Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to contact us with any additional questions that are not covered below.
Q: WHEN IS CAMP GOING TO OPEN?
A: Camp will open for family and weekend camps on January 18, 2013. The first summer session for campers begins June 9, 2013. Register now to guarantee the session of your choice.
Q: WHY CHOOSE CAMP CULLEN?
A: Camp Cullen has 40 years of traditions and a brand new facility. We're all about building character through activities that run the gamut from ropes courses and horseback riding to swimming and canoeing.
Q: WHAT MAKES CAMP CULLEN DIFFERENT?
A: Campers tell us that Cullen is "their summer camp." It feels like home to them and they keep coming back year after year because of the friendships they make with other campers and the counselors who are wonderful role models. Everyone is welcome at Camp Cullen and as a Y camp, we teach core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith.
Q: HOW BIG IS CAMP?
A: We have 12 cabins for girls and 12 for boys, and in your child's cabin, there will be 13 other campers and 3 counselors.
Q: WHAT IS THE RATIO OF STAFF TO CAMPERS?
A: With three counselors in a cabin of 14, our ratio is less than 1 to 5. We strive for that ratio or 1 to 6 in all activities.
Q: ARE CAMPERS GROUPED BY AGE?
A: Yes, by age and gender. During scheduled activity time, campers travel as a cabin group. During choice time, younger (7-11) and older (12-16) campers come together.
Q: ARE THE BATHROOMS IN THE CABINS?
A: Yes. Each of our brand new cabins has bathrooms and showers. In fact, our cabins were built by David Weekley Homes and even feature granite countertops.
Q: CAN MY CHILD BE IN THE SAME CABIN WITH A FRIEND?
A: Absolutely, as long as they are the same gender and age. On your registration form, there's a place to note your cabinmate requests. Just put down the name of the other child and be certain the other parent lists your child as well.
Q: WHAT ACTIVITIES WILL MY CHILD PARTICIPATE IN?
A: When your camper arrives at camp, they will complete an activity request form and select 5 individual activities. Each cabin will also select 10 cabin activities that they will enjoy together. Just a few activity options include horses, ropes course, archery, riflery, sailing, water sports, canoeing, waterslide, sand volleyball, swimming, arts and crafts.
For kids that would like to concentrate on horsemanship or waterskiing, we offer two specialty camps for an additional fee.
Q: WHAT DOES A TYPICAL CAMPER DAY LOOK LIKE?
A: Click here to see a schedule breakdown of a typical camper day.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES MEDICATION?
A: No problem. Our Health Care Professional dispenses all medications including inhalers and our infirmary is ALWAYS open. Simply bring prescription medication to camp along with a physician's written order listing your child's name, dosage and medication times. Bring any necessary over-the-counter items such as vitamins, creams, lotions, etc.
All items must be turned in at the Health Center at check-in with the camper's name on each. Medications and items must be in the original bottle. We stock most over-the-counter medications needed at camp. Please specify preferences or those you wish your child to avoid on the Health Form.
We strongly suggest that campers stay on regular daily medication during their time at camp.
Q: CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE MY CHILD'S DIETARY NEEDS?
A: YES! Just let us know in advance in writing or by phone by June 1, 2013.
Q: WHAT IS THE HIRING PROCESS FOR YOUR COUNSELORS?
A: We carefully screen all of our applicants, who are at least 18 years old and have started college. They are dedicated to working with children. In addition to the interview, staff members must submit to reference checks, drug screening and criminal background checks. Before the summer starts, all staff members participate in a 2-week orientation.
Q: DO YOU PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CAMP? WHAT DOES THE BUS COST & WHERE DOES IT PICK UP?
A: Parents love the convenience of the bus which departs from and returns to the Weekley Family YMCA, 7101 Stella Link Blvd in Houston, 77025. One way is $65 and round trip is $130. There's more information on the