Leadership and Directors

All of our administrative staff are chosen with the utmost care. We engage employees that have a proven track record with our camps, who have strong leadership abilities. Typically, the camps’ leadership team has 75+ years of experience here at camp.


Ron Springs

Ron Springs is the full-time Executive Director for Ridgecrest Summer Camps. This summer will be Ron's 42nd summer with the camps. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Certified Camp Director with the American Camp Association and a member of Christian Camping and Conference Association. He has also been active on several regional and national committees and boards within the camping industry.

Phil Berry

Phil Berry serves as the full-time Director of Camp Ridgecrest for Boys. He is married to the beautiful Amy Berry and together they have two daughters Piper and Lily, as well as their dog Boone. Although he has eight years experience in camping with Young Life, Phil began camping at Ridgecrest in 1989 as an Apache in cabin 3, returning as a camper in every tribe and eventually serving on staff in many different leadership capacities through the years. Phil is a graduate of Furman University with degrees in Sociology and Education; as well as a member of both the American Camp Association and Christian Camping and Conference Association. Phil and Amy moved to Black Mountain in 2007 and love getting to raise their girls in this incredible camp community.

Sam Pineda

Sam Pineda serves as the full-time Assistant Director for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys. He is married to Christine, or “Teeny”. Sam worked at Camp during college summer breaks, beginning in 2008, serving as an Apache counselor, Camp Pastor, and Administrative Director. He interned with Camp Ridgecrest during 2012 and began serving full-time in 2013. Teeny also worked at Camp from 2009-13. Sam and Teeny both hail from the great city of Chattanooga, TN and love the small-town life of Black Mountain. In June 2015, just 4 days before Camp started, they welcomed their daughter Harper Marie into the world! And in September 2017, their second daughter, Louise Eleanor, was born just 2 days after Camp ended! A member of the American Camp Association, Sam’s a graduate of Liberty University and is an avid fan of the Braves and the UT Vols!

Karah Helton

Karah is the full-time Office Manager for Ridgecrest Summer Camps. She is from Memphis, TN and received her degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She has a heart for international missions and spent three summers abroad doing missions while in college. Karah spent the summer of 2013 serving as the Photographer for Camp Ridgecrest. Her favorite part about camp is that she gets to show Christ's love to hundreds of boys and girls each summer. Karah began serving as the Office Manager in October, 2013.

Jay Barham

Jay is on the full-time Maintenance and Grounds Team at Ridgecrest Summer Camps. He has been in the Camping Industry for over 10 years. Jay and his wife Beth live in Black Mountain and have have 2 kids, Rachel and Sidney.

Rob Wilson

Rob is also on the Maintenance and Grounds Team. He has been with Lifeway for close to 20 years and joined us at Ridgecrest Summer Camps in 2012. He and his wife, Vickie, have two boys, Blake and Jacob, and live in West Asheville. Rob also enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time.