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

Mary Fried, Owner & Director

With over 30 years of camping experience Mary is a committed and seasoned director. Mary is only the third owner of Camp Agawak. Mary brings 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.

Mary has 3 children Jaclyn, Jacob, and Joshua.

 

 

 

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!

Sara Mervis, CIT Director

Hello from Sara Mervis! I look forward to being a part of the administrative team, and to working with the CIT's to ensure an amazing summer of fun and preparation for their future as counselors. I have been a part of Camp Agawak's staff for 15 years after being a camper. During the winter, I am a 3rd grade Special Education teacher near Chicago.

Kiley Isaacson, Activities & Program Director

Hi campers! My name is Kiley Isaacson and I have been a part of Camp Agawak since 2007; first as a camper and since 2015 on staff. I’m so excited to be back; time flies when you’re having fun! Last summer, I got the opportunity to be a division head and help out in the office. This summer I will be your Activity and Programming Director! I can’t wait to be running around camp watching our favorite games unravel and maybe even introduce some new awesome ones. I love laughing and having fun with all of you campers! During the year I am a third grade teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. I can’t wait for this summer to come and for the buses to roll in to the most special place. Here’s to 101 years of fun! :)

Lexi Maurer, EP Director/Prog Asst.

Hi everyone! My name is Lexi and I am from Carmel, Indiana. I have been a part of Camp Agawak since 2012--first as a camper, then as a counselor and this summer I will be joining the Administration team as the Evening Program Director and Programming Assistant. I'm finishing my junior year of college at Indiana University where I’m studying Elementary Education. I’m so excited to be back on Blue Lake. I can’t wait to see what this summer has in store for us.

Ducky, Camp Chef

Hi. I’m DUCKY. I have been running the kitchen at Agawak since 1994. 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 five to six different salad dressings and at least two 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 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.   

Beth Varsho, Office Manager

Hi Everyone! I have been working in the Camp Agawak office since the summer of 2021. I grew up in Marshfield, WI and met Mary in seventh grade. We have been friends for over 40 years! I received my Master's Degree in Education and taught Business Education courses for 11 years to students in grades 3-12. For the last 18 years I was a technology instructional coach. In June of 2022 I will be officially retired from education. Agawak is such a special place for campers. I'm happy to be a part of something so special. 

Sort by Last Name:

Marissa S

Hi! My name is Marissa! This will be my 8th summer and my first on staff. I am from Chicago and a rising senior in high school. I am so excited to meet new people and make new memories! See you all this summer!

Alexis S

Hi! My name is Alexis and I'm a junior studying psychology at Indiana University! In my free time, I love to dance and I'm on the Crimsonettes Dance Team at IU! This will be my first year working at Camp Agawak and I'm so excited to meet everyone!

Caroline S

Hi! I’m Caroline and I’m so excited to spend my eighth summer at Camp Agawak. In the fall I will be a senior at Francis Parker in Chicago. During the summer you can find me at the waterfront, ski docks, or on the tennis courts having the best time! I can’t wait to meet all of the new campers!

Rachel S

Hi everyone! I’m Rachel from Berowra, Australia. I have a bachelors degree in speech, hearing and language and have worked in before and after school care and vacation care for six years. At camp you’ll find me paddle boarding, helping out with choir, arts and craft and on the waterfront. At home I love hiking, reading, trips to the beach and I’m learning how to roller skate. This will be my first first summer at Agawak and I’m counting down the days to meet each of you and create some beautiful memories!

Elly S

Hi there, my name is Elly. I've been at Agawak since 2016 and I'm a junior counselor this summer. In the fall, I will be attending Ohio State majoring in business and finance. Do you enjoy kickboxing and biking? I hope so! You will find me often in Happy Camper Hall teaching kickboxing or in the bike shed adjusting helmets before hitting the nearby trails. I'm also an avid water skier and I'm looking forward to teaching campers how to water ski. There's nothing like taking a jog around camp and taking in the sights and smells of nature. If you've never tried running before please give it a try at Agawak. It's where I learned to enjoy running. I am excited to meet everyone in June!

Riley S

Hi! My name is Riley and I am from Chicago, IL. In the fall I am going to be senior at Lane Tech. At camp I love to swim, ski, and play tennis. This will be my 8th summer at camp and I am so excited to spend it with everyone!

Ron S

I started teaching riflery at Camp Agawak the summer of 2019. During the off season I work in the Anitgo School District as a Special Education Teacher. I enjoy bow hunting and fishing in my spare time and spending time with family. I am a proud United States Army Veteran. I enjoy teaching and working with campers to improve their skills. Summer won't come soon enough!

Devon S

Hi everyone!! My name is Devon and I am from Denver, Colorado. This will be my 6th summer at camp and my first summer on staff. At camp you can find me kickboxing, cooking, and spending every second I can on the waterfront. I can’t wait to be back on Blue Lake and I’m SO excited to meet you all!

Nikki S

Hi Camp Agawak, my name is Nikki and I am the Challenge Course Manager at the Tango Tower. I live right here in Minocqua WI and love all things adventure! In my free time you can find me hiking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Ari S

Hi I’m Ari! I’m 17 and I live in St. Louis. I go to Clayton High School and I’ve been going to Agawak for 6 years. I love to waterski and stargaze and have deep talks.