Mission & History

Our Mission – Everyone is Welcome

The mission of the YMCA: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YMCA Camp Cullen strives to make each camper feel like we’ve been waiting just for them. Each child is instantly made to feel special and know they belong. Intentional programming and group work builds on an understanding in every child of diversity, equity and inclusion in the camp and broader community.


Camping has been a tradition in the Houston YMCA for over 100 years but has been consistently offered on the YMCA Camp Cullen site since 1974. This was the first Houston YMCA camp facility with full accommodations for both boys and girls. In 1976, the YMCA entered a partnership with the Houston Independent School District to open an Outdoor Education center at Camp Cullen during the school year for fifth grade students. By 2010, some 70,000 students had experienced outdoor classrooms at the camp.

The camp site has seen hundreds of thousands of young people from the Houston area and beyond come through its gates. In July of 2010, the camp suffered a devastating fire in our dining hall, closing the camp for the next two years. While tragic to the historical infrastructure, it was a blessing in disguise as our camp looked to the future giving an opportunity to rebuild, bigger and better than ever before. Fortunately for YMCA Camp Cullen, a master plan for comprehensive renewal and redevelopment of the facility had just been completed in May 2010. The facility you see today is a result of over $22 million in investment with new cabins, dining space, activity spaces, equestrian barn, and infrastructure. The camp of today is built to honor the site of the past 40 years, while continuing in strength to serve the next 40 years and beyond.

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The camp experience is a magical one for your child. Kids need camp and we are ready to provide a camping experience full of memories that will last a lifetime. Register now to secure your space. Spots are limited by the number of beds available at camp, and registering today guarantees that one of those beds this summer is reserved for your child!

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