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.
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!
Camp Agawak was joined by Suzi Pierce in 2008, who became our Activities Director and then our Assistant Director. Suzi works closely with Mary, throughout the year, on the day to day operations of camp- planning and implementing programs, activities and making sure that everyone is having fun, being safe and has a smile on their face. She brings a wealth of experience with her to Camp Agawak. Her love for camp started as a young camper at Wisconsin Porter Gymnastics Camp. She grew through the ranks during her 16 years as a camper, counselor, head coach and member of the senior staff. Her love of gymnastics continued on during her career as the Director of 2 different gymnastics clubs in Idaho. Suzi is the mother of two boys, Ben and Max. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Suzi has lived in Idaho since 1993. Suzi was introduced to the Camp Agawak family by Mike Pierce (MP) and they wed in 2010 on the Shores of Blue Lake. Suzi is looking forward to another great summer in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Mike Pierce started at Agawak in 1993. Mike, who is known both in and out of camp circles as MP, is the director of our water ski program. As a member of our administrative team, MP also assists our staff with programming, staff training, and tripping program. In MP's, 30 plus years in camping, he has been a camper, counselor, swim instructor, water-front director, tripping program leader, photographer, and ski instructor. Our campers and staff lean on his experience and expertise. MP holds a Master's Degree in Fine Art, and spent over a decade as a Professor of Art at UW-Milwaukee, The Milwaukee School of Art and Design (MIAD), and Concordia University- Wisconsin. MP is married to Suzi Pierce, our Assistant Director. They have two boys, Ben and Max. They reside during the off-season in Boise, ID.
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.
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!
Hi my name is Chloe Levitz and I will be a senior at Highland Park High School in the fall. This will be my 9th summer at camp and my first summer on staff! I am looking forward to meeting all the new campers and getting to spend my summer with all my friends! Counting down the days until we're all back together on Blue Lake!!
Hey everyone I'm Issy from Melbourne Australia! This will be my first summer at camp and I'm super excited to meet all you lovely people. I cannot wait until camp starts to learn all the songs and get involved in
all the fun activities. I absolutely love gymnastics and being out in the water and that's what I'll be teaching over the summer at camp. I can't wait to meet everyone there!
Hii! My name is Dylan Levine and I will be a senior at Highland Park High school in the fall. This will be my 8th summer at camp and my first one on staff! I cannot wait to meet all the new campers and spend another amazing summer on Blue Lake! Go white!!!
Hello my name is Georgia and I'm 20 from Sydney, Australia!! This will be my 3rd summer at camp and I can not wait to be back on Blue Lake. At home I'm the manager of a cafe and a Lifeguard so you will most likely find me at the waterfront getting involved with everything down there. Bring on summer 2017!!!
Hi everyone!!! My name is Jacqui Levitan and I am SO excited to be back at camp this summer for my seventh summer at Agawak and second on staff!! I'm from San Francisco, California and will be beginning my sophomore year at Duke University in North Carolina in the fall, where I'm majoring in Computer Science. I can't wait to be back swimming in Blue Lake and for the countdown to finally be over!!!
Hey campers! I am a sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I love theatre, the outdoors, and having fun! We're going to have a safe, wonderful time at camp and I can't wait to meet all of you!
Hello Agawak! My name is Kali and I am from Beloit, Wisconsin. I am a registered nurse with 10 years of emergency nursing experience and certifications ACLS, PALS, and FEMA emergency response. My primary goal is to ensure that everyone at camp have a safe and fun summer! I look forward to seeing you all and spending another awesome summer on the beautiful shores of Blue Lake!
Hi! My name is Mckenzie but everyone calls me Kenz or Kenzie. I'm 18 years old and was born and raised in Minocqua. This will be my second year working at the camp. I have a level 2 certification thru ACCT and will be an instructor at the climbing tower and zip line. I will be going to school at Prescott College in Prescott Arizona. I cant wait to spend my summer with you all!!
Hi my name is Madeleine Muir, everyone calls me Maddie, I'm 23 and from Geelong, Australia. This will be my first year at Agawak and I am so excited!! I have a fitness diploma and a certified lifeguard, I love anything to do with fitness and the outdoors! When I come home I will be looking at becoming a Primary/Secondary Teacher or branching out into Business and Human Resources. Cannot wait to meet you all and enjoy a fantastic summer with some incredible people!
Hello! My name is Kim Martiny and I am a K-12 Art Teacher in the School District of Rhinelander. I have a huge passion for the Arts and believe whole-heartedly in advocating for it's importance in education. I love kayaking with my dog, reading, running and spending time with friends and family. I can't wait for a great summer at Camp Agawak!