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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Adam F.

Hi, my name is Adam Flasch and this will be my first summer as a boat driver at camp. Originally from Lake Forest Illinois, my family and I have lived on the beautiful shores of Lake Tomahawk for almost 12 years now. In the fall I'll be attending UW Stevens Point. Looking forward to my 4th summer as a Min-aqua Bat and of course meeting all of you.

Jenna F.

My name is Jenna Foster, I'm 22 years old from Fishers, IN. I am currently in my last year of school for Nutrition and Outdoor Recreation at Indiana University and hope to work in Urban Farming and Agriculture once graduated. In my spare time, I love to rock climb, garden, and go out to eat.

Lindsay F.

Hi! My name is Lindsay Fisher. I am from Atlanta, GA and I will be a freshman at Vanderbilt University in the fall. This is my 10th summer at Camp Agawak and my 2nd as a counselor. You will most likely find me kickboxing, working on the camp yearbook, or walking in-one-out-one. My favorite things about camp are probably all of the traditions and spending time with all of my camp sisters. I can't wait for another amazing summer and to meet all the new campers! GO BLUE!

Hannah F.

Hi everyone!! My name is Hannah Felman, and I will be a freshman at Tulane University in the fall. This will be my 10th summer at Agawak and I could not be more excited for it! My absolute favorite parts of camp are Ducky's pasta bar, singing songs in the lodge, and waking up to the bell every morning! There are only 49 days left until we're back on Blue Lake and I am beyond excited to see everyone!

Katie F.

 Hi! My name is Katie Fisher I graduated from Deerfield High School this year and will be attending the University of Minnesota in the fall! This is my tenth summer at camp and you can find me dancing in Alumnae, playing in arts and crafts, and running through camp full speed ahead! I can't wait for the best summer yet!


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!

Jamie G.

Hi! My name is Jamie Granick and this will be my 11th summer at Camp Agawak. I am 19 years old and from Lincolnshire, IL. I just finished my freshman year at the University of Arizona. I cannot wait to be at camp with everyone, and can't wait to begin the best summer yet! 

Megan G.

Hi everyone! My name is Megan and I am 21 years old from Melbourne, Australia. This year, instead of finishing my university degree and becoming a fully qualified teacher, I am coming to join you all at Camp Agawak! This will be my first summer at camp and I am super excited to meet you all and have the best summer ever!!!

Hayley G.

G'day all the way from Sydney, Australia! I'm Hayley G. Some of my passions include drama, acting, music, glee, dance, basically anything to do with the performing arts and count me in! I'm keen to skip winter back home and have fun in the sun all summer. I'm really looking forward to meeting you all, making life long friends have having the best summer of our lives! Bring it on!

Brenna G.

Hello everyone!  This will be my second year facilitating on the Tango Tower.  When I'm not clipping people into the zip and having great conversations around the stretching rope, I'm an English teacher at Lakeland Union High School.  A Minocqua native, who loves adventures in traveling, reading, and running, being at camp where kindness counts and grit gets you through is a blessing of fate for me.  See you all soon!!