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:

Ella D

Hey everyone! Ella here! Im 22, from England. This will be my second summer at Camp Agawak and i cannot wait to be back at blue lake! You will find me down at Tango Tower and on the soccer field and Im super excited to see lots of familiar faces along with many new ones!

Madison E

Hi! My name is Madison Elliott and I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona. I have been at camp since 2018 and I can’t wait for another amazing summer up north! You can find me by the waterfront, on the tennis courts, or being active around camp!

Sylvia F

Hi! I’m Sylvia, I’m 16 and from Deerfield IL. I’ve been at Camp Agawak since 2016. I’m so excited to make amazing memories with all of you this summer!!!

Molly F

Hi! My name is Molly Fisher, I am 20 years old from Atlanta, GA, and I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Michigan! This is my third summer on staff and my twelfth summer at Camp Agawak! I will be an Olympic Day and Final Four Coordinator, and you can probably find me on the ski docks or biking on Agawak road! I cannot wait for this summer and to meet you all!

Meah F

Hi I’m Meah!! I’m 18 and I live just outside of Chicago. I’ve been going to camp since 2017. This will be my second year on staff and I could not be more excited!!

Cami F

Hi, my name is Cami! I am from Los Angeles, California and am 18 years old. I have been going to camp since 4th grade and it is now my second year on staff! Can't wait to see everyone!

Caroline F

Hello! I’m Caroline and I’m originally from the Chicago area, however have lived in northern WI for over 35 years. I am a retired nurse and currently do some substitute nursing at a local high school as well as substitute teaching in another local school district. I’ve been part of Camp Agawak for the past 2 years and looking forward to another fun summer with everyone.

Josh F

Hi everyone. I’m Josh, I’ll be part of this year's maintenance staff. This is my third summer helping out and I’m looking forward to another great year!

Maddy G

Hi!! My name is Maddy Gallinson and I am SO excited to be back on the beautiful shores of blue lake! I’ve been a camper at Agawak since 2014, and on staff since 2022. I am from Northbrook, Illinois, and I currently attend the University of Michigan. This summer you can find me on the ski docks, fishing boat, or leading our blue and white program! Can’t wait!

Annabelle G

Hi! My name is Annabelle Garelick. I am 18 years old and from the City of Chicago. I'm currently a freshman at the University of Michigan. I've been a part of Camp Agawak since 2014 and this will be my third summer on staff. I can't wait to spend my summer with all of you!!!