Who We Are

A Camp Experience Centered on Our Core Values

Our goal is to provide a summer camp experience rich in tradition centered on our core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith, while allowing campers to gain independence, a higher self-worth and lifelong, positive memories as they continue to grow as individuals and leaders. At YMCA Camp Cullen, campers will learn new skills, develop their character and make forever friends. YMCA Camp Cullen’s legacy extends well beyond a summer at Lake Livingston.

Building Upon Our Values

The values and lessons learned at camp help each child to grow in Spirit, Mind and Body, and contribute to the building of memories that last a lifetime. YMCA Camp Cullen is accredited by the American Camp Association. The American Camp Association “works to preserve, promote and improve the camp experience.” To receive Accreditation, camps must meet up to 300 standards for health, safety and program quality. YMCA Camp Cullen is also inspected and licensed by the Texas Department of Health & Human Services. YMCA Camp Cullen makes each child feel like we’ve been waiting just for them. Campers are guaranteed to feel special, safe and like they belong.

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Our History

Camping in Houston has had a long history, only rarely interrupted. Two such interruptions have happened in our recent history. Once, in 2010, when YMCA Camp Cullen suffered a devastating fire, closing our facility for 2 years, and again in 2020, due to COVID-19 concerns. During these two forced closures, the extended Camp Cullen family rallied to save camp and we launched out the other side stronger than ever.

Houston YMCA camps were itinerant during the Y’s early years. Records show that as early as 1910 arrangements were made to use a site for a summer camp on the Bolivar Peninsula on Galveston Bay, called YMCA Camp Rollover. Later, YMCA Camp Sandy Hook was located in San Leon, followed by a camp on Lake McCormick near Humble and YMCA Camp Mays located near Spring. The first YMCA owned camp was YMCA Camp Ross Sterling, Jr., about nine miles east of Baytown on Trinity Bay, beginning in 1924. A second camp, the Houston YMCA Boys Camp, was acquired on the Blanco River near Wimberley, Texas, in 1950. YMCA Camp Holden, Camp Pine Tree, Camp Hamman Ranch, and Camp Cullen have all been part of the Y’s more recent camping history. YMCA Camp Cullen which began in 1974 continues to serve individuals of all ages, carrying on the legacy and impact of YMCA Camping.

Did you know that for more than three decades, every Houston ISD 5th grader had the unique opportunity to visit camp as part of its Outdoor Education program? This means that generations of Houston youth have a YMCA Camp Cullen story to tell. Check out our Alumni page to get in touch!

Our Alumni

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Meet the Team

The passionate Camp Cullen staff is committed to providing children with a safe, impactful camping experience and giving parents peace of mind that their child is in safe hands.

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Camp Facilities

YMCA Camp Cullen is a best-in-class camping facility dedicated to serving youth, families, and other organizations. Over 500 acres of woodland along the shores of Lake Livingston offers wonders at every turn.

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Mission & History

The mission of the YMCA: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

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