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

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.


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.  

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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Kali M.

Hello Agawak!  My name is Kali and I am from Beloit, Wisconsin. I am a registered nurse with 10 years of emergency nursing experience and certifications ACLS, PALS, and FEMA emergency response. My primary goal is to ensure that everyone at camp have a safe and fun summer! I look forward to seeing you all and spending another awesome summer on the beautiful shores of Blue Lake!

McKenzie M.

Hi! My name is Mckenzie but everyone calls me Kenz or Kenzie. I'm 18 years old and was born and raised in Minocqua. This will be my second year working at the camp. I have a level 2 certification thru ACCT and will be an instructor at the climbing tower and zip line. I will be going to school at Prescott College in Prescott Arizona. I cant wait to spend my summer with you all!!


Maddie M.

Hi my name is Madeleine Muir, everyone calls me Maddie, I'm 23 and from Geelong, Australia.  This will be my first year at Agawak and I am so excited!!  I have a fitness diploma and a certified lifeguard, I love anything to do with fitness and the outdoors!  When I come home I will be looking at becoming a Primary/Secondary Teacher or branching out into Business and Human Resources.  Cannot wait to meet you all and enjoy a fantastic summer with some incredible people!

Kim M.

Hello! My name is Kim Martiny and I am a K-12 Art Teacher in the School District of Rhinelander. I have a huge passion for the Arts and believe whole-heartedly in advocating for it's importance in education. I love kayaking with my dog, reading, running and spending time with friends and family. I can't wait for a great summer at Camp Agawak! 

Harriet M.

Hey guys!! My name is Harriet and I am turning 21 a few days before I arrive to be a part of Camp Agawak for my first summer! I live by the south coast of England in Bournemouth, about 2 hours from London, and I am a couple of weeks away from completing my Psychology and Child Development degree. I enjoy netball, badminton, cycling and running. I will be heading up the arts and crafts as well as helping out with biking/hiking whilst I am at camp! I'm so excited to meet you all!!'

Kendall M.

Hi guys my name is Kendall Michaels! I am 18 years old and starting in the fall I will be a Freshman at the University of Iowa. I am so excited to say that this summer will be my 9th summer here and it will be my second year as a counselor! I can’t wait to be back at my second home for another great summer! I honestly can’t wait to go full speed ahead into my favorite activities, swimming in beautiful Blue Lake, climbing the tango tower, cheering for the white team in blue and white, and getting pumped for final four and olympic day! I can’t wait to meet everyone and have another great summer up at camp!

Melissa M.

Hi everyone, I'm Mel senior captain counselor Mel and I'm from Wollongong, Australia.  This will be my 3rd incredible summer at Camp Agawak!!  When I'm at camp I am on the tango tower,  fishing and on the ski docks with MP pretending to be a Min-Aqua Bat!!  I cant wait to be at camp and swim in Blue Lake again!  Lets get this summer started!!!

Tatum O.

My name is Tatum Oblonsky and this will be my 9th summer at Agawak. I live in Northbrook, Illinois and I attend Glenbrook North High School where I am currently a junior. I am so excited to be back at camp and with all my sisters again so soon! GO BLUE! 

Morgan P.

Hi everyone! My name is Morgan Paull and I will be a senior at Glenbrook North High School in the fall!! This will be my ninth summer at Agawak and my first year as a counselor! At camp you will find me cooking, jogging, and walking around all of Agawak. I can't wait to meet you all and to be back at Blue Lake! Go white! 

Shanae P.

HI!  I am 20 years old and thoroughly enjoying life. I am currently living in Victoria, Australia. I have an amazing family of 7. I live for my family and friends and adore spending quality time with them.
Camping and exploring the outdoors is forever in my favourite interest. Discovering new places and embracing myself with culture.   SPORTS! I love keeping active and energetic.  Currently working as a lifeguard at a local pool is something I take much pride in. My passion for lifeguarding continues to grow more and more. A beach, a river, a pool, a waterfall, anywhere with water is where you will find me. Hanging and planning adventures with my amazing family and friends. And of course I LOVE A CHALLENGE!
I'm so excited for my first year at camp and look forward to meeting you all xx