Director and Staff

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. 

Administration Staff

Mary Fried - Owner & Director

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.  

David McGowan - Assistant Director

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.


Emily Gurner - Administration

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!

Chris Garcia - Office Manager

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.

Ducky D.

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!

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Nicky Lawrence

Nicky is absolutely over the moon about coming to camp this summer! This will be her first time at camp, but second time travelling to America from down under (she is an Aussie). Back at home Nicky is a Pilates instructor in the making as well as an coffee lover and movie binger. Nicky will be helping out in the Drama and Rock Climbing activities at camp, she is definitely prepared for the best summer ! 


Jacqui Levitan

Hi everyone!!! My name is Jacqui Levitan and I am SO excited to be back at camp this summer for my eighth summer at Agawak and third on staff!! I'm from San Francisco, California and will be a junior at Duke University in North Carolina in the fall, where I'm majoring in Computer Science. I'll be one of the three blue and white commissioners this summer. I can't wait to be back swimming in Blue Lake, dancing and singing in the lodge, and for the countdown to finally be over!!! 

Chloe Levitz
Hi My name is Chloe Levitz and this will be my 10th summer at Agawak and 2nd summer of staff. I am currently a senior at Highland Park High School and will be attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison in the fall.  I can’t wait to meet all the new campers and have the best summer yet. You can find me running blue lake, hanging out with the campers and eating ducky’s pizza. I look forward to another amazing summer with all of you! GO WHITE! 
Samantha Linn
Hi! My name is Samantha Linn, and this will be my 10th summer at Agawak and 2nd summer on staff. I'm currently a senior at Deerfield High School, and I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. I can't wait for yet another amazing summer on Blue Lake! You can find me down by the ski docks, dancing in the lodge, running Blue Lake, or hanging with campers on the grassy triangle! I'm so excited to make so many more amazing memories and laughs at the best place!! Go Blue!
Elle Malone

A big G’day from all the way in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My name is Eleanor (or Elle for short) and I am 20 years old. This summer will not only be my first camp at Agawak but also my time in the USA. I have recently graduated from University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and I am passionate about all things where drama, education and the youth meet. For the past several years I have taught many Aussie children dance, drama and singing and I can’t wait to spread my love, passion and groovy vibes with the campers of Agawak this summer.


Kim Martiny

Hello! My name is Kim Martiny and I am super excited to be re-joining the Agawak family for my second summer as the Arts and Crafts teacher! I am currently an elementary Art Teacher and School Counselor in the School District of Rhinelander. When I am not involved with my artistic passions, I love spending time outside kayaking, hiking, running and snowshoeing with my Corgi, Poppy. I am also a total bookworm and absolutely love down time with a cup of coffee and a good read! I look forward to a great summer with all of you! :)


Alexis ( Lexi ) Mauer

Alexis (Lexi) Maurer
Lexi Maurer is from Carmel, Indiana and is beyond excited to be spending her 8th summer at Camp Agawak and her first year on staff. In the fall, she will be a senior at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. You can find Lexi in the upper athletic field playing soccer, dancing and singing in the lodge, eating Ducky’s delicious chocolate chip pancakes or cheering on the Blue Team. She cannot wait for another summer at her favorite place in the world!

Samantha Miesbauer

 Samantha Miesbauer was born and raised in the Northwoods. This will be her second summer as a photographer at Camp Agawak. Samantha cannot wait to capture and share the amazing memories created this summer.

Aniiz Moon

This is Anabel Luna García, my nickname is Anie. I´m 23 years old, I´m from México and Iive in the state of Puebla, I study psychology in BUAP I love my career especially when I have to work with children.I had to the opportunity to participate in foundations for children and teenagers, I like to help  people. I’m an honest, responsible, friendly and dynamic person. All the time I am in movement. I love playing volleyball, I like to watching movies, dancing, singing with my friends, and reading and I really love eating pizza. My favorite colors are pink, green and brown. My favorite pets are the dogs. What I enjoy doing during the day is listening to my favorite singer Bruno Mars. About my experience in the job I worked the in a summer camp two years ago in USA, I was part of kitchen staff I worked in the dining hall and kitchen too. It´s has been an amazing experience working with all the team. This summer I´m going to part of kitchen staff and I can´t wait to live another wonderful experience

Kayla Morris

Kayla is excited to be returning for her tenth summer at camp and her first one as a staff member!  From Deerfield, Illinois, Kayla will be a senior at Deerfield High School in the fall where she is a member of the varsity dance team.  At camp you can often find her helping skiers at the waterfront, dancing around camp, and cheering for the white team.  Kayla is looking forward to meeting all the new campers this summer and she is counting down the days until the best summer yet!