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!
Hi I'm Siobhan, I do prefer Shorny though. This will be my first year at Camp Agawak and I can't wait! I'm from Gold Coast Australia and love anything to do with the outdoors. I'll be part of the waterskiing program and looking forward to meeting everyone.
Hi!! My name is Samantha Linn, and I just finished my freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. This is going to be my eleventh summer at camp and third year on staff, and I can not wait to get back to Blue Lake! You can always find me down at the ski docks, running in-one-out-one, or having a dance party in Happy Camper!! Camp is my most favorite place, and I can’t wait for another amazing summer!!! Go blue!
Hi! My name is Jazmin Medellin and I am 21 years old! I am a culinary student, currently living in Puebla, Mexico. My hobbies are reading, exploring, traveling and going to the movies. I love to dance and go out with my friends. I am looking forward to my first summer at Agawak!
Hi! My name is Casie McAllister and I am 19 years old. My hometown is Merrill, WI and I am currently a Freshman at UW River Falls studying Elementary Education. I have always wanted to be a camp counselor and I am so excited to be given this opportunity. This will be my first summer at Camp Agawak. I love working with kids and I’m eager to bring this passion to camp. In my free time, I like playing tennis, walking my dog, spending time with friends, playing games, and being outdoors in any way. In High School, I played Varsity Tennis and made pizzas at an Italian Restaurant. I am excited to be a part of the Agawak family and I am looking forward to getting to know the campers and making memories that will last a lifetime.
Hi! I am Paige Meadows and I am a new senior counselor and am very excited for my first summer at Camp Agawak. While I am not new to a summer camp experience, I am very new to Wisconsin, as I have grown up entirely in South Eastern Kentucky. I am very excited to help out with all the theater activities around camp, as I've done theater for over 9 years. I will be running the Agawak radio station, as this is my current job at home!. I am very excited for Summer ‘19!!
Hello! My name is Kim Martiny and I am super excited to be re-joining the Agawak family for my second summer as the Arts and Crafts teacher! I am currently an elementary Art Teacher and School Counselor in the School District of Rhinelander. When I am not involved with my artistic passions, I love spending time outside kayaking, hiking, running and snowshoeing with my Corgi, Poppy. I am also a total bookworm and absolutely love down time with a cup of coffee and a good read! I look forward to a great summer with all of you! :)
My name is Sophie, I’m 25 and am from Auckland, New Zealand. For the last three years I have been working in the magazine industry - first as an intern, then as an editorial assistant across three magazines and then I was a production editor for two magazines. My interests include watching sports, going to the gym, hanging out with my friends and watching Netflix.
Kayla is excited to be returning for her tenth summer at camp and her first one as a staff member! From Deerfield, Illinois, Kayla will be a senior at Deerfield High School in the fall where she is a member of the varsity dance team. At camp you can often find her helping skiers at the waterfront, dancing around camp, and cheering for the white team. Kayla is looking forward to meeting all the new campers this summer and she is counting down the days until the best summer yet!
Hi! My name is Lucero . I'm from San Luis Potosi Mexico. I ́m 19 years old and I ́m from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I ́ve lived in San Luis all my life. I ́m a university student, nowadays I ́m studying the fifth semester of the major of nutrition at the university Autonoma of San Luis Potosi.I love sports, one of my favorites is swimming. Currently I practice crossfit and soon I will return to swim. I enjoy doing outdoor activities, meeting new people and traveling to learn more about other cultures. My favorite hobbies are hanging out with my friends and listening to music. On this occasion I will be part of the kitchen staff of the Agawak camp. I like to cook and thanks to the subjects of my career I have learned to cook in a delicious and healthy way, I have also been part of the work team of an industrial company where I was a kitchen assistant and served food for more of 100 workers! There I learned many things, especially to work under pressure. One of my best experiences was working in a kindergarten with children of different ages, I learned a lot from them and most of all I had a lot of fun.Actually I am very excited to go to the camp, since I was a little girl I went to camps and it caught my attention working in one. I consider going to Agawak camp as an unique opportunity to live unforgettable experiences. I can ́t wait for it!!
Hi! My name is Tatum Oblonsky and this will be my 11th year at Agawak and 3rd on staff! I am from Northbrook, Illinois and I am going to be a sophomore at the University of Illinois. My favorite part of camp is being with my best friends and campers. I can't wait for a great summer!