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:

Paige M

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be back at Agawak this summer! Kentucky is too far away from the blissful waters of Blue Lake where you will find me in the KWAK station blasting all the fun music this summer. If not I’ll probably be up at Arts and Crafts or in Happy Camper for Drama activities. I’m so excited for my second year as a counselor. Some fun facts about me, I have a collection of Minnie Ears and Disney Pins from the 19 times I’ve been to Disney World and probably know WAY too many Disney Facts. My favorite food is sushi, preferably Philadelphia Rolls but I’ll try any kind. My favorite EP’s are Treasure Hunt and Campfire. I can’t wait for Summer 2021!

Dia M

Hi! I'm Dia & I'm a songwriter, music producer, & enthusiast at life. You'll find me back on Blue Lake for my official 10th summer with a camera capturing smiles, teaching songwriting lessons, singing at campfire, or finally sitting with the staff table (like I've dreamed of since 2005!).

Sophia M

Hi my name is Sophia and I am from Gilbert, Arizona. This will be my first year at Cam- Agawak and I am so excited to meet all the girls! I am 21 years old studying exercise science at Northern Arizona University. I can't wait for a fun summer full of memories and sunshine!

Angelica M

Hello everybody, my name is Angelica. I'm 21 years old. I'm from Mexico. This will be my first summer at Agawak camp. I will go to work on support staff. I love nature. I look forward to seeing the sunsets on the lake!!

Leanne M

Hey I’m Leanne from Scotland and this will be my first year at Camp Agawak. I’m currently studying Applied Sports Science at university. I’ve spent time overseas coaching and playing basketball and now play netball competitively. So excited to meet everyone!!!!

Dani M

Hi everyone! I'm Dani; I'm a music education major at Ithaca College in New York and I play the saxophone. I'm originally from Vermont and love to hike, swim, and ski!

Lexi M.

Hi everyone! My name is Lexi and I am from Carmel, Indiana. I just finished my sophomore year of college at Indiana University where I’m studying Elementary Education. I’m so excited to be back on Blue Lake for my 9th summer and along with being a counselor, I will also be an evening program coordinator with Emma P! I can’t wait to see what this summer has in store for us.

Philippa M.

Hello, my name is Philippa and I am from county Cork in Ireland. I cannot wait to work at Camp Agawak this summer! I will make it my priority to keep your kids safe and make sure that they have the best summer ever! 

Devyn M.

Hi Everyone!! My name is Devyn Much and next fall I will be a senior at Highland Park High School. This will be my tenth summer at camp but first year on staff!!! I am so excited for camp and can't wait to see all the fun activities and evening programs planned! I love to hang out with friends, play sports, and be with family. My favorite things to do at camp are tubing, swimming, basketball, and paddle boarding! I cannot wait to meet my campers and spend time with them!! I am so excited to be at my home away from home!!!!

Lizzie M.

Hi there! My name is Lizzie and that’s Moonlight in my hand. Me and Moonlight are so excited for camp this summer! I am from Chicago, and I’m a nature girl at heart. Some activities I’ll be teaching at camp will be yoga, ukulele, pottery, and mostly art-related activities. Moonlight is so excited to meet all the girls at camp for a magical summer. You’ll see me singing, dancing, imagining, and just being silly.