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:

Caroline R.

Hi!! My name is Caroline Routh and this will be my 8th summer at camp, and my first on staff.  I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and in the fall I’ll be a senior at The Seven Hills School.  At home I like to play sports and hang out with friends.  This summer you can find me sailing blue lake, jogging in-one-out-one, laxin’ it up on the upper, and cheering on the blue team!! I can’t wait to give my campers the same amazing experience I had as a camper!! I’m so excited to see you all soon!!!

Joseph S

I am from Mundelein Illinois and while this will only be my second year on staff it will be my twenty-first summer on Blue Lake. I am an audio engineering major at Ithaca College where this summer I will be a rising junior. You can catch me out at archery as well as on the lake in a canoe. I am beyond excited for this summer!

Meg S

Hi! I’m Meg and i’m from Arizona! I am SO excited for my first year at Agawak! I cant wait to meet everyone and look forward to the wonderful summer ahead of us!

Gabriela S

I study to be a teacher of elementary school, I'm 22 years old, I love traveling, I like to listen to music and meet new people. I like to work, learn new things and I consider myself a responsible person.

Renata S

Hey campers! My name is Renata and this will be my first year at camp. I was born in Mexico, moved to Houston, TX, and I go to school in California. I am a Division I swimmer at the University of California at Davis majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. I have a background in gymnastics, enjoy drawing and painting, and love cooking/baking. I am super excited to enjoy the Wisconsin sun at Camp Agawak!

Kristina S

Hi everyone! My name is Kristina, and I’m going to be a senior in the fall at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I’m studying Biology and Psychology, but in my free time, I love playing the piano and the guitar and spending time with my friends. At camp, you can find me at archery or up at the Tango Tower. I can’t wait for this summer and to see everyone again!

Cari S

Hello! My name is Cari and I am from Leeds, United Kingdom! This will be my first summer at camp and I am beyond excited to be a part of the Agawak family. I will be attending the University of Cambridge in October and have spent the past year as a tutor in an elementary school. I love to be creative so usually you will find me making a mess with the arts and crafts supplies. I can't wait to make some amazing summer memories and see you all at camp!

Madison S

Hi there! I am a strong, supportive, kind, creative & fun camp counselor from Phoenix, AZ. I cant wait to meet everyone and create unforgettable memories together this summer!

Hannah S.

Hi! My name is Hannah and I'm from Oneida Kentucky. I'm a graduate of Northern Kentucky University With a B.A. in theatre and a Minor in Dance. This will be my first summer at Camp Agawak! I’ll be a part of the Drama department, so that's where you will see me most. I also will be spending my summer with my best friend. I can't wait for this summer and to meet all of you!!


Karen S.

Hi, my name is Karen and I'm from Mexico, this is my 6th year at camp, before being here I worked a summer at Camp Kawaga.  I'm the baker, so I prepare the sweetest part of the meal. I went to the culinary school and I'm currently studying an MBA specialized in restaurant administration.  In my free time, I like cycling, roller skate, run, and learn to play the ukulele. I really love animals, in November I spent a couple weeks as a volunteer taking care of scarlet macaws in an ecological reserve.