Overnight Camp Handbook

Welcome to Camp Cullen

We are so excited your camper will be joining us for the upcoming summer. Since 1975, Camp Cullen has provided campers from all over the world with activities designed to leave them with a strong sense of accomplishment, belonging and a deeper understanding of the core values of Honesty, Caring, Responsibility, Respect and Faith.

As we prepare for the upcoming summer, we will continue to make your child’s safety our first priority. We will follow all American Camping Association standards, CDC guidance and our local health department recommendations. Now more than ever, our youth need a place where they can safely interact with their peers in an outdoor environment. We are proud to provide camp as a location to help our youth develop this summer.

Summer camp is more than just a place to make friends and have fun. This summer, we will encourage your camper to step past their limits and sharpen the skills they will use throughout their life. Focus, trust, communication and reacting to disappointment are all areas our programs will target. We will use our camp activities to improve how campers interact with one another and how they value their impact within their own environment. Our goal is to inspire campers to be their best self.

As you review the information in this handbook, please feel free to contact us directly if you have any additional questions or concerns. Provide us with any information you feel will be important in helping us make your camper’s week of camp exceptional. If you would like to come visit camp for a tour or need to speak to me directly, I am at your service. Camp can often times be harder for the parents than the campers. Anything we can do to make you more comfortable while your camper is at Cullen, please let us know. If you are nervous, they will be too. Let’s work together to ensure their week of camp is one they will never forget.

On behalf of our entire camp staff and the YMCA of Greater Houston, thank you for choosing YMCA Camp Cullen and look forward to helping your camper create unforgettable memories this summer.

YMCA Camp Cullen

Is a summer overnight camp and year-round retreat facility nestled among the tall pines on 530 acres along the shores of Lake Livingston in Trinity, Texas. It is a perfect place for campers of all ages to enjoy a camp experience, providing campers with a safe, value-centered and educational experience in an enriching, outdoor environment. YMCA Camp Cullen seeks to encourage the best in spirit, mind and body for all its programs.

Spiritual Emphasis

We welcome campers of all faiths. We make room for campers to explore their own spirituality through non-denominational songs, stories, graces at meals and our core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Faith.

Our Staff

YMCA Camp Cullen employs more than 80 staff for our summer camp program. Staff members complete an application process that includes state and national screenings, criminal background checks and pre-employment drug tests prior to being hired. All staff attend a two-week staff training where they will be trained in topics including:

  • Safety and supervision policies
  • Age-appropriate activities
  • Transitional activities
  • Special activity certifications
  • Child abuse prevention
  • Tactics for homesickness
  • Rainy day activities
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • CPR, First Aid and emergency procedures
  • Positive discipline

Technology Free Campers

Camp is great because it’s about getting away from day-to-day technology and the “everyday” routine. We encourage campers to get to know their new friends face to face. Please assist us by making sure your child leaves their phone at home.

Summer Camp 2024 Sessions & Rates

Ages 7–17

Session 1: June 2-7 Blast from the Past
Session 2: June 9-14 Buried Treasure
Session 3: June 16-21 Myth & Magic
Session 4: June 23-28 Wet, Wild & Wonderful
Session 5: June 30-July 5  Operation Purple

Session 6: July 7-12 Superhero School
Session 7: July 14-19 Holiday Hullabaloo
Session 8: July 21-26 Texas Forever
Session 9: July 28-August 2 Olympics

Specialty Camps

Same Dates as Main Sessions Above | Ages 9-16 | $1395

Equestrian Camp
Half day daily dedicated to riding, grooming and learning about horses

Watersports Camp
Half day daily dedicated to all watersports

Science Camp
Half day daily dedicated to learning more about science

High Ropes Camp
Half day daily dedicated to all High Ropes Elements

Teen Camps

Teen Adventure Camp
Ages 13–15 | $2795
Session 1: June 16-28 (2 weeks)
Session 2: July 21-Aug 2 (2 weeks)

Teen Leadership Camp
Ages 16–17 | $2795
Session 1: June 2-14 (2 weeks)
Session 2: July 7-19 (2 weeks)

Camp Registration And Fees

Registering for camp is easy! Register online at ymcacampcullen.org and pay your $100 deposit. You may also work with us to schedule a payment plan via a credit card and/or bank draft, but the full registration cost must be paid at least two weeks prior to the start of camp. Failure to complete payment will result in a cancelation of the registration and the advancement of another camper from the waiting list.

