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

For over 25 years, Mary Fried, owner and director of Camp Agawak has brought heart, passion and hands-on leadership to an extraordinary and diverse camp environment.  Mary has been “camp mom” and role model to thousands of campers and staff since 1989.  She holds a masters degree in Educational Psychology and has dedicated her life to working with children.  Her experience as an elementary and middle-school counselor makes her a resourceful and compassionate director.  Mary’s breath of talent, combined with her enthusiasm for working with children creates a camp culture that is as extraordinary as it is fun.  She is an active member of the American Camping Association, the Midwest Camping Association, the Wisconsin School Counselor Association, and the American Counseling Association.  Mary lives on the camp property year round with her three children, Jaclyn, Jacob and Joshua.  

Chris Garcia - Director of Office Operations

Chris Garcia joined the Agawak crew in 2008 and is a Minocqua native.  After gaining an undergraduate Finance degree from Carroll College in Waukesha, she went on to receive a Masters degree in Administration from University of Whitewater.  Chris thoroughly enjoys the office life of number crunching, report running and day to day operations that go on "behind the scenes".  She works year round at Agawak, but also coaches the local swim club seven months out of the year and the boys high school team.  From time to time, Chris lends a hand to the waterfront giving swim lessons or lifeguarding.  As a mother of four, she also gives out hugs when needed or an extra ear to listen.  Chris lives in Hazelhurst with her husband, Robert and children; Nick, Hanna, Jack and Georgia.

Ducky D.

Hi, I'm Ducky and this is my 22nd summer here at Agawak.  I have been the head cook longer than any of our campers have been alive! I look forward to another summer of making everyone happy with healthy, delicious food, including all the faves- Pizza, Grilled Cheese on Tuesdays, BBQ Chicken and of course...Pasta Bar!  Can't wait to see you all very soon!

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Maddie Abrams

Maddie cannot wait to spend her 9th summer at Agawak and first year on staff! You can find her on the basketball and tennis courts, cheering for the white team, or skiing and swimming in Blue Lake. In the fall, Maddie will be a Senior at Highland Park High School where she plays on the varsity basketball team and hangs out with friends. She is so excited for another summer at her favorite place. 

Amanda Amiel

Hi! My name is Amanda Amiel and I am from Highland Park, IL and I am senior at Highland Park High School. This will be my tenth summer at Agawak and my second year on staff!! I enjoy spending time with my campers whether it's singing around our table during meals or playing games in the cabin!! You can find me on the ski docks helping new and returning campers and biking to Kawaga. My favorite evening program is Blue and White!! I cannot wait for another summer at the best place on Earth! Counting down the days until I can watch the sunsets on Blue Lake. As always, go White!!

Mela Baldan

Mela Baldan is a fun and energetic character, that loves being active. Mela studied ballet and contemporary dance for 15 years where she competed in international competitions. Mela is currently studying to become a Primary School (elementary school) teacher at the Australian Catholic University. Caring and nurturing are strong characteristics of Mela’s, she hopes to pass on her confidence into other young woman around the world. “Strength and belief, will always get you through” is one of Mela’s favorite quotes to go by, it reminds her that the bullies are not worth her energy. Mela look forward to meeting all the campers and experiencing Agawak fro the first time! 

Farah Baria

Hey Im Farah, but most my friends call me faz or fazzy. This is my first summer at Camp Agawak  which makes it all the more fun and exciting. You’ll find me down at the tango tower and also candle making, which I am super super excited about! *FUN FACT ALERT* IM A PROFESSIONAL HAIRDRESSER AND MAKEUP ARTIST. One of the many reasons why I am super pumped for camp this year is being an instructor on the tango tower, reasons being is when I was younger I used to be scared of heights but I had one instructor that took the time to guide me through that fear and being able to over-come was the best feeling.I LOVED going to school, learning new things and having fun with friends, but I think the main reason why was because of my teachers they made it that fun environment to learn new things but they also created the best atmosphere that made you feel comfortable to be express yourself and just have fun learning.That is definitely one thing that I am going to try and create at camp this year. 

*FUN FACT ALERT* MY INITIALS SPELL OUT ‘F-A-B’. I'm so so excited for camp this summer to meet you all and get to know you and have the best summer ever!! 



Abby Barnes

Abby is excited to be joining Camp Agawak for the first time this year! Hailing from Sydney Australia, Abby has a bachelor degree in Marketing and is taking a break of the office life to be outdoors and by the water with the campers! In Australia she is a Girl Guide leader and loves reading, swimming, traveling and most of all chocolate! 


Marley Berk

Marley cannot wait to spend her 10th summer at Camp Agawak! As a camper for 8 years, and now her second year on staff she couldn't imagine spending her summer anywhere else! As a graduating senior at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, IL, she is unsure where she will be studying next year, but is excited to be studying government wherever she lands. In her free time Marley loves to dance, and spend time with friends! She is on Poms and Orchesis at school, and volunteers tutoring kids! Marley is excited to have another summer kickboxing away in Happy Camper Hall, and you can always find her singing as loud as she can in the lodge with all her friends! 

Thanks so much! Can't wait to have a great summer! 

Rachel Camera

Rachel is 27 from Melbourne, Victoria. She has been a Registered Nurse for 7 years with specialties in paediatric life support, education and post-operative recovery room.  When shes not wearing scrubs she can most often be found in lycra, teaching Body Flow as a group fitness coach and headstanding her way across the globe. This is her first summer at Agawak, having previously done summer camp in New York and she can not wait to meet you all!

Carlos Antonio Castelar

“Hello parents and campers who are reading this, the name of this guy is Carlos Castelar and he is from Mexico. Carlos is a mechanic´s student and a music lover, one of his hobbies is to play rock music in his electric guitar, and sometimes the drumset. Carlos also likes to go for a walk and read Sci-Fi books.  Carlos is a maintenance guy and this is going to be his second summer in Agawak, for that reason He is so excited for this summer comming”.

Alondra Chapuli

Hi, my name is Alondra and I really hope this will be the greatest summer of my life. I’m 19 years old, and I’m from Puebla in Mexico. I’m studying at the university at the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma De Puebla, that is the university public university in Puebla, my career is about be a professional chef, so you could imagine that I love the kitchen and to cook for others, my dream is to open my own restaurant in the future with my brother. Some of my hobbies are to cook of course, to swim and why not to go in a bike. Now I’m going to practice swim 4 days at week, and never school I have a half time job in a small restaurant serving breakfast. I’m going to the camp to work as a helper of kitchen, and I’m rally exciting to going to Agawak camp, to meet new people and of course make new friends and make new memories for all my life. See you all soon.

Delaney ( Laney ) Collins

Delaney (Laney) is extremely excited for her first summer at Camp Agawak! From dancing all throughout middle and high school to teaching dance, Laney is overjoyed to use her experience to teach dance classes at camp! She will be a sophomore this coming fall at UW- Eau Claire, and is working to achieve her degree in Elementary Education. Laney is eager to participate in camp fires, canoeing, and creating lifelong memories here at Camp! (She also loves a good alliteration).