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.

 

Chris Garcia - Director of Office Operations

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.

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!

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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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!

Nicky Lawrence

Nicky is absolutely over the moon about coming to camp this summer! This will be her first time at camp, but second time travelling to America from down under (she is an Aussie). Back at home Nicky is a Pilates instructor in the making as well as an coffee lover and movie binger. Nicky will be helping out in the Drama and Rock Climbing activities at camp, she is definitely prepared for the best summer ! 

 

Jacqui Levitan

Hi everyone!!! My name is Jacqui Levitan and I am SO excited to be back at camp this summer for my eighth summer at Agawak and third on staff!! I'm from San Francisco, California and will be a junior at Duke University in North Carolina in the fall, where I'm majoring in Computer Science. I'll be one of the three blue and white commissioners this summer. I can't wait to be back swimming in Blue Lake, dancing and singing in the lodge, and for the countdown to finally be over!!! 

Chloe Levitz
Hi My name is Chloe Levitz and this will be my 10th summer at Agawak and 2nd summer of staff. I am currently a senior at Highland Park High School and will be attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison in the fall.  I can’t wait to meet all the new campers and have the best summer yet. You can find me running blue lake, hanging out with the campers and eating ducky’s pizza. I look forward to another amazing summer with all of you! GO WHITE! 
Samantha Linn
Hi! My name is Samantha Linn, and this will be my 10th summer at Agawak and 2nd summer on staff. I'm currently a senior at Deerfield High School, and I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. I can't wait for yet another amazing summer on Blue Lake! You can find me down by the ski docks, dancing in the lodge, running Blue Lake, or hanging with campers on the grassy triangle! I'm so excited to make so many more amazing memories and laughs at the best place!! Go Blue!
Anabel Luna Garcia

This is Anabel Luna García, my nickname is Anie. I´m 23 years old, I´m from México and Iive in the state of Puebla, I study psychology in BUAP I love my career especially when I have to work with children. I had to the opportunity to participate in foundations for children and teenagers, I like to help  people. I’m a honest, responsible, friendly and dynamic person. All the time I am in movement. I love playing volleyball, I like to watching movies, dancing, singing with my friends, and reading and I really love eating pizza. My favorite colors are pink, green and brown. My favorite pets are the dogs. What I enjoy doing during the day is listening to my favorite singer Bruno Mars.About my experience in the job I worked the in a summer camp two years ago in USA, I was part of kitchen staff I worked in the dining hall and kitchen too. It´s has been an amazing experience working with all the team.This summer I´m going to part of kitchen staff. I can´t wait to live another wonderful experience!