Should it be necessary for you to change or cancel your child’s session, you must contact YMCA Camp Cullen at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the session. Changes will be made based on availability. Your registration must be canceled in writing (email) in advance of check-in day to be refunded.

A $100 non-refundable deposit is required for summer 2024. Your registration must be canceled in writing (email) in advance of check-in day for any applicable refunds. Prorated camp session fees may be refunded when the camper is unable to complete their stay due to a medical condition. If the camper has received a scholarship, this will apply to the final days of the camp session. Homesickness or disruptive behavior which results in the child leaving camp are not conditions for refunds.

The YMCA Camp Cullen Advisory Board and Staff work hard each year to raise money for camper subsidies. Financial assistance is available on a limited basis. Visit our website for more information.

We welcome contributions to our scholarship fund. If you would like to help send a child to camp who otherwise might not be able to afford it, contact Bobby.Thomas@ymcahouston.org.

Cabin Requests

Campers are assigned to their cabins the night before each session begins. Campers are assigned to cabins strictly according to age, gender and allotted camp space. We will try to honor cabin requests but cannot make any guarantees. Campers wishing to share the same cabin need to request each other during Part 2 of registration on CampDoc. They also must be of the same gender and within two years. If there is an age gap, the older camper will be put into the younger camper’s cabin. Younger campers will not be placed into older camper cabins. Please be mindful of how much time campers spend with their cabins and how unbalanced ages could affect experiences. Beds within the cabins are not reserved and are filled on first–come basis on check-in day.


YMCA Camp Cullen leadership is consistently evaluating our abilities to successfully serve campers with special emotional or physical needs. While our staff are trained in a variety of topics to keep campers safe and provide a great camp experience, unfortunately there are some campers who may need more assistance than we can confidently provide. Please reach out to the Camp Cullen office before registering to discuss your camper’s special needs to ensure we are setting them up for camp success. If, after that conversation, we are unable to agree that your camper will be most successful here, there are camps nearby who have the staff, the training, and the certifications to host your camper and we would be delighted to put you in contact with them. Camp enrollment may be dependent upon the appropriate qualifications of camp staff.

Our medical staff will treat routine scrapes, cuts, and minor illnesses in our new, state of the art, Health Center. Services rendered by the camp medical staff are administered at no charge. It is our policy to inform parents of any injury that is more serious than a minor cut or scrape. In the case of serious illness or accident, the staff will notify EMS and contact you immediately. In the event you cannot be reached, we will attempt to reach your designated emergency contact. Your signed authorization on the registration form allows us to secure prompt treatment. Parents or guardians are responsible for charges incurred for outside medical treatment of their child if treatment is required while in attendance at camp.

It is the policy of YMCA Camp Cullen not to keep campers with symptoms lasting more than 24 hours in our camp Health Center. After all, who wants to come to camp only to be sick and rest in the Health Center? Therefore, we ask parents of campers who are ill for more than 24 hours to care for their child at home and to see the family doctor. Transportation is not provided for campers returning home due to illness. If your child is scheduled to come to camp and becomes ill, please do not bring them to camp as that illness could spread rapidly through our close knit camp community. Call the camp office as soon as possible Monday–Friday 8:30 am–5 pm or email campcullen@ymcahouston.org after hours or weekends in order for us to schedule another session for you.

Parents or guardians must include their camper’s health insurance information when completing CampDoc. This information will only be used to facilitate outside medical treatment, if required. In the event of serious illness or accident, EMS will be notified and then the parent/guardian will be notified.

Emergency calls to campers should be made by calling the camp office at 936-594-2274. 8:30 am– 5 pm. After 5 pm, call the camp’s emergency cell at 936-200-8612.

