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:

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!

Grace B

Hi everyone!! I’m Grace, from Cambridge, England. I am 18 years old and a swimming teacher. I’m really excited to meet everyone and make great new memories this summer!

Cristian B

Hi everyone! I’m Cristian, I’m 24 and from Colombia. This would be my second year at Camp Agawak after my first time in 2021. I’ll be the tennis director, very happy to be back to this wonderful place full of wonderful people!

Scarlett B

Hi! My names Scarlett and I'm 19 from Sydney Australia! I’ve been with Agawak since 2023 so this will be my second year and I am so so excited for another amazing summer!!

Abbey B

hey everyone, my name is Abbey i am 22 and from Liverpool,England. I have been lucky enough to say i’ve worked at camp since 2022 making this 3 years in the best place on earth and you will find me working on tango tower. Let’s have the best summer!!

Carlos C

Hello everyone! I'm Carlos, I'm 27, and from Mexico. I am maintenance staff and I am happy to help you have a better experience. I am excited to be back to Agawak!

Noa C

Hi!! I'm Noa, I am 18 years old and I will be graduating Highland Park High School this year! I have been going to Camp Agawak since 2015, and this will be my second year on staff. I am so so excited for summer 2024 and can't wait to make this the best one yet!!

Lizeth C

Hello everyone! I’m Lizeth, I’m 21 and from Mexico. This is my first year being part of Camp Agawak. I’m excited to connect with nature and all of you!

Aliza C

Hi everyone! I’m Aliza, I’m from Chicago and I’m 17. I have been spending my summers at Agawak since 2015 and I will be a new staff member this summer. I can’t wait for a great summer with all of you at camp!

Evelyn C

Hello everyone! I'm Evelyn, I'm 20 years old and from México. I have experience in cooking. I am excited to live this experience and connect with nature and know about American culture.