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

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!

Ducky D.

Hi. I’m DUCKY this will be my 27th summer running the kitchen at Agawak.  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 5-6 different salad dressings and at least 2 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 a 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.   

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.




Denise Salit - Activities & Program Director

Hi! I'm Denise Salit and I’ll be your Activities and Program Director for the 2019 camp season. As a past Agawak camper, counselor and Assistant Director I feel like my life is coming full circle. 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 27 years. I have a passion for teaching children & 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 "camp in their blood" too. How could they not, as my husband Dean and I met on the shores of Blue Lake (literally) 28 years ago when we were both on staff. I am excited to be a part of your daughter's summer. 2019 is sure to be full of fun, excitement, life lessons and tons of happy memories.

Sara Mervis - Director of Cabin Life, Seniors

Hello from Sara Mervis! Having spent 15 years as a camper, counselor, waterfront director, tripping coordinator and coordinator of director affairs, I am thrilled to rejoin the Agawak administrative team. I’ll be wearing a few different hats this summer as the Director of Cabin Life for our junior & senior campers, CIT Director and assisting the admin team in the office. My daughters, 11 and 7, are 3rd-generation Agawak campers. With parenting insight, I will be supporting campers and parents throughout the summer. Currently, I teach special education to 3-5 graders and l am also a Wilson tutor. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, tennis and camping. I can’t wait to spend this summer with each of you.

Sort by Last Name:

Jesse G.

Hi everyone! My name is Jesse Garland and this will be my 8th summer at camp, and first year on staff! Next fall, I will be a Senior at Deerfield High School. When I am not at Agawak, I am busy dancing and spending time with friends and family. When I’m at camp you can find me swimming and skiing on Blue Lake, dancing, cheering for the blue team, and spending time with my campers and camp friends! I can’t wait to give my campers the same amazing experience I have had as a camper!! I am so incredibly excited to be on staff this year and can’t wait until we’re all back at the best place!!

Sydney G.

Hi everyone!!  I’m Sydney and this will be my 11th summer at camp, but my 3rd on staff and I am SO excited to be coming back!  I’m currently a freshman at the University of Wisconsin and I’m studying on a pre-med track. At camp you can always find me skiing at the ski docks, dancing in the lodge, swimming in Blue Lake, and eating Ducky’s pizza or wings. This summer I will also be a Final Four Commissioner with my best friend Ava Stein.  Counting down the days until we’re back in the best place on earth!!!! Can’t wait for a great summer!

Paige G.

Hi everyone my name is Paige!! I’m so excited to be joining you all at camp this summer! I go to school at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. I love enjoying the outdoors and doing fun activities!

Lauren G.

Hi I’m Lauren. I go to school at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. I am super excited to meet all of you! I love swimming and being outdoors.

Karen G.

Hello there! I'm from México, I'm 22 years old, work in a summer camp is the best!, Always positive, kind and friendly.

Vania H

Hi! My name is Vania, I'm from Mexico and this is my first year at Agawak! I am currently studying electronic engineering and will be 21 years old this summer. I'm sure this will be the best summer ever!!!

Emily H

I am originally from Central Minnesota. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where I earned a degree in Health Promotion and Wellness. I enjoy running, reading, and exploring in nature. My future career interests include outdoor recreation, nutrition, fitness, and community/public health. This will be my first year counseling at Camp Agawak.

Bethany H

Hey! I’m Beth and I’m from Newcastle, England. I am so excited to be joining Camp Agawak, and this will be my first ever summer at camp. I am really looking forward to spending my time down at the tango tower, having great fun with all the campers, and I can't wait for an amazing summer!

Lana H.

Hi! My name is Lana and I am 20 years old from Nottingham, United Kingdom.  I am currently in my second year of University, studying for a Degree in Geography. This year will be my second year on staff and I couldn’t be more excited! 

At camp you will find me in various activities from biking to fishing to kayaking. I love trying new experiences and laughing with my friends and family. I am so excited to be spending my summer back at camp, making unforgettable memories with old and new friends. See you all very soon!

Hannah H.

Hi! My name is Hannah and I am from a small town in Wisconsin called Marshfield which isn’t too far away from camp and I absolutely love it here. I am very active in sports and love to keep the pace going while having fun! This will be my first summer attending camp, but I have been working with kids and on the water front for a few years now! I am very excited to be working at camp this summer and I can’t wait to see everyone.