisa Guy Angela and Michael Hart Carolyn Hart Hollie and Jeffrey Hart The Heartland Girls Karen Hogan Shirley Huffman The Jenkins Family Paul and Mildred John Patricia Cobb Jones Nancy Ludlow Liz Marshall Theresa and Ronald Merbler Carla Minori Kathy Moll

In Honor of Chloé Risto Patrick Hayes In Honor of Lisa Roelle Barb Walton In Honor of Sharron Sanborn Laura Mayo In Memory of Frank Sanford Mike and Ann Ficken Kathryn Gorman Clare Sanford Susan Venn In Honor of Elijah Sarvey Joseph and Mary Herald-d'Oronzio In Honor of Rebecca MeeJee Sarvey Joseph and Mary Herald-d'Oronzio 23

In Memory of Ryan Thomas Gray Danforth Michele Sullivan Bets and Chris Thomas Michael and Karen Thomas Kate Wissman In Honor of Andrea Van Cleve Joseph and Louise Gazzoli In Honor of Dansby Vogler, Dishwasher Extraordinaire at Camp Miniwanca Lisa and Tim Clark In Memory of Dr. Charlotte Ward Mark and Marta Ward In Memory of Mariette Schneider Ward Alan Ward In Memory of Alpha Worrell Bob Pearson In Honor of the Wright Family Katie and Albie Bell and Family

HONOR ROLL | Contributor Donations from January 1 to December 31, 2021 FACEBOOK GIVING We would like to thank the following Founder Friends who hosted Facebook Fundraisers to raise money for AYF in 2021. Ann Bowyer Boren Shirley Bosler Mary Lynn Nesbitt Crawford Beth Dimka Shawn Herron Patrick Kearney Bruce Marshall Olivia Marshall Vanette McKinney Robert Pike Jennifer Rhodes PJ Smith Janet G. Strube Dansby Vogler We would like to thank the following Founder Friends who donated to Facebook Fundraisers to raise money for AYF in 2021. Mark and Mary Abner Linda Ahles Ashlea Allsup Rhonda Rogers Armor Luther Battiste Dianne Bennett Megan Black Tony Bockelman Sommar Boese Ann Bowyer Boren Melissa Boyle

DD Danforth-Burlin Diana Byrne Kathryn Coleman Tamara Conn Diane Cordell Jim Craig Mary Lynn Crawford Ellen Damato Carol Davis Mike Davis Steve Dewitt Beth Dimka Lynne Dudenhoefer-Larmee David Ehle Lisa Epps Aprille Flint-Gerner Susan Gall Lisa Guy Karen Bell Gwidt John Hapeel Amy Harvey Shawn Herron Calista L. Hillman Susan Huffman Marianne Hurst Templin Sheila Kellogg Catherine Klene Emily Jones Knuth Tina Kolessar Alice Kuether Sang Lee Eileen Lischer Steve Lock

Matt Loper JoAnne Cardone Maddalena Carol Magelssen Bruce Marshall James Marshall John Marshall Liz Marshall Olivia Marshall Kate Maus-Bell JT Max John McAlister Debbie McDonald W. Stuart McDowell Missy McIver Vanette McKinney Debbie Midkiff Rita Moore Kathleen Mosher Laura Murray Erin O'Brien Florence Ott Paul Palmer Mark Pawlowski Nancy Paysinger Jan Pearlman Cortner Carolyn Perkins Nancy Pfeiffer Fuell Marge Phipps Matt Pollock Raviraj Poosarla Martha Ramirez Liz Rappold Rebecca Reyes


Jennifer Rhodes Renea Rice Holly Rich Patti Robbins-Phillips Susan Rowe Barbie Rumsey Chris Sauls Patricia Schulte-Singleton Linda Slagell Bob Smith PJ Smith Chris Spiek Jan Strube A. Neil Sweeny Jeanne Tomlinson Hans Troemel Amanda Tucker Kathie Verderber Dansby Vogler Denyce Vogler Codoni Christi Warner Judy Weitzman Edward Wulin Shirley Young

Honor someone important in your life by making a gift to the AYF in their name online at or scan the QR code.


Online registration for 2023 Summer Camp programs is now open at! We are pleased to expand our program offerings in 2023 with one-, two-, and three-week options for each session at Miniwanca and Merrowvista. We will also host the Donald Danforth Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament in spring 2023 and adult programs in summer and fall, including Summer Seminars for Women, Alumni and Family Weekends, and Spark, an adult retreat. Visit or sign up for our email newsletter at for more information.




National Leadership Conference

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

Session A

Session A

June 10 to June 17

June 25 to July 14

July 2 to July 21

Online registration begins

Voyageur and Odyssey

Summer Camp

July 2 to August 4

Session B

(five weeks)

July 23 to August 11

November 14.

Summer Camp Session B July 16 to August 4

The American Youth Foundation will mark its centennial in 2025

with a year of celebration, special events, and a capital campaign. We hope you’ll join us as we share our vision for the AYF’s next 100 years! Sign up for our email newsletter to receive all the centennial details at or scan the QR code.



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




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