First-Time Campers

Going off to YMCA Camp Cullen is a thrilling adventure for campers and parents. We know both parties may be a bit anxious about the camper leaving the comforts of home, adopting new routines of daily activities and meeting new friends. Here are some helpful tips for first-time camper.

  • Talk to your camper about what to expect. They’ll be living in a close community and sharing space with others. They may find some things strange or goofy, but that’s what camp is about!
  • Enforce how proud of them you are for trying something new.
  • Send pre-addressed stamped envelopes with campers so they can send mail to family and friends.
  • Send old clothes they recognize as their own. Avoid packing new ones they will not remember as their own.
  • Do not send valuable clothing. Pack with your camper and make a list of what they bring so that they know what they should bring home.
  • Please do not send family heirlooms or expensive items.
  • Remember: label everything and pack light!

Temporary homesickness is not an unusual feeling, particularly for new campers. Our staff are trained in constructive and caring ways to work with campers to help them overcome their feeling of missing home. Overcoming homesickness is an important learning experience and it helps your child grow stronger. With proper handling by staff and guardians, a homesick camper can make big strides.

Messages/mail can affect a homesick camper. Please avoid telling your camper that you cannot get along without them or how much they are missed at home. Instead, please send encouraging emails and talk about the photos you have seen of them online and how proud you are of them. We recommend you plan ahead to send letters/purchase care packages so that they have something at the beginning of the week. It is difficult for a camper when they see all their cabin mates receiving mail and they receive nothing.

Campers who are homesick will occasionally ask our staff to call home. Our procedure is to try and work with our campers through their homesickness before we try calling home. We find that when homesick campers speak with their parents/guardians, their homesickness may only get worse. We believe in redirecting our campers to ensure that they have a successful, fun experience at camp.

If your child is homesick, or has any other problem you should know about, we will notify you of the situation. Our counselors are well trained and can usually prevent potential issues before they become a problem. Because we have so many campers and a packed schedule, no news is good news.

If you know that your camper may wet the bed, please indicate it on the specified form and notify your camper’s counselor at check-in. Our staff are trained to work with your camper directly to deal with bedwetting discreetly. Campers should be instructed to ask their counselors for help and every effort will be made to prevent accidents. Please send a plastic sheet and protective apparel and/or an extra set of sheets with your camper if this may happen.


It is a great idea to bring mail with you when you drop your campers off to avoid any post office delays. Please write the camper’s name, session number and the day that you would like the mail delivered to your camper. If mailing, please allow five business days for mail to reach camp. We recommend writing to your child at least once before camp begins to make sure it arrives for the first day. This will guarantee that your camper will receive at least one letter from home while they are at camp.


YMCA CAMP CULLEN 460 Cullen Loop Trinity, TX 75862
Camper’s Name/Session Number/Cabin Name
Campers will be encouraged to write one letter home each week. Mail can be slow, so some mail may be received after the camper is home. Please ensure they know their mailing address. You can also send pre-addressed envelopes with your camper.

Whether it is your child’s first or tenth summer at camp, mail-call is an important part of every camper’s day. Here are some hints to make corresponding with your child more enjoyable:
  • Leave letters for your camper to receive throughout the week on opening day.
  • Send photos of family, friends or pets.
  • Have family members write a letter or send messages through the ‘Email a Camper’ feature on our website. Non-food items like magazines, stickers, books, costumes and items related to our camp theme are encouraged.
  • Talk about how glad you are that they have the opportunity to go to camp and how much you will enjoy talking about the fun things they were able to do when they return home.
  • Please refrain from sending food or snacks in the mail. We like to keep all the ants and bugs at camp OUTSIDE of the cabin.


The dining hall is modern and roomy. Our well-balanced meals are served by professional food service staff. If your child has any special dietary needs, please notify us upon enrollment while completing CAMPDOC and we will do our best to make accommodations. We are able to accommodate most general food allergies. It is hot in Texas in the summer, thus, water is our primary drink at camp and we encourage all campers to drink plenty throughout the day.

