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.  

Chris Garcia - Associate Director

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.  Prior to working at camp she was an Asst. VP at Milwaukee based mortgage company.  Over the years at camp, Chris has worked year round doing many of the office responsibilities. Chris is looking forward to getting out and about more this summer.  She also coaches the local swim club ten months out of the year and the boys and girls high school swim teams.  From time to time, Chris even 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 when not at college.

Denise Salit - Activities & Program Director

Hi! I'm Denise Salit and I’ll be your Activities and Program Director for the 2019 camp season. As a past Agawak camper, counselor and Assistant Director I feel like my life is coming full circle. Agawak is such a special place to me as many of my happiest memories come from my home away from home Up North. During the school year, I am a teacher in Lake Bluff, Illinois and have taught reading to children for 27 years. I have a passion for teaching children & connecting with their families.

My family holds camp near and dear to our hearts. My daughter followed in my footsteps as an Agawak camper and counselor and my boys have "camp in their blood" too. How could they not, as my husband Dean and I met on the shores of Blue Lake (literally) 28 years ago when we were both on staff. I am excited to be a part of your daughter's summer. 2019 is sure to be full of fun, excitement, life lessons and tons of happy memories.

Sara Mervis - Director of Cabin Life, Seniors

Hello from Sara Mervis! Having spent 15 years as a camper, counselor, waterfront director, tripping coordinator and coordinator of director affairs, I am thrilled to rejoin the Agawak administrative team. I’ll be wearing a few different hats this summer as the Director of Cabin Life for our junior & senior campers, CIT Director and assisting the admin team in the office. My daughters, 11 and 7, are 3rd-generation Agawak campers. With parenting insight, I will be supporting campers and parents throughout the summer. Currently, I teach special education to 3-5 graders and l am also a Wilson tutor. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, tennis and camping. I can’t wait to spend this summer with each of you.

Melissa Kramer - Programming Coordinator

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Kramer and I’ll be your Programming Coordinator and part of the admin team for the 2019 camp season. This will be my 13th summer and 7th year on staff! I’ve recently graduated from The University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign in Community Health but will be continuing my education to become a Nurse in the Fall at The University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing. I’m counting down the days until I get to be back on Blue Lake, eating ducky’s pizza, watching campers ski, signing campfire songs, and being at my home away from home! I can’t wait for another amazing summer on Blue Lake!

Charlotte Patterson - Director of Cabin Life, Intermediates

Charlotte cannot wait to be back for her 6th summer at Agawak taking on the role of Director of Cabin Life and Intermediate Division Head. She will be graduating this year from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with degrees in Human Development & Family Studies and Psychology. Charlotte worked with the juniors last summer, and is excited to get to work with the intermediates this summer as their division head as well as oversee the well-being of all the campers. She will also continue to work in the office with the administrative team as Chris’s right hand, as well as handle communication with parents, cabin reports, etc. You might also catch her hanging out by the waterfront helping our rookies learn how to ski!

Ducky D.

Hi, I'm Ducky and this is my 25th 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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Farah Baria

Hey Im Farah, but most my friends call me faz or fazzy. This is my first summer at Camp Agawak  which makes it all the more fun and exciting. You’ll find me down at the tango tower and also candle making, which I am super super excited about! *FUN FACT ALERT* IM A PROFESSIONAL HAIRDRESSER AND MAKEUP ARTIST. One of the many reasons why I am super pumped for camp this year is being an instructor on the tango tower, reasons being is when I was younger I used to be scared of heights but I had one instructor that took the time to guide me through that fear and being able to over-come was the best feeling.I LOVED going to school, learning new things and having fun with friends, but I think the main reason why was because of my teachers they made it that fun environment to learn new things but they also created the best atmosphere that made you feel comfortable to be express yourself and just have fun learning.That is definitely one thing that I am going to try and create at camp this year. 

*FUN FACT ALERT* MY INITIALS SPELL OUT ‘F-A-B’. I'm so so excited for camp this summer to meet you all and get to know you and have the best summer ever!! 



Marley Berk

Hi!! My names Marley Berk and I’m currently finishing my freshman year at the University of Maryland where I study Government and Politics! This is going to be my eleventh summer and my third year on staff and I couldn’t be more excited to be spending another summer in my favorite place on earth!! I am excited to say that I will be a Blue and White Commissioner this year!! Counting down the days until we’re back on blue lake!!!

Madilyn Brown

I am 22 years old and studing for a Bachelor of Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Recreation Outdoor Environmental Studies, ultimately leading to me being a high school sport teacher. I was born and raised in Queensland Australia, which has afforded me many great adventures, from camping on the beach, to competing and volunteering for my local surf club. I am so excited to begin camp and experience something so different from what we have in Australia! 

Amber C.

Hey!! My name is Amber, but my friends call me Ace. I am a 25 year old Youth Worker from a rural town called Table Top in Australia. I am passionate about my job and always smiling and making the most out of my experiences. I am fun, loving and quirky and cannot wait to show off my vibrant personality during my first summer at Agawak!  I absolutely love fishing & anything to do with the outdoors and making people laugh. I am SUPER excited to have been given the opportunity to join the Agawak team this summer and even more excited to share in the laughs and smiles as everyone creates a memorable experience. 

Jamilla Carr

My name is Jamilla but most people call me Jam. I'm 22 years old and come from Brisbane, Australia. I am about to finish a double degree in law and finance and I will be spending my first summer at Agawak just a few days after I graduate! My hobbies include keeping active, whether it be pilates or boxing, cooking and travelling. I love trying new things and can't wait to immerse myself in the camp culture.

Alondra Chapuli

Hi, my name is Alondra and I really hope this will be the greatest summer of my life. I’m 19 years old, and I’m from Puebla in Mexico. I’m studying at the university at the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma De Puebla, that is the university public university in Puebla, my career is about be a professional chef, so you could imagine that I love the kitchen and to cook for others, my dream is to open my own restaurant in the future with my brother. Some of my hobbies are to cook of course, to swim and why not to go in a bike. Now I’m going to practice swim 4 days at week, and never school I have a half time job in a small restaurant serving breakfast. I’m going to the camp to work as a helper of kitchen, and I’m rally exciting to going to Agawak camp, to meet new people and of course make new friends and make new memories for all my life. See you all soon.

Cori D.

Hi!! My name is Cori Dyner from Los Angeles, California and this will be my 8th summer at camp but my first summer on staff. I am currently a Junior in high school and during the school year I like to hangout with friends, play tennis, and run track. This summer you will find me at the tennis courts, hanging by the lake, kickboxing, or running around camp. I am beyond excited to come back for another year at my favorite place on earth. I look forward to seeing everyone this summer! I can’t wait!!!

Sydney D.

Hi! My name is Sydney DeLeske, I live in Marshfield WI and in the fall I will be a senior at eAchieve Academy. This will be my first year at Camp Agawak! I love to hike, do yoga, and travel. During camp you can find me in the shooting range, on Blue Lake, or helping with arts and crafts. I am counting down the days and can’t wait to meet you all!



Hannah E.

Hello! My name is Hannah Easley and I am currently studying to become a paramedic in For Collins, Colorado. This will be my first year as a counselor, however I have attended Camp Agawak for 4 years as a camper. I am really fun and easy going and love working with children! My favorite hobbies are singing and playing the ukulele, as well as anything water related, like water skiing and swimming. I also enjoy hiking, camping and rock climbing up the rocky mountains of Colorado. I am very inclusive and like to create a sense of community for the campers! I cannot wait for the summer to start!

Gemma Elliot

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!