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:

Zora P

Hey my name is Zora, I’m 19, an undergrad and from London, England. This will be my first summer at Agawak and I’ll most likely be helping out on the waterfront!

Laura P

Hi! I’m Laura! I’m originally from Liverpool, England but now I live on the edge of London, in Watford. I am SO excited for my first year at Agawak! I can't wait to meet everyone and look forward to the wonderful summer ahead of us!

Jesus P.

Extrovert, proactive and super friendly. 

Emma P.

Hi Everyone! My name is Emma and I'm from Tucson, Arizona. I attend Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University and I will be a Junior in the Fall. This will be my 11th summer at camp and 3rd on staff! My roles this summer will include evening program coordinator and assistant water ski director. I cannot wait to spend my summer on the shores of Blue Lake, full speed ahead!!!

Ellie P.

Hi! I’m Ellie Polen and I’m from Deerfield, IL. This summer will be my 7th summer at camp and my first year on staff! I love to spend time with friends, family, and play field hockey. I am so excited to be a counselor and go back to the best place in the world this summer! I love all the amazing activities and programs that camp has to offer. Two of my favorite things are Lip Syncs and Treasure Hunt. I can’t wait for summer 2020! It’s going to be amazing!

Alli R

Hello ! My name is Alli and this will be my first year at Camp Agawak as a camp counselor! I am so excited to make new memories and try new things this summer as well as meet all of the wonderful campers! Some of my favorite activities include cheering and dancing!

Cynthia R

I am a playful, smiling girl and I like to make new friends. Can't wait to meet you all! 

Holly R

Hello! I am "Nurse Holly"! I am looking forward to my 1st Summer at Camp Agawak! I have worked many years as a Camp Nurse and love it! I am from Indiana, a Mom of 2 and Grandmother of 4!

Yeimy R

Hi, I'm Yeimy. I'm 20 years old, right now I'm study biology at UNAM in Mexico City. I'm into a lot of things, specially music, artistic design and (of course) biology. In my free time, I work with teenagers doing some scientific and craft activities. Right now I am the director in an ONG where I work doing some workshops and conferences about science communication. I can play guitar and other instruments like ukulele. Thanks for reading me. :)

Mathilda R

Hi there! I'm Mathilda, I'm 19 years old and I am from the north of Scotland. As a qualified British gymnastics coach I will be assisting in the gymnastics program this year for my first summer at camp! I am beyond excited to meet everyone and make the most unforgettable memories at Agawak!