Meet the team

The YMCA Camp Cullen staff have a collective experience of over 45 years in the industry. This passionate group of mission-driven leaders is committed to providing children with a safe, impactful camping experience and giving parents peace of mind that their child is in safe hands.

Luke Dooley – Executive Director

Luke joined the YMCA of Greater Houston in January 2022 as the Executive Director of Camp Cullen, bringing 16 years of experience in leading summer camps. He has a unique and diverse perspective serving as outdoor education director, associate director and executive camp director at various camps throughout the United States. Luke is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for both campers and families and is excited to expand and elevate the Camp Cullen experience.

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Jeremy Avera – Food Service Director

As a proud Camp Cullen alum, Jeremy feels like he’s living the dream now that he’s back serving and leading at the place he spent his summers from 1997-2003. After his stint as a camp staff assistant in the summer of 2003, he found his way into professional kitchens and restaurants. A brief service with the US Navy took him out of the kitchen for a bit, but he quickly returned in 2009 and never looked back.

Jeremy wholly understands the power food has over an individual and that a shared meal can make total strangers the best of friends. It will be a true joy for him to bring his experience back to camp to help elevate the food service department to astronomical heights.

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Chance Orton – Summer Camp Director

Chance brings several years of YMCA camping experience to the Camp Cullen team. Originally from San Antonio, Chance spent many summers as a camper and eventually staff member at YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in Marketing, he decided to dive into the world of camping full time, gaining valuable experience at Camp Fitch YMCA and YMCA Camp Grady Spruce.

Chance is glad to have found his way to the beautiful Camp Cullen and can’t wait to meet all the campers this summer.

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Deneb Patoni – Director of Conference and Retreats

Originally from Laredo, TX, Deneb joined the Camp Cullen team in 2017 as a summer camp counselor. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2020, where she received a degree in History. After spending her summers throughout her college career at Camp Cullen, Deneb now proudly calls camp her home. Her love for the organization runs deep and she’s beyond excited to be a part of the Camp Cullen family!

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Lauren Scott – Associate Equestrian Director

Lauren has been a part of the Camp Cullen team since 2017, when she started as a part-time Wrangler. She’s homegrown here in the Greater Houston area and has had a passion for horses since she was little. She loves to teach everything she knows about horses to those that don’t always get the chance to be around them and show them the array of talents horses possess.

When she’s not working, Lauren loves to spend time with her friends and family and her dog Annie!

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Bailey Teague – Barn Manager

Bailey grew up in the Texas Hill Country and has had a passion for horses ever since she was born. She spent her childhood raising and showing her Miniature horses as well as taking riding lessons. She started her career with the YMCA in 2017 as a Wrangler and hasn’t looked back since. She loves teaching guests about horses and providing them with a safe and fun horseback riding experiences. Bailey has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a certification in Equine Science from Tarleton State University.

In her spare time, Bailey enjoys taking part in competitive trail riding with her horse, Rizzo.

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