After including it in your CAMPDOC, if you are concerned about your camper’s special dietary needs, please give us a call to discuss it with our Food Director. Please inform the camp upon enrollment, by phone or email of any special needs at least two weeks prior to arrival.

When we experience weeks with a high number of campers, we will have split meal schedules. We will split the meals by ages; 7-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds. Split meals will not affect the number of activities either age group has the opportunity to do. It will alleviate the noise and traffic within the dining hall. A typical split meal schedule would look like the following. If we don’t need to split meals, all campers will follow the “Older Campers” schedule. View full camp schedules here.

Community Meals

Personal responsibility and group cooperation are important elements of life and there’s no better place to perfect them then during a summer camp experience. Mature and caring staff members work with campers on the importance of caring for one’s personal space and belongings, assisting in daily cabin clean-up, and pitching in with shared responsibilities around camp. We strive to impart caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility in our camp community so that it may carry over into our lives outside of camp.

Camp Store

We have a lot of fun camp apparel and other exciting camp items available. The store will be open during check-in and check-out. Ready-made bedding/towel sets will be available for purchase and can be pre-ordered at least 2 weeks prior to camp by calling the office or emailing campcullen@ymcahouston.org.


All prescription medication brought into camp must be in original containers that include the camper’s name, dosage and medication administration times.

All medications, including over the counter (vitamins, creams, lotions, etc.) must be turned in to be dispensed by the camp’s medical team. Medications must remain in the original bottle to be dispensed by camp staff. YMCA Camp Cullen stocks most over-the-counter medications needed at camp, so it is not necessary that your child brings these items. If there are any over-the-counter medications that you do not want your child to take, please specify these on the medical form in CAMPDOC.

Please give all prescription and over-the-counter medications directly to the Medical Station upon check-in at camp. If your child will be arriving by bus, please check in medications with camp staff at Weekley YMCA. Make sure your camper’s name is on all items. It is recommended that all campers stay on regular daily medication during their time at camp. It is our policy for campers with Epi Pens and/or Inhalers to have 2 with them at camp. 1 will stay with our nurses at the Health Clinic and 1 will remain with the camper or their counselor depending on the camper’s age and ability.

Lost & Found

We will make every effort to return lost and found items while your camper is at camp. Please mark all items with your child’s name in a permanent marker or laundry label for easy identification. Please check your child’s belongings prior to leaving camp and the lost and found display before you leave to make sure your camper has not left anything behind. We will have an area dedicated to lost and found items during check out for parents/guardians and campers to check before leaving.

Please be especially thorough on check-out day to make sure that bags are not left. After the camp session is over, you will receive a link to our Lost and Found form. Please fill this out and we will do our best to locate the item(s). Items found after your child’s camp session with names visible will be held for 2 weeks after the last session of camp and may be claimed by description. We will do everything we can to make arrangements for the item(s) to be returned to you promptly. Arrangements can also be made to pick up the item(s) at YMCA Camp Cullen.

After September 1, all remaining items will be donated to a local non-profit. Undergarments and socks that are left at camp will be thrown away immediately after each session.

YMCA Camp Cullen is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged articles.


Summer Camp is a great place to learn new skills and try new things. At YMCA Camp Cullen, we have a lot of great activities because a great camp should have something for every child. For campers who want to water ski and play sports all day, we have the right mix. For campers who enjoy nature exploration and sailing, we have that too. And for campers who love horses and swimming, no problem! Our camp activities are led by trained and experienced facilitators who guide campers in having an unforgettable experience. Because campers return year after year, nearly all of our programs include a progression model. This way campers can fine tune their skills each session they come!

Some activities include: Arts and Crafts, Alpine Tower, Archery, Basketball, Canoeing, Fishing, Kayaking, Outdoor Skills, Performing Arts, Riflery/BBs, Swimming, Horseback Riding, Zip Line, Environmental Discovery, Tubing, Wet Willie Slide and much more.

