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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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!
Gemma is ecstatic about returning to camp this year! It will be her second year at Agawak and you’ll likely find her at the Tango Tower or on Blue Lake. She is 20 years old and has traveled from Adelaide, South Australia, to create another unforgettable summer surrounded by new and old friends.
I am 20 years old and live in a small town of Victoria, Australia called Leongatha near the coast! This means I love getting outdoors and going to the beach and all the beautiful national parks we have nearby. I live with my parents and my two younger siblings, Holly and Wil. Currently, I work as a Teacher's Aide (Teacher's Assistant) in a Prep Classroom at a local school! As well as this, I am also studying Psychology at University. I love anything creative which has lead to me being hired to teach Arts and Crafts at camp! I can't wait to get over there soon and look forward to meeting you!
Hi everyone! My name is Lindsay Fisher and I just finished my sophomore year at Vanderbilt University. This will be my 12th summer at camp and my fourth as a member of the staff. My favorite things to do at camp include dancing in the lodge after meals, walking outside and around camp, kickboxing, and participating in all of camp’s fun programming. I am currently studying to take my dental school entrance exam but I am counting down the days until I’m back on Blue Lake for second session! I can’t wait to meet all the new campers and be reunited with my summer family!!!
My name is Perla Ferrer, I’m from México and I study nutrition, as part of my school practice I’ve been at food service, hospitals and kindergarten. One thing I love to do since I was little is to travel, the first time I travel alone was when I was 11 years old to Tulsa Oklahoma as an exchange student, the second one was when I was 18 years old to Europe also as an exchange student, I visited France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain. But this is my very first time in the US as a worker, and I can’t wait to have another adventure to tell to my family and friends. One of my plans to future is to get a master degree in oncology in pediatrics and work in a hospital. I look forward to meeting everyone. See you next summer!
Claire is very excited to be flying all the way from Melbourne, Australia to be spending her first summer at Agawak! Claire enjoys her dancing, netball and swimming. As a qualified swim teacher at home she loves to watch her students grow, learn new skills and have fun. Claire is looking forward to immersing herself in the American culture and meeting new people.
“Hi campers! My name is Lindsay Fisher and I am from Atlanta, GA. I just completed by freshman year at Vanderbilt University and I’m so excited to be back on blue lake! This is my 11th summer at Agawak, and my 3rd as a counselor. You will probably find me teaching kickboxing and planning fun Blue and White activities as a commissioner. I can’t wait to see everyone again and to meet all the new campers! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!!”
Hi! My name is Shannon and I am super excited to be back at Camp Agawak for my second summer! I’m from Hertfordshire, England and I am 22 years old. Throughout this past year, I graduated with First Class Honors in Business Management. I have now slightly put off "adulting" in England, while I travel Australia and couldn’t resist another summer in the States! I cannot wait for summer ‘19 to unfold embracing all its glory and surprises!
Hi everyone! I’m Katey! I’m from Deerfield, IL and this will be my 9th summer at camp. I cannot wait to spend my first year on staff with all of you! During the year you can find me dancing on the Warrior dance team and hanging out with friends. Camp is my FAVORITE place on Earth and my second home. I am counting down the days until I can ski, swim in Blue lake, or lead kickboxing. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and having the best summer yet!!
Hi! My name is Liza Greenberg, and this will be my 9th summer at camp and 1st summer on staff. In the fall, I will be a Senior at Highland Park High School. During the school year, I love dancing and hanging out with my friends! This summer you can find me down at the tennis courts, running "In One Out One," cheering everyone on during Blue and White, or hanging out on blue lake! I am so excited for another summer at my favorite place and to meet all the new campers! Counting down the days until I’m back!
Sydney Garelick is from Chicago, Illinois, and is so excited to be spending her ninth summer at Camp Agawak. Sydney goes to Francis W. Parker school and will be a senior next fall. She loves to spend time at the waterfront, specifally, waterskiing down at the ski docks. She’s always available to help kids learn how to waterski, and has no problem getting in the lake whenever. Sydney enjoys playing field hockey and soccer during the school year and will definitely be open to helping campers improve their skills. Her favorite even program is Blue and White. Sydney is ecstatic to finally be a counselor. She’s obsessed with camp and can’t wait to give campers the same experience she had! Sydney can’t wait for yet another summer at her home away from home!!