For over 25 years, Mary Fried, owner and director of Camp Agawak has brought heart, passion and hands-on leadership to an extraordinary and diverse camp environment. Mary has been “camp mom” and role model to thousands of campers and staff since 1989. She holds a masters degree in Educational Psychology and has dedicated her life to working with children. Her experience as an elementary and middle-school counselor makes her a resourceful and compassionate director. Mary’s breath of talent, combined with her enthusiasm for working with children creates a camp culture that is as extraordinary as it is fun. She is an active member of the American Camping Association, the Midwest Camping Association, the Wisconsin School Counselor Association, and the American Counseling Association. Mary lives on the camp property year round with her three children, Jaclyn, Jacob and Joshua.
As any good camp director will tell you, the key to a successful summer is the caliber of the staff. Implementing a dynamic program and maintaining a beautiful facility is only meaningful if our staff supports the mission of providing a safe and nurturing camp environment for our campers. The selection of quality staff is given top priority. We look for the “cream of the crop”……the best of the best.
At Agawak we select sensitive, enthusiastic, exceptional people who are dedicated to working with children. Our staff is composed of undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, coaches and high school students who love camp, the outdoors and working with children. Agawak staff members are high spirited, passionate individuals from around the country and world who want to make a positive difference in the lives of our girls.
In addition to the vast amount of rigorous, on-site training that our staff receives during pre-camp, they also go through intensive online training with industry professionals from Expert Online Training.
Campers, this is my first summer at Camp Agawak and I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you! Whether this is your first summer or it’s your 15th summer at Minocqua’s picturesque Blue Lake, prepare yourself for an exhilarating camp experience filled with camp fires, water sports, friendships, and everything else that Camp Agawak offers to create memories that will last forever. As a former Apple Corporate Director of Sales, hockey and lacrosse coach, my energy and passion for youth empowerment is palpable. Get ready to hang with me, my wife Amy, and my two golden retrievers, Crosby and Bauer. If you are looking forward to summer 2018 half as much as I am, then it’s never too early to prepare for what will inevitably be the BEST summer of your life! Home is Deerfield, IL & I have four amazing kids, Jennifer, Judd , Ethan & Isabella.
Chris Garcia joined the Agawak crew in 2008 and is a Minocqua native. After gaining an undergraduate Finance degree from Carroll College in Waukesha, she went on to receive a Masters degree in Administration from University of Whitewater. Chris thoroughly enjoys the office life of number crunching, report running and day to day operations that go on "behind the scenes". She works year round at Agawak, but also coaches the local swim club seven months out of the year and the boys high school team. From time to time, Chris lends a hand to the waterfront giving swim lessons or lifeguarding. As a mother of four, she also gives out hugs when needed or an extra ear to listen. Chris lives in Hazelhurst with her husband, Robert and children; Nick, Hanna, Jack and Georgia.
Emily Gurner has been at Agawak since 2000 where she started as a camper. She was a counselor for three years and now part of the administrative team. Emily is from Deerfield, IL and attended Indiana University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She also is a Learning Behavior Specialist. Emily currently works as a 7th grade special education teacher at Shepard Middle School in Deerfield. Emily is an integral part of the administrative team and absolutely loves it. She handles day-to-day communication with parents. Emily is looking forward to her 17th summer and can't wait to be back at her favorite place in the world and her happy place, Agawak!
Hi, I'm Ducky and this is my 22nd summer here at Agawak. I have been the head cook longer than any of our campers have been alive! I look forward to another summer of making everyone happy with healthy, delicious food, including all the faves- Pizza, Grilled Cheese on Tuesdays, BBQ Chicken and of course...Pasta Bar! Can't wait to see you all very soon!
Kerris can’t wait to go to Camp for the first time this summer! She is from the South Coast of England, now studying in first year of a Film Production degree. She can’t wait to share her passions of photography and film making with everyone at camp. Her favorite art form is film photography, which she is excited to be teaching at camp. Fun fact; she was a gymnast for 7 years and completed 5 seasons on an all star cheerleading team, and became a National Champion in her last ever competition. She can’t wait to create new memories at Camp and start this adventure.
Aimee is super excited to be heading to camp Agawak from Sydney, Australia for her very first summer. Being from Australia it’s no surprise she loves everything to do with the water but her favourite thing is paddle boarding and loves sharing that passion with others; she can’t wait to do just that with all the girls at camp as a part of the waterfront team. Aimee has worked in travel for the last 7 years and been lucky enough to visit over 24 country’s within her 25 years. This has given her many fun stories, life skills and experiences, but most importantly the meaning of appreciating what you have and looks forward sharing all of this with her new found friends at camp.
Zoe Diamond is so excited to be back at camp for her 9th summer!! Zoe is currently a junior at Rochelle Zell High School! At home Zoe loves to hang with friends, laugh, and dance! Zoe loves kickboxing as well! Zoe loves camp, but one of her favorite programs is food olympics (because who doesn’t love food!) Zoe also enjoys dancing on top of tables while screaming her lungs out to songs in the lodge, even if there’s no music playing. Zoe is beyond thrilled to be back at camp for her first time on staff and can’t wait to experience it with her new campers!
Hi, I´m Thelma, I'm 19 years old and I'm from Veracruz, Mexico. Actually I'm studying the architectural career. I'll work in the Camp as a helper of kitchen, I know that my career has nothing in common with what i will do in the camp but this is the explanation... my mom is a baker and I'm always helping her, since I was 9 years maybe, It has always been fun to invent new desserts... that's because bake is one of my hobbies. I took ballet classes for 5 years and I really enjoy to dance. When i was a little girl I always made arts and crafts, until now i like to create new and different things, that's because I choose the architecture career. I'm really excited to work in camp Agawak this summer, it will be a great summer, and I can't wait to meet you all. See you soon.
Gemma couldn’t be more excited to travel from Adelaide, Australia, to spend her first summer at Camp Agawak! She will share her love for the outdoors and being active, when working at the Tango Tower. Being her first major trip away from home, she’ll be sure to bring a jar of Vegemite and favourite chocolate!
Lily Emalfarb is beyond eager to be back at Camp Agawak for her ninth summer, and first summer on staff! Lily is finishing up her junior year in high school, and is looking forward to spending her summer on Blue Lake. Lily is excited about returning to such a loving and accepting environment with her sisters, and she can't wait to make new memories! Lily is involved in her high schools Newspaper and Art/Literary magazine, and when not in school, Lily can be found at DePaul University and the Jewish United Fund where she is a Research Training Intern studying both Gender and Women's studies. She loves all forms of art, reading, writing, watching movies, and playing her guitar and singing! She can't wait to be back at Agawak soon!
My name is Perla Ferrer, I’m from México and I study nutrition, as part of my school practice I’ve been at food service, hospitals and kindergarten. One thing I love to do since I was little is to travel, the first time I travel alone was when I was 11 years old to Tulsa Oklahoma as an exchange student, the second one was when I was 18 years old to Europe also as an exchange student, I visited France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain. But this is my very first time in the US as a worker, and I can’t wait to have another adventure to tell to my family and friends. One of my plans to future is to get a master degree in oncology in pediatrics and work in a hospital. I look forward to meeting everyone. See you next summer!
Claire is very excited to be flying all the way from Melbourne, Australia to be spending her first summer at Agawak! Claire enjoys her dancing, netball and swimming. As a qualified swim teacher at home she loves to watch her students grow, learn new skills and have fun. Claire is looking forward to immersing herself in the American culture and meeting new people.
“Hi campers! My name is Lindsay Fisher and I am from Atlanta, GA. I just completed by freshman year at Vanderbilt University and I’m so excited to be back on blue lake! This is my 11th summer at Agawak, and my 3rd as a counselor. You will probably find me teaching kickboxing and planning fun Blue and White activities as a commissioner. I can’t wait to see everyone again and to meet all the new campers! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!!”
Hi everyone! My name is Katie Fisher, I’m 18 years old, and I’m a freshman at the University of Minnesota! I’m studying graphic design and love spending time with my friends and cheering for the Gophers! This summer you can find me dancing down the black path with the juniors on the Fourth of July, drawing in arts and crafts, meditating in yoga, and loving Friday night pizza! This will be my eleventh summer at camp, and my third on staff! I can’t wait for this summer and hope it’s the best one yet!