Types of Activities

A camper’s club is the activity they sign up for on Sunday to be a part of everyday while at camp. Clubs

are meant to give campers the opportunity to participate in an activity they have an interest in, to learn more about and to develop their skills. If a camper decides they want to switch their club, we can of

course make that happen. But we can’t guarantee they can switch into their number 1 choice. Club options vary by week, but some staples are: Sailing, Pottery, Arts n Crafts, Theatre, General Athletics, Target Sports, Table Top Games, High Ropes, Paddle sports, Swim Lessons, Survival and more!

Cluster activities are free choice activities that are offered every morning and afternoon. The two age groups, younger and older camps, will be split between aquatics and land activities. If the older campers have land in the morning, they will have aquatics in the afternoon and vice versa for the younger campers. Within the Land and Aquatics clusters, there are activity areas that campers can freely roam between as long as they move in at least a group of 3 and can be seen by a staff member.

After spending all day exploring and meeting new people, campers will get to spend quality time with their cabin and their counselors. The age group coordinators will work with cabin counselors to schedule each cabin’s preferred activities.
We end every day with an evening program. Evening programs are large group or even all camp activity. It could be a campfire with songs and skits, a huge game of capture the flag, a House Tournament, Talent Show or an Ice Cream Social!
Camp Cullen canoeing
Archery Kid with Arrow

Swim Assessment

All campers must take a swim assessment each time they visit the pool to demonstrate their level of swimming ability, providing information to the lifeguards on duty throughout the week. Personal flotation devices are required and provided for participation in any of our lake front activities. Our swim assessment will assess the following skills:

  • Jump into water that is over the camper’s head and return to surface
  • Ability to swim the entire length of the pool (~25 yards) without touching the floor
  • Treading water for 1 minute
  • Ability to orient themselves to floating on their back
  • Swim to side of the pool and climb out


All parents/guardians will receive multiple communications with complete details, including specifics for multi-camper families. 


Sundays | 1-3 pm

This summer, we are asking families to arrive for check in based on the first letter of their camper’s last name. Arriving before or after your time window will not affect any part of your check in process. We are just hoping to make the check in process even smoother.

  • A-H: 1-1:40 pm
  • I-P: 1:40-2:20 pm
  • Q-Z: 2:20-3 pm

Step 1: Enter gates and drive down Roy’s Way
Step 2: Receive cabin assignments at archery
Step 3: Drop off luggage with Wranglers
Step 4: Park, check in at the Dining Hall, check House
Step 5: Drop off meds
Step 6: Head to your cabin


Fridays | 4:30-6:30 pm

All parent/guardians must check out with camp staff and show proper identification before campers will be released. If someone other than the parent is picking up the camper, please note in CAMPDOC under AUTHORIZED Pickups or notify the camp office in writing via email. Please make sure you pick up your child’s medication from the camp medical staff and get your child’s luggage (including laundry bags that may have not made it back into the suitcase).

  • Step 1: Enter Gates and drive to Parking lot
  • Step 2: Pick up Luggage along the loop
  • Step 3: Park and head inside Dining Hall to check out.
  • Step 4: Either wait at Dining Hall for campers or head to their cabin

Dinner available starting at 5 pm

Closing Ceremony at 6 pm

If there is an emergency and you need to pick up your child early, please notify the camp office before Friday at 5 pm or email Cynthia and Chance after 5 pm and at least 2 hours before pickup, so we can have them ready upon your arrival.

There will be a horse show on closing day (Friday) each week for Equestrian Camp participants of all riding levels. The show will begin at 4 pm at the equestrian center. Parents should come directly to the equestrian center and camper checkout will take place prior to the show. The entrance to the equestrian center is located on Taylor Cemetery Rd., south of FM 356 (on the opposite side of the highway from main camp). You will be able to meet your camper’s horse, watch them ride and collect their luggage. If you are not able to attend, please email bailey.teague@ymcahouston.org to let us know and we will make sure to get photos for you and arrange for your camper to be picked up at main camp. After the horse show, you are invited to dinner at the dining hall at 5pm and our closing ceremony at 6 pm! Please, don’t forget to visit the nurse’s station for your camper’s medication!

