Our Leadership

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
Mingus Mountain

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
Mingus Mountain

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!

DeeJay Johnson, Ministry Intern
Mingus Mountain

DeeJay hails from Memphis, TN and joins us as Mingus Mountain’s first year-round intern! DeeJay spent the last decade serving camps throughout the country for the United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts of America, spending the majority of his service with Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center, where he was a summer camp staffer and co-director of the Dayshore program for six years. Additionally, DeeJay spent two summers serving as a member of the Resource Staff at Camp Magruder of the Oregon-Idaho Conference of UMC.

DeeJay’s love for camp was inspired by his time as a Boy Scout and through the lessons of his grandfather, Benjamin. In his free time, Deejay enjoys playing sports, visiting the library, and chatting with his twelve siblings; he hopes to spread the message of kindness and equality through his work at camp and all that he does!

Patricia Pegram, Office Administrator
DSC Camp & Retreat Ministries

If Patricia could be any kitchen utensil, she would be tongs because they are versatile and useful in many situations! Born and raised in Virginia, Patricia became part of the camp community as an Adventure Counselor at a UMC camp on the James River, inspiring her to complete her undergrad in Outdoor Ministries & Adventure Leadership from Eastern Mennonite University. Having never ventured far from the East Coast, she moved to Southern California with her dog, Darcy, to pursue her next adventure! Working in partnership with UMC camps, Patricia designed and managed Outdoor Education and Summer Day Camp programs for six years at an education-based non-profit in Dana Point, CA and in 2022 earned her MS in Organizational Leadership & Learning from Pepperdine University’s School of Education & Psychology.

When Patricia isn’t busy getting camp registrations set up, checking in on guest groups, and planning trainings and crafts for Mingus events, she enjoys strolling with her dog, has a passion for her plants, singing, being immersed in nature, and sharing her knowledge and experience with others.

If you have questions about registration or payment, you can reach Patricia at 928-719-6162 (call/text) or by email.