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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Kiley Isaacson

Hi guys my name is Kiley Isaacson and this will be my twelfth summer at camp and my fourth year on staff. I’m so happy to be back this summer at this amazing place and to be back with all of you! In the fall I will be a Junior studying Elementary Education at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. I love being around kids! Whether i'm spending time tutoring at the local elementary school or volunteering at community events you can always find me surrounded by kids! This summer I can't wait for Ducky's pizza, singing around the campfire, and laughing with my campers. You can either find me down at the ski docks or leading Blue & White alongside two other commissioners!! I’m super excited for all the new friendships, memories and to go full speed ahead this summer! :) 

Chelsey Jacobs

Chelsey Jacobs is from Highland Park, Illinois and is excited to be spending her tenth summer at Camp Agawak! Chelsey goes to Highland Park High school and will be a senior in the fall. Chelsey loves spending time at the water front and helping kids learn to water-ski. She was on the Agawak Ski Team and is willing to help any camper at any time! Chelsey is also a varsity lacrosse player and is excited to help campers improve their lacrosse skills. Her favorite evening program is Blue and White team games. Chelsey is also on the Highland Park Jammers dance team and cannot wait to teach campers all about the dances she performed in front of her school. This summer Chelsey is most excited to finally be a counselor and give back the experience and love she received growing up at Camp Agawak. 

Shoshana Kaplan

Shoshana is so excited to be back at Agawak for her 9th summer and 1st summer on staff! She is from Highland Park, Illinois and will be a senior at Highland Park High School in the fall. You can find her at arts and crafts, kickboxing, and down at the ski docks! She loves cheering on the white team, dancing on the stage in Happy Camper Hall, and looks forward to Ducky’s amazing grilled cheese every Tuesday! During the school year, Shoshana loves to hang out with her friends, watch movies, and tutor kids after school. She is counting down the days until she can return to her favorite place on Earth and cannot wait to meet you all!


Zoey Kohn

Hi my name is Zoey Kohn and this will be my 10th summer at Agawak and 2nd summer on staff. I am currently a senior at Deerfield High School and will be attending Indiana University in the fall. I can’t wait for another amazing summer at the best place on earth! You can find me dancing in the lodge and hanging out with my campers and camp friends!  Counting down the days until summer 2018! And always GO WHITE!!

Genevieve Kopesky

Genavieve cannot wait to spend her first summer at Camp Agawak! She is a student at the University of La Crosse studying Public Health and Psychology. During her free time, she loves to play guitar and ukulele, run and train for half marathons, as well as spend quality time with her friends and family, and go on as many road trips as she can. She is very passionate about the outdoors, adventure, art, and loves music. Her favorite adventures so far are white water rafting in Colorado and backpacking in Wales. She plans on making many more memorable adventures this summer with everyone! One of her favorite summer activities is singing and playing her guitar around a summer night campfire (so be ready to sing along). She is looking forward to meeting everyone this summer!

Hannah Korach

Hannah Korach cannot wait to be a camp counselor for her fifth year at Agawak! Hannah will be going into her senior year of high school at the Latin School of Chicago in the city. This upcoming summer, you can find her helping out at jewelry making by arts and crafts, paddle boarding at the waterfront, and kickboxing in HCH! Her favorite evening program is Blue and White. Hannah loves to hang out with friends and family and play field hockey. A fun fact about her is that she has an older brother and her favorite dessert is ice cream. Hannah is so excited to be a counselor and share her love of camp with her campers! 


Emily Koroneos

I’m Em from Melbourne, Australia and this will be my 4th year as a counsellor at Agawak! Everyone around camp calls me EmK, my first year there were 4 Emily’s and another 4 Emma’s so we all got some nicknames! 

I’m 24, currently working full time in hospitality and also applying to become a police officer. I will be one of the CIT Counsellors with Spencer and Jaqcui. This year I’ll be running the final four program and can be found down at the waterfront lifeguarding, paddleboarding, kayaking or snorkeling. 

Camp is one of my favourite places on the planet, I cannot wait to be surrounded by the campers and all of my long distance friends. I’m most excited about boundaries and having an amazing experience with my campers. 

When camp is over I’ll be heading to South America to travel for a few months. It’s been my dream travel destination for years and I can’t wait! 

Melissa Kramer

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I’m going to be a Senior at the University of Illinois! I am a Community Health major studying to go become a Nurse. This will be my 11th summer at camp, and 5th year on staff! This summer I will be taking on a new role and will no longer be a cabin counselor but rather I will be in the office organizing activities and will also be one of the division heads. I’m counting down the days until I get to be back on Blue Lake, eating ducky’s pizza, watching campers ski and being at my home away from home! I can’t wait for another amazing summer on blue lake! 


Iris Krasnow
Iris Krasnow returns to Camp Agawak for her 15th summer — that began in 1963 for ten years, and included a hiatus of 40 years before returning in 2014. The 1970 Blue Team Captain, Iris is a bestselling author of relationship books and a journalism professor at American University who got her literary start writing for the camp magazine, Analog. She returned to resurrect Agalog and now runs the writing program and regals the girls with camp history and teaches old songs. As she inches into her sixties, Iris keeps returning to the camp she loves because as she puts it, “I have a camp self and a city self and the camp self is who I was meant to be all along. This place and my girls are the home of my heart."
Beth Lampereur

Beth cannot wait to begin her first summer ever at Camp Agawak! Beth is currently working towards her degree in English Education at St. Norbert College with the hopes of becoming a high school teacher. This summer, she is taking her passion for reading, creating, and helping others to camp while helping with the Agalog, GIVE program, and Arts & Crafts! When not at school, Beth loves spending time with her friends, family, and dogs in Grafton, Wisconsin. She hopes that this summer is filled with fun, friendship, and new adventures!