Campers staying multiple sessions are allowed to remain at camp between sessions for an additional fee of $200. This must be arranged at time of enrollment or with the camp office ahead of time. Please send two weeks of clothing for these campers or detergent for laundry on Saturday. Counselors will assist with laundry if needed.

If you are unable to pick up your campers on Friday during check-out, they will be able to stay Friday night at an additional cost of $75/per child. This must be arranged at time of enrollment or with the camp office ahead of time. Please send an additional set of clothing with for these campers to wear on Saturday. Saturday pick-up from 9-10 am.

YMCA Camp Cullen Packing List (1 week session)

  • 2 pair of closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or athletic shoes
  • 1 pair of sturdy closed-toe shoes with a smooth sole (if camper wants to take part in horseback riding)
  • 1 pair of water shoes for the showers and waterfront activities
  • 1 pair of jeans (required for horseback riding)
  • 2 swimsuits (Girls–one piece or tankinis, NO BIKINIS ALLOWED; Boys-no speedos)
  • 7–8 pairs of underwear
  • 7–8 T-shirts or blouses (Please: nothing promoting alcohol, tobacco, sexual innuendos, etc.)
  • 7-8 pairs of shorts
  • 7–8 pairs of socks
  • 1 set of shirt and shorts for MESSY night activities
  • 1 raincoat or poncho
  • 1 hat or cap (protection from the sun)
  • 1 water bottle or canteen (heavy duty)
  • 1 sleeping bag or 2 single sheets and 1 light blanket
  • 1 pillow
  • 1 laundry bag (pillowcase will work too)
  • 1 vinyl mattress cover for twin bed (optional)
  • Soap and soap dish
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Brush or comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • 4–5 washcloths
  • 1–2 bath towels
  • 1–2 beach towels
  • 1 flashlight with extra batteries
  • Insect repellent (non-aerosol)
  • Paper, pen, envelope and stamps
  • Camera (disposable)
  • Sunscreen or sunblock

Campers staying for longer should pack accordingly.


Personal Electronic Devices: iPods/iPads, expensive digital cameras, cell phones, computers and any other electronics that are expensive and can be broken or disruptive to camp. Firearms, fireworks, matches, lighters, knives, tobacco products, drugs, alcohol, valuable items, gum, candy, animals and snacks.

Progressive Discipline and Guidance Procedures

Self-management skills and positive social interactions among children and adults are encouraged and maximize everyone’s enjoyment of camp. Our programs use positive guidance methods including reminders, distraction, logical consequences and redirection. Self-management skills are taught according to the following guidelines:

  • Consistent rules are clearly stated. Campers are expected to work and play within known limits.
  • Behavior expected of campers is age-appropriate and based on developmental level.
  • An atmosphere of trust is established in order for campers to know that they will not be hurt nor be allowed to hurt others.
  • Staff members strive to help campers become acquainted with themselves and their feelings. This will help them learn to cope with their feelings and control them responsibly.

Camper safety is the most important concern of the program. Therefore, campers whose behavior is dangerous or repeatedly disruptive will be discussed with the camper’s parent and will result in loss of privileges or activities leading up to possible removal from the camp program. Parents are financially responsible for intentional damage to equipment and facilities caused by their camper.

The following conduct policies apply directly to each individual camper and will be used in determining the camper’s eligibility to continue as a participant in the camp program. Infractions are documented in an incident/discipline report. Please make certain that both you and your child are completely familiar with these policies.

A camper may lose camp privileges leading up to removal from camp, without refund, for the following behavior while participating in the program or while being transported:

  • Leaving the YMCA campsite without permission or going into unauthorized areas
  • Consistent use of foul language, fighting, being rude or discourteous to staff and other campers
  • Defacing Y property, camp facilities or any property visited
  • Engaging in fighting, intentionally injuring another camper or bullying
  • Bringing or using any illegal substances and/or weapons
  • Inappropriate for camp displays of affection
  • Stealing or defacing another camper’s property
  • Refusing to remain with the group while at camp and during outings
  • Refusing to follow check in and out procedures or refusing to follow basic rules of safety
  • Not remaining seated at all times while being transported
  • Not keeping his/her seat belt fastened while being transported
  • Having any body part out of the window, defacing the vehicle and/or being rude and discourteous to the driver or to other drivers on the road while being transported
First incident:

Documented conversation with the camper write-up.

Second incident:

Parent notified by phone and/or in writing.

Third incident:

The action taken at this point is at the discretion of the Program Director after appropriate consultation with the parent.

Range of discipline:

Removal from camp activities to removal from camp. Parents are responsible for picking up any child that must be removed from a session within 3 (three) hours of initial notification. Once the decision has been made to remove a camper from the program they are immediately removed from their cabin and activities until the parents/ guardians arrive.

House System

Our YMCA House System is primarily aimed at creating a sense of belonging for your child and legacy for your family. Throughout all of your child’s YMCA camping experiences, week by week and year by year, they will have the same ‘house’. This allows for familiarity and an instant sense of community. A camper’s house gives them a symbol to call their own, to uphold the value of, to compete for and hold themselves accountable to. It creates a feeling of small community within the larger camp community. Cabin groupings change every year, the Y camp they attend may change, but their house will remain the same. As with all camp programs, the teaching of core values is woven into the fabric of this aspect of the camp program.

The Houses at YMCA Camp Cullen are Dragon, Phoenix, Centaur and Lusca. Incidentally these houses also tie into elements: Dragon is air, Phoenix is fire, Centaur is earth and Lusca is water.

As a legacy program, your child’s house will be consistent throughout camping and from year to year. Your child’s siblings will also be in this house and with an eye to the future, your children’s children will also be in the same house.

Each House has its own symbol and color scheme to help create the feeling of ownership and belonging. Being in one house or another will not in any way take time from your child being with friends or result in your child spending less time in age-appropriate groupings.

Teen Programs

2-week programs available

Ages 13–15

Teen Adventure Camp (TAC) is a specialty program specifically designed for Campers who are wanting the full camp experience and want to dive deeper into their relationship with nature and develop their wilderness skills, all alongside their peers. This program is an opportunity for campers ages 13-15 to discover and continue to explore a love of the outdoors. In addition to having fun in the traditional camp setting, TAC participants will take part outdoor campouts, hiking and more. Fun and creativity are pillars to our TAC program. Get ready for an exciting adventure at Camp Cullen like never before.

Ages 16–17

The Teen Leadership Program (TLC) is a two-week program designed to introduce teens to the knowledge and techniques they will need not just as counselors but for life. Working closely with the TLC Coordinator, they will learn new leadership skills and develop the skills they already have. Problem solving, teen enterprise, interviewing skills, leadership and teamwork are just some of the skills to be learned during the different workshops. These lifelong talents will benefit them and all the children they serve as volunteers, mentors, employees or peers. It’s not all work and learning!

Through leading children and serving as role models, TLC participants will find and develop their own strengths. TLC is a great stepping stone for campers who are interested in working as staff at Camp Cullen in the future or taking a leadership role in their community.

The goal of this Two-week program is to provide training to teens who sincerely want to improve their leadership skills and are interested in becoming staff at Camp Cullen. All teens who show maturity, implement the YMCA core values in their daily lives and possess a deep love for camp will be asked to stay on camp (free of charge) for the remainder of summer. Here they can gain volunteer service hours, experience in specific programs they want to work in or have a passion for and gain a greater sense of community.

For the most specific directions to YMCA CAMP CULLEN, please use your GPS with our address:

460 Cullen Loop, Trinity, TX 75862
Phone Number:



Monday–Friday 8:30 am–5 pm



Camp Contacts:

Executive Director: Bobby Thomas–bobby.thomas@ymcahouston.org
Summer Camp Director: Chance Orton–chance.orton@ymcahouston.org
Camp Business Director: Cynthia Drake–Cynthia.drake@ymcahouston.org
Equestrian Director: Bailey Teague–bailey.teague@ymcahouston.org
Food Service Director: Jeremy Avera–jeremy.avera@ymcahouston.org
Assoc. Summer and Equestrian Director: Lauren Scott–lauren.scott@ymcahouston.org