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.

 

Chris Garcia - Director of Office Operations

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 - 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!

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!

Sort by Last Name:

Ashlee Richards

Abby is excited to be joining Camp Agawak for the first time this year! Hailing from Sydney Australia, Abby has a bachelor degree in Marketing and is taking a break of the office life to be outdoors and by the water with the campers! In Australia she is a Girl Guide leader and loves reading, swimming, traveling and most of all chocolate! 

 

Sol Alarcon Rodriguez

Ave del Sol is absolutely excited about going back to Camp Agawak for second year. She is from the international staff and is on her final year of university. Her bachelor’s degree will be English and she also speaks little French. She loves doing outdoors activities such as mountain hiking, trail running and kayaking. She is very chatty and is very passionate about learning other people’s culture. On her spare time she enjoys exercising or reading English literature. She is very happy to come back to Agawak to meet all her old friends and make new ones.

Tatum Rudman

Tatum Rudman is very excited to be a counselor at camp! This year is her tenth summer at camp but she feels like she has been going forever since both her sisters and her mom went to Agawak. She will be a senior in the fall at Highland Park High School and is on the varsity girls lacrosse team. She is looking forward to helping campers develop their lacrosse skills through new and fun drills this summer. Tatum was also a member of the Agawak Ski Team for many years as a camper and can not wait to be back at the docks. Her favorite evening program at camp is Blue and White capture the flag! Tatum is looking forward to creating special bonds with her campers like she has had with her past amazing counselors. 

Maya Rudman

Maya Rudman is ecstatic to come back to Camp Agawak this summer. It is her 9th summer at Agawak, first year being on staff. She is from Highland Park Illinois, and will be a senior at Highland Park High school this fall. When Maya has free time, she is either hanging out with friends and family or babysitting. Maya is apart of the Pom pon dance team at Highland Park. She is also a certified lifeguard. Maya can't wait to help campers learn to swim and dance this summer. You can find her helping out at kickboxing in happy camper hall, making bracelets in jewelry making, dancing in the lodge and cheering on the Blue Team! Maya is counting down the days until she is back at her favorite place on earth!

 

 

Emma Schwartz

Emma is beyond excited for her 8th summer at Agawak and first year on staff! She cannot wait to return to camp and spend the summer with new and returning campers! You can find her skiing blue lake, kickboxing, and cheering for the white team! She is lifeguard certified and is eager to help out on the waterfront this summer! Emma will be a senior at Highland Park High School in the fall. When she is not in school, Emma can be found doing yoga, and hanging out with her friends and family. She also loves working with kids! Emma is counting down the days until another summer at her second home.

Mollie Smetana

Hii everyone my name is Mollie Smetana and this will be my 10th summer at camp, 3rd on staff!! This summer I will be leading evening programs and I can’t wait to bring new things to camp this summer that I know you will all love! During the day you can find me on the fishing/snorkeling boats, kickboxing, and of course and at cooking! I can’t wait to be back at my favorite place so soon and to meet all the new campers joining our family this year!! As always GO BLUE!!! 

IIana Spitz

Hi Everyone! My name is Ilana Spitz and this will be my 10th summer at camp and 2nd on staff. I am currently a senior at New Trier High School, and I will be attending Tulane University in the fall. I am SO excited for another amazing summer on the shores of Blue Lake! You will find me helping on the ski docks, singing around the campfire, and hanging out with campers! I can’t wait to be with you all so soon!! Go Blue!!

 

Olivia Stamas

Olivia Stamas is currently a junior at Highland Park High School In Highland Park, Illinois! This will be her fifth summer at camp, and first on staff! She is beyond excited to return back to blue lake for another summer! You can for sure catch her kick-boxing in happy camper or cheering on the white team!!! This past fall she was on her schools field hockey team and is currently training to be a lifeguard so get ready to see her at the waterfront! At home you can always find Olivia having fun hanging with her friends and family! Olivia loves returning back to camp each summer to meet new people and make more exciting memories! Her favorite evening program is Gold rush! She is counting down the days till she goes back to her favorite place! 

Ava Stein

Ava stein cannot wait to spend her 9th summer back in the north woods at her absolute favorite place of all time! Ava lives in the city of Chicago and will be a senior at Whitney M. Young High School in the fall. During the year, Ava loves playing on the girls tennis team in addition to being a valuable member of the girls lacrosse team. Ava enjoys hanging out with her friends and family at home and is very energetic and sociable! At camp You will definitely find Ava assisting down at the ski docks, jogging in one out one, biking the bear skin trail, living it up in cook-wood, and of course cheering for the White Team! Ava is beyond excited to be a first year staff member and cannot wait to share all her memories with her campers as well as give back everything that Agawak has given her. 

 

 

Jenny Steinke

Hi all! My name is Jenny Steinke. I am a senior this year at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. After graduating in the spring, I plan to continue my education by receiving my master’s degree in school counseling. I am extremely excited to be back at camp for a second year. Many may remember me as Jenny from jogging, helping everyone reach their goals at Tango Tower, one of the captains for Boulder during Final Four, and/or as a cabin counselor in MW. This year I will be taking on the role of Director of Cabin Life and I cannot be more excited. I am eager to come back to watch the beautiful sunsets on Blue Lake and see everyone make new memories this summer. An interesting fact about me is I love love love ice cream and this year I ate 1.5 quarts of ice cream in one sitting. In addition, I am running my first marathon this May. Can’t wait to see everyone very soon!