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

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.

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!!!

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, taught Business Education, and was also a technology instructional coach. I retired from education in June of 2022. Agawak is such a special place for campers. I'm happy to be a part of something so special. 

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; 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 Activity and 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.

Campbell Matz, Division Head

Hi! My name is Campbell. I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. My goal is to create a safe, inclusive environment where each and every camper and staff member feel that their needs are being met- whether that be mental, emotional, physical or all three. As a division head I will do all that I can to make everybody feel seen. Can’t wait to meet all of you!

Ryan Poulos, Division Head

Hello! My name is Ryan. I am a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a bachelor's degree in psychology minoring in sociology. My focus and hope coming into Camp Agawak is to bring in comfort and support to our campers and staff. I am a person to come to if you are needing emotional guidance or a space to take a breather. I aim to prioritize the mental health of everyone joining us here at camp, as we join as a family.

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Noa C

Hi everybody!! I am Noa, I am 17 years old, and next school year I will be a senior at Highland Park High School in Illinois! I am so excited to be returning for my 8th summer, and first summer on staff! I love to play soccer, ski, and sail. I cant wait to meet all the new campers and staff, make memories, and watch my campers fall in love with the best place on earth!!

Cassie C

Hey y’all! My name is Cassandra, I’m from south Texas, and I’ll be returning again as a camp nurse! Summer 2022 was great, I cannot wait to see what 2023 holds in store!

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!

Jennifer C

Hi everyone! My name is Jen, I’m 22 and from Glasgow, Scotland. This year will be my second summer at Agawak and I’m over the moon to spend another fantastic summer on the beautiful Blue Lake. I’ll be working in the Gymnastics program again and I’m counting down the days to  get back to camp. Camp means so much to me and I’m so looking forward to reuniting with all of my lovely friends and making so many more memories with everyone. See you soon, Jen :)

Lauren C

Hi! I'm Lauren and I'm from Liverpool, UK. I'm 20 years old and currently completing a degree in Physics. This will be my first summer at Camp Agawak and I absolutely can't wait. Super excited to meet everyone.

Leonor C

Hi guys! My name is Leonor but I go by Leo, I'm 19 years old and I'm from Highland Park, Illinois. I've been part of Camp Agawak since 2015 and attended for 4 years but realized I needed to come back once again. I've decided to come back and enjoy the beauty of this camp as a counselor. I've played volleyball and basketball since middle school and I can't wait to meet you all and have an amazing summer.

Ingrid C

Hello everyone! I’m Ingrid, I’m 19 and from Mexico. The Agawak camp is full of incredible activities, beautiful landscapes and incredible people who are going to join us this summer.It is undoubtedly an experience that you have to live more than once in your life.

Daniela D

Hi everyone! I'm Daniela, but you can call me Dani, I'm 21 and I'm from Mexico. I love to take pictures and I am looking forward to share and frame wonderful moments with the girls.

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!

Fitz D

Hey everyone, my names Fitz, I'm 18 and from Lake Forest, Illinois. This will be my first summer at Camp Agawak which I couldn't be more excited for as a boat driver. I'm a member of the min-aqua-bats waterski club and next year I will be attending Clemson University!