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.

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Jack S.

Hi, I'm Jack Salit and this is my first year working at Camp Agawak. I have spent time every summer of my life at Agawak since my mom and sister are alumni and we go to post camp each summer. I am 14 years old and going into high school this fall. I will be helping out in fishing, archery and all around camp. I can't wait to see everybody this summer! 

Mollie S.

Hi my name is Mollie and I have been with Camp Agawak for 11 years and can’t wait to continue this journey! I am graduating from the university of Illinois with a bachelor's in social work and next year will be attending NYU to achieve my Masters. I am so excited to get to know everyone so soon and make this the best summer ever!

Claudia S.

Hi! My name is Claudia Siegel and this will be my 9th summer at Camp Agawak. I live in Carmel, IN and am 18 years old. I love to play tennis and spend as much time at the waterfront as possible. Last year was my first year as a counselor and I cannot wait for another. Cannot wait to meet all of the future campers!! 

Karah T

Hello! I am the mother of a first time Agawak Girl and was an Agawak camper myself (Go Blue!). I am also an Emergency Medicine Physician in Minneapolis and will be joining the health staff for the first 2 weeks of camp this year. I am so excited for a safe, fun, amazing summer!

Kat T

G’day. My name is Kathryn (but you can call me Kat) and I am super excited for my first year at Agawak! I am a quirky 18-year-old living in my home of Brisbane Australia while on a gap year before starting a degree in film and screen production. I am a very creative person who loves film, singing, acting, choir, musical theatre and everything in between and I'm really look forward to sharing the love that I have for the arts with the campers this year. Can’t wait to meet everyone!

Margo T.

Hi everyone! My name is Margo, I was born and raised right outside of Madison WI. I am 20 years old and just finished my second year at UW Madison. In high school I played hockey and lacrosse so I love being active. Everything outdoors is a blast and I can't wait to have a summer out in the sun before finishing college. I have not been a councilor before but have been to summer camp.  I am very excited to spend the summer with you guys. 



Wiktoria T.

My name is Wiktoria and this will be my 1st summer at Camp Agawak! I’ve always been into sports mainly Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiujitsu, fitness and Zumba. Can’t wait to spend an amazing summer together and meet everyone! ☺️

Beth V.

Hi Everyone!  I grew up in Marshfield, WI. I received my Master's Degree in Education and have taught Business Education courses for over twenty years to students in grades 3-12. I'm currently an instructional technology coach for the Kimberly School District. I have two children--Davis who just graduated from the University of Minnesota and Campbell who will be a junior at UW LaCrosse. You may recognize me as I have known Mary for over 40 years and have been helping Mary with various tasks at camp over the last few years. I will be in the office and around camp a bit more this and am looking forward to it!

Olivia V.

Hi everyone! My name is Olivia Vigran and this will be my 9th summer at camp but my first on staff! In the fall, I will be a senior at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, OH. At home, I am on my school’s lacrosse and cheerleading teams, and love to spend time with my friends and family. At camp, some of my favorite things to do are tubing, skiing, kickboxing, and spending time on Blue Lake. I can’t wait to see everyone and meet all of the new campers! Counting down the days until we all get to go back to the best place for summer 2020!

Jesse W

Hello! My name is Jesse and this will be my fifth summer at Camp Agawak. I am from the Minocqua area and I do the maintenance around camp year round. My brother, John, also works with me.