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:

Susan I

Hello!  I’m Dr. Susan and I'll be the Camp Medical Director for 2021. I enjoy spending time on the lake, fishing, water sports, and campfires. I also enjoy making maple syrup with sap form our trees, gardening, sewing, reading, puzzling, and learning new crafts. I look forward to working and interacting with staff and campers at Camp Agawak this summer and beyond.  Until  we meet in person, stay safe and healthy.

Morgan I

Hello! My name is Morgan, I will be one of the staff nurses here at camp! I also am working as an Emergency Room RN while planning a wedding for August! I am very excited to meet you all and spend time at Camp Agawak.

Kiley I.

Hi campers!  My name is Kiley Isaacson and this will be my fourteenth summer at camp and my sixth year on staff. I'm so happy to be back this summer at this amazing place and to be back with all of you! This summer you can find me working in the office and helping out all around camp. In the Spring, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an Elementary Education major. In the fall, I hope to be an elementary school teacher. I love working with kids and I can't wait to meet all of you new campers! I can't wait for the buses to roll into camp to be back at the most special place making new memories. Full Speed Ahead :)

Helen J

Hi! My name is Helen. This is my first year at camp Agawak and I am looking forward to having a great time and getting to know all the campers. I just finished my freshman year and University of Minnesota Duluth with a major in Biology. I am excited for all the fun this summer will bring!

Annie K

Hi, I'm Annie! I'm a swimmer at Hendrix College in Arkansas, but I'm from Memphis, Tennessee. I love swimming, coffee, puppies, and being outside! I cannot wait to meet everyone!

Carly K.

Hi!! My name is Carly Kohn and I live in Deerfield, IL. This will be my tenth summer at camp (first year on staff!!) I am so excited for camp this year!!! I love to be active, hang out with friends, and spend time with my family. My favorite things to do at camp are skiing, tubing, sailing, and kickboxing!! I can’t wait to meet all the new campers and be back at my favorite place!!!

Iris K.

Bestselling author Iris Krasnow started as a camper at Agawak in 1963, She returned eight summers ago to bring back our camp writing propgram Agalog. Her latest book "Camp Girls" is all about her experiences growing up, and growing older, at Agawak.

Corina L

Hi I'm Corina and this will be my first year as a camp counselor. I study business management and real estate at Aberdeen university in Scotland. I love all kinds of sports but I specifically play tennis and I super excited for this summer at Camp Agawak.

Grace L

Hi my name is Grace and I'm studying Hotel Restaurant Management and look forward to creating strong relationships with campers and counselors. In my free time I love to hike, play tennis, sit by the campfire and bake!

Siobhan L.

Hi I’m Siobhan but everyone calls me Shorny!! I’m also from Gold Coast Australia. This will be my second year at Camp Agawak and I can’t wait to meet everyone. I will be part of the waterskiing program and helping out with paddle boarding, even at outdoor cooking!!  Let’s make this summer the best!