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

With over 30 years of camping experience Mary is a committed and seasoned director. Mary is only the third owner of Camp Agawak. Mary brings passion, hands-on leadership and incredible warmth to a camp culture that is as extraordinary as it is fun. Mary’s master’s degree in educational psychology along with a background in school counseling makes her a highly skilled and compassionate director. She has dedicated her life to working with children. Since 1989, Mary has helped thousands of young campers transition successfully to overnight camp.

Mary has 3 children Jaclyn, Jacob, and Joshua.

 

 

 

Chris Garcia, Associate Director

Hello! I am the associate director and have been working at camp year round for 13 years. I am the face behind many of the emails and phone calls camp families receive. I grew up in Minocqua, left for a few years but came back with my husband to raise our 4 kids in the beautiful northwoods. During the winter months I also coach swimming at the high school and club level. I cannot wait for Summer 2021!

Sara Mervis, CIT Director

Hi everyone!! It's Sara aka Merv....I am excited to be a member of the Administrative staff who will be here to share another summer at camp with you. This is truly my happy place! I have spent every summer of my life here at camp for at least a week, during post camp, and have had the pleasure of working at camp for over 17 years. While at camp, I work with the oldest campers, as the CIT Director, and Division Head for some of the senior cabins. During the school year, I am a 3rd grade special education teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, and am the proud mom to one camper and one counselor here at Agawak.

Ducky, Camp Chef

Hi. I’m DUCKY. I have been running the kitchen at Agawak since 1994. Over the years I have enjoyed preparing many foods from Grilled Cheese, Pizza, Pasta Bar, and Hobo Hash and many other favorites. I try to keep the menu at camp flavorful and exciting. Making meals that please everyone is difficult, yet I encourage them to give meals at camp a try. Who knows, they may really like it. But aside from the main dishes we have many other choices. Every breakfast has 8-10 different cereals and fresh fruits. Besides the hot meal at lunch, we have a full salad bar with toppings such as garbanzo beans, edamame, hard boiled eggs, baby carrots and much more with five to six different salad dressings and at least two fresh fruit choices. A few days a week lunch also includes homemade soups. There is also a sandwich bar where we offer flat bread wraps, sliced turkey and the fixings for a wonderful sandwich. At dinner time the same full salad bar is available along with the hot meal of the evening. Camp offers many choices daily and I always make sure the campers are taken care of. I am also familiar with a variety of medically approved diet restrictions from Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic Restrictions, and other allergy accommodations.   

Jacob Fried, Director of Operations & Camp Experience

Hey everyone! My name is Jacob Fried and I’m so excited for this summer! I’ve lived at camp my entire life and I love helping and working with our wonderful campers and staff. You can find me all over camp helping with activities programming and everything else that goes on here at camp. Smile on and FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!

Kiley Isaacson, Activities & Program Director

Hi campers! My name is Kiley Isaacson and I have been a part of Camp Agawak since 2007; first as a camper and since 2015 on staff. I’m so excited to be back. I will be your programming director this summer. I can’t wait to jump back into activity days, favorite Blue & White competitions, and evening programs. During the year I am a third grade teacher in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Can’t wait to be back on beautiful Blue Lake with you all!

Sort by Last Name:

Amanda A

Hi everyone! My name is Amanda, I’m 16 and from Highland Park, IL. I’ve been a part of Camp Agawak since 2015 and this will be my first summer on staff. I can’t wait to spend summer with you!!

Morgan A

Hey everyone! I’m Morgan , I’m 22 and this is my third year spent at camp Agawak. I’m a qualified swimming instructor, and will be the head lifeguard this year. Can’t wait to be back on blue lake!

Kione A

Hey hey everybody <3 I’m Kione but usually go by KiKi, I’m 18 and from Australia. This is my first year being apart of Camp Agawak. I will be seeing you guys while teaching swimming and beside the water as a lifeguard. I love the sun, surfing and trying new things that seem scary. See you soon!!

Xiomara A

Hello everyone, I'm Xiomara, I'm 23 years old and this is my first year at Camp Agawak. I'm going as a support staff, I'm very excited to get to know new places and live with new people!

Karla A

Hello! I am Karla Aquino, I am 22 years old and I am from Mexico. This is my first year at the camp, I am a gastronomy student passionate about discovering new flavors and creating delicious dishes. Excited to have new adventures and share my passion for food at camp!

Elizabeth A

Hi! My name's Elizabeth, I'm 20 and I'm from England. I can't wait to spend my first summer at camp with everyone

Alexis A

Hi! I'm Alexis, I am 18 years old and from Highland Park, IL. This is my 9th summer of camp and my 2nd year as a counselor! I am so so excited to be back at camp and have the best summer with all of you!

Mackenzie B

Hello I’m Mackenzie I’m really excited to join Camp Agawak this summer for my first year here.
I was born in South Africa and live in England and I can’t wait to experience the USA. I look forward to meeting everyone and having a great summer!
 

Emma B

Hey, I’m Emma! I’m 18 years old from Dunedin, New Zealand, and I’m coming to Camp Agawak as part of my gap year between high school and university. I’m so excited to meet everyone and I’m looking forward to a great summer!

Sarah B

Hey everyone! My name is Sarah and I’m from Australia! I’ve been part of the Agawak team since 2022. As a qualified lifeguard and swimming instructor I spend majority of the summer on the shores of Blue Lake. As a qualified Outdoor Educator I also play a role in the Boundary Waters Canoe Trip. I cannot wait to spend this summer outdoors at Agawak with you all!