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 and Bill, Owners & Directors

Mary Fried and Bill Fuhrmann

With 35 years of combined camping experience Mary and Bill are Agawak’s committed and seasoned directors. Individually, they have been self-employed for over 30 years. Together they bring 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.

Bill’s deep love of water-skiing and his genuine interest in children make him a perfect fit for Agawak. Bill practically grew up on a ski boat and has performed in numerous professional water ski shows. He is a talented and competent ski director. His passion for skiing can be seen daily on Blue Lake as he teaches our campers and staff the skills he’s perfected. Bill has been designing handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry in the Madison area for over three decades. He designs the cherished Agawak charms and rings our alumnae wear proudly.

In the off season, Mary and Bill live in Waunakee, WI. They have 5 children Jaclyn, Jacob, Cole, Dean 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!

Denise Salit, Activities Director

Hi! I'm Denise Salit and I am the Activities Director at Agawak. I have been on the administrative team since 2019, but my history at Camp Agawak goes way back. I have spent many many summers at camp since I was a new camper back in 1977. 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 30 years. I have a passion for teaching children and 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 both attended summer camps and have worked at Agawak in the past. Believe it or not,  my husband Dean and I met on the shores of Blue Lake in 1990 when we were both on staff. I am excited to be a part of your daughter's summer and to be a part of another successful summer. 

Sara Mervis, CIT Director

Hello from Sara Mervis! I look forward to being a part of the administrative team, and to working with the CIT's to ensure an amazing summer of fun and preparation for their future as counselors. I have been a part of Camp Agawak's staff for 15 years after being a camper. During the winter, I am a 3rd grade Special Education teacher near Chicago.

Kiley Isaacson, 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; time flies when you’re having fun! Last summer, I got the opportunity to be a division head and help out in the office. This summer I will be your Programming Director! I can’t wait to be running around camp watching our favorite games unravel and maybe even introduce some new awesome ones. I love laughing and having fun with all of you campers! During the year I am a third grade teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. I can’t wait for this summer to come and for the buses to roll in to the most special place. Here’s to 101 years of fun! :)

Lexi Maurer, EP Director/Prog Asst.

Hi everyone! My name is Lexi and I am from Carmel, Indiana. I have been a part of Camp Agawak since 2012--first as a camper, then as a counselor and this summer I will be joining the Administration team as the Evening Program Director and Programming Assistant. I'm finishing my junior year of college at Indiana University where I’m studying Elementary Education. I’m so excited to be back on Blue Lake. I can’t wait to see what this summer has in store for us.

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.   

Beth Varsho, Office Manager

Hi Everyone! I have been working in the Camp Agawak office since the summer of 2021. I grew up in Marshfield, WI and met Mary in seventh grade. We have been friends for over 40 years! I received my Master's Degree in Education and taught Business Education courses for 11 years to students in grades 3-12. For the last 18 years I was a technology instructional coach. In June of 2022 I will be officially retired from education. Agawak is such a special place for campers. I'm happy to be a part of something so special. 

Sort by Last Name:

Jenna B

Hi! I'm Jenna and I'm from Deerfield, IL. In the fall, I will be a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. This is my 10th summer at camp and my 2nd on staff. My favorite things to do at camp are skiing, kickboxing, and sailing. I can't wait to be back this summer!

Jennifer C

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer, I’m 21 and I come from Glasgow, Scotland. At home, I study French and Italian and coach gymnastics. I’m so excited to finally get to camp for the first time this summer after two years of waiting! You’ll find me teaching gymnastics and arts & crafts :) I’m counting down the days until we can all meet and enjoy our summer together on the Blue Lake.

Jamilla C

Hi! I’m Jamilla and I’m from Brisbane, Australia. I’m so excited for my 2nd summer on staff! At camp you can probably find me at the Tango Tower or in the gymnastics hall! I can’t wait to see everyone back on Blue Lake very soon!

Cassandra C

Hey y’all! My name is Cassandra, I’m from Poth, Texas, and I cannot wait to spend my summer as a nurse at Camp Agawak!

Chandler C

Hello my name is Chandler, I am going to be a freshman in college at UW-Oshkosh. I am also on the Min-aqua bats water ski team and really enjoy being on the lake!

Olivia D

Hello! I grew up in the Northwoods and am currently living in Scottsdale, Arizona while getting my Master's of Social Work at ASU. This will be my first summer at Camp Agawak. I will be working in the office and I couldn't be more excited!

Becky D

I have been an R.N. for 35 years with a background in emergency services, as well as adult education. I have previously worked at camp Agawak for 3 summers and am looking forward to another fun summer!

Isobel D

Hi! My name is Isobel (Issy) and I’m 18 years old. I am from Australia, but am always traveling and have lived in Asia for much of my life. I love all kinds of sports and outdoor activities and I can’t wait to meet everyone at my first summer at Camp Agawak!!

Olivia E

Hi! My name is Liv, I am 19 years old and live in London, I have just finished school and am on my gap year. I am very excited for my first camp in America and to meet new people from around the world. I love to take care of children and all types of sports. Excited to see you there!

Cloe E.

I am a recent Penn State University graduate with a major in Public Relations and minor in Art. I was born in Fort Lauderdale FL, however, I moved to Swarthmore PA when I was about 4 years old. I am so excited to be joining the Agawak team this summer as the Art Director and am looking forward to meeting all the campers!