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

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.


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.  

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!

Sort by Last Name:

Dia C.

Hi! I’m Dia! And July 1st I’ll be graduating from Full Sail University with my Bachelor’s in Music Production. Although school forced me to miss Summer 2015, I’m making my way back up north for my 10th summer on July 11th to make camp videos! After two years of training my ears for audio engineering, I could not be more excited to here campers cheer for Blue & White, the bell ring to wake me up, and the campfire crackling as the sun sets! See you girlies on Blue Lake!

Taylor C.

Hi I'm Taylor Cohen and I'm a senior at Highland Park High School. This summer will be my 10th summer overall and second summer as a counselor. I'm from Highland Park, IL and I will be attending the University of Maryland in the fall. Can't wait to meet you all!

Emma C.

Hey Everyone! I’m Emma, I’m 21 from Northern Ireland!

I’m currently living in Glasgow, Scotland finishing up my third year studying Immunology at the University of Glasgow!  I’m coming back to Camp Agawak for my 3rd summer!  At home, I live opposite the sea, so I love being near water and you’ll definitely be able to find me down by the waterfront at camp especially at the sailing dock!  I can’t wait to get back again this year and see everyone, I’m so excited for the summer! See you all very soon!!

Fernanda C.

Hi campers! My name is Fernanda, I am 20 years old, from Veracruz, México.   This  will be my first year at camp and currently I am studying tourism management.  I'm very excited to meet you all.  I will be part of the kitchen staff.  I am also very excited to meet them all and have the best summer, with good experiences and a wonderful family.

Tina D.

Hi, my name is Tina Dundore, I am a nurse and will be working at camp as one of the nurses next summer. I've lived in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for 26 years with my family. Our two children are now grown and we have two grandchildren. I like to x-country ski, camp, hike, travel, snowshoe and knit.

Hailey D.

Hi, I'm Hailey and I was raised in Marshfield, Wisconsin. I grew up with 2 younger sisters, 1 younger brother, and 2 German Shorthairs. As a kid, I traveled with my family a lot around the United States and into surrounding countries, competed gymnastics, and spent a few summers at camp myself! I'll be starting my 3rd year of college this fall at Winona State University, pursuing my dream to become a Zookeeper! In between going to school and traveling with my family, I work at a ski hill in the winter teaching kids how to downhill ski. In my spare time, I like going to concerts and spending time exploring nature with my friends. I can not wait to make new friends and memories this summer at Agawak! 

Becky D.

Hello Everyone!  My name is Becky and this will be my first summer at Agawak as one of your nurses.  I have been an RN for 28 years with most of my experience in ER's and clinics.  I was also a firefighter for 15 years.  I currently teach CNA classes at Avanti in Minocqua.  I live in Hazelhurst with my husband (Myron) and my cat (Sammy).  I'm really excited about coming to camp and can't wait to meet everyone!

Emma D.

Hi Everyone, Im Emma, I'm 20 years old and from Melbourne Australia. This will be my first time at Camp. I have lived previously in New Jersey as an Au Pair and cant wait to get back to country I love! I'm a Swimming teacher and Nanny and hope to become a Midwife and deliver lots of babies when I return home. You'll find me teaching swimming or lifeguarding this summer and you might even see my on a Sunday trail ride. Can't wait to meet you all :)

Rachel F.

Hi everyone!! My name is Rachel Folk I am 19 years old and live in Fort Atkinson, WI. I am a

sophomore at UW-Whitewater studying business finance. This will be my first summer at Camp

Agawak, but I have spent numerous summers at my cabin in Minocqua. I just spent the last 8

months lifeguarding for Walt Disney World and cannot wait to lifeguard for the camp, as well as

meeting all the campers!

Jennifer F.

Hi everyone! I'm Jennifer Filler and this will be my tenth summer at Camp Agawak, but first as a counselor! I am 17 years old and will be a senior at Highland Park High School this coming fall. Camp is my favorite place in the world and I can't wait to be back this summer and meet all the new campers! Go Blue!!