Cat Holbert, Executive Director
DSC Camp & Retreat Ministries
Cat knows a camp and retreat experience shapes lives in various ways. At camp, people are accepted in communities of belonging. They are loved for who they are and are often called into their vocations because of a camp experience.
As a 25+ year “veteran” in United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries, Cat knows this first hand. She has filled many of the regular camp staff positions: counselor, cook/housekeeper, lifeguard, high ropes specialist, Program Director, Camp Director, and Executive Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries in the Desert Southwest Conference, as well as Director of Mingus Mountain! She is a member of the American Camp Association (ACA) and serves as a visitor for the accreditation program.
Cat received her Bachelor of Science (Magna Cum Laude) from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied Recreation and Parks Management and Religious Studies. She also completed coursework for Professional Camp & Retreat Ministry Certification at Drew University. During covid, Cat continued her education by receiving a Fundraising and Strategic Planning certificate from the ASU Nonprofit Management Institute. Most recently, Cat has completed training and is on her way to becoming a certified ‘co-active’ coach with the International Federation of Coaching.
Recently, Cat’s rolled off the United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries Association (UMCRM) Board of Directors after serving for 10 years and providing leadership for multiple UMCRM National Gatherings. An avid believer in training and education, Cat has served as faculty for the ecumenical camp leader’s training, “Compass Points,” Furthermore, she is dedicated to personal life-long learning, always striving for excellence so that she can be a better leader, supervisor, and human.
When she’s not living the camp life, thinking about camp, or dreaming of new ideas for camp, Cat enjoys hiking and biking in Prescott, AZ (and the surrounding areas), baking up a bevy of delicious goods, studying the enneagram and connecting with friends from around the country.
Cat loves to hear from folks! If you have thoughts about camp, ideas on ways we could partner with you or just want to brainstorm something new, be encouraged to drop Cat a line. She looks forward to working alongside you!
Jonathan Gowan, Assistant Director
Jonathan grew up attending a UMC camp, Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center, in West Tennessee, where his passion for camp and retreat ministry was born. He served on Lakeshore staff for seven summers doing everything from counseling, running the ropes course, directing an at-risk youth camp program, and playing numerous games of gaga with campers!
After serving as a youth pastor, and at Habitat for Humanity through Americorps, Jonathan accepted the call to full-time camp and retreat ministry. He served as the Director of Summer Camp at Camp Sumatanga in Northern Alabama and then as the Assistant Camp and Youth Director at the Memphis Jewish Community Center.
As Assistant Director, Jonathan enjoys bringing his passion for hospitality and service to every camper and guest who visits the site. He strives to create inclusive environments where everyone feels part of the camp community! In his free time, Jonathan enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with his three young boys, running local trails, and reading dystopian novels.
Krissy Chrystal, Operations Director
Meet Krissy, or as her nephew used to call her, Aunt Kwissy (gosh, he is cute). Previously, Krissy was the Camp Manager at Camp McCumber in Shingletown, CA for 5 years. You could catch her hanging drywall, managing sales, digging in the dirt with the tractor, using her super adorable chainsaw, and serving scrumdiddlyumptious food to the campers. In addition to all that, Krissy served as the Kitchen Manager spending several years trying new things and coming up with menus kids love, since kids are her favorite clientele. But don’t fret, all you older campers! Krissy has a few tricks up her sleeve and can offer up some confectionary delights you can’t help but love!
Krissy joins us at Mingus Mountain, sharing Cat’s commitment to hospitality. Though she isn’t much for being in the spotlight, Krissy will be working (behind the scenes) to ensure every camper is safe, comfortable, and gosh darn it, well fed!
Emma Gowan, Office Administrator
DSC Camp & Retreat Ministries
When Emma was 12 years old, she was invited to summer camp by a friend. It being her first time at camp, she didn’t know what to expect; that simple invitation changed her life forever! After many summers as a camper, Emma worked on Summer Staff as a counselor and Crafts Director. After graduating from UT Chattanooga with a degree in Communications, Emma worked with many nonprofits — from summer camps to community centers to Habitat for Humanity. Emma is looking forward to being back in the camp mindset (although it feels like she’s never left.) One invitation to camp by a new friend changed Emma’s career path, friends, college choice, and camp is even where she met her husband! Needless to say, she really believes in the power of camp! Emma and her husband are raising three young boys — so free time is limited — but on the off chance she has some, she enjoys reading books and drinking lots of coffee.
If you have questions about registration or payment, you can reach Emma at 928-719-6162 (call/text) or by email.