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.

Bobby Thomas – Executive Director

Bobby grew up in North Carolina and spent many summers at YMCA overnight camp in Alabama. Overnight Camp is engrained in his history, having met his best friends and Sarah, his wife, at camp. He worked full time at the same camp and after a few years decided to move to the New York YMCA camps. Bobby has since led YMCA Overnight camps in Indiana, Illinois, and a short stint with Day Camps in Houston. He is very excited to be back with the YMCA of Greater Houston with Camp Cullen and is looking forward to fostering an environment of collaboration, inclusivity, and excellence.
Bobby and Sarah love to travel, ride bikes, kayak, and spend sunny days on their pontoon boat, the Bobber. They have a pudgey, three-legged beagle named Ripley who likes to do none of those things, but does enjoy belly rubs by campers.
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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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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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Cynthia Drake – Camp Business Director

As the Camp Business Director at YMCA Camp Cullen, Cynthia embodies the spirit of adventure, collaboration, and excellence that define the camp experience. Her leadership and dedication ensure that campers have a transformative and unforgettable summer, setting the stage for lifelong memories and friendships.

Since joining the team in 2017, Cynthia has brought her enthusiasm to every aspect of camp operations, ensuring a safe, engaging, and rewarding experience for campers and staff alike. Beyond her administrative duties, she is a hands-on leader who is always ready to jump in and support the day to-day operations of the camp. Cynthia’s dedication to the camp’s mission is evident in everything she does.

Cynthia is known for her warm and approachable demeanor, creating a supportive and inclusive environment for campers and staff.

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Lauren Scott – Associate Summer Camp 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 – Equestrian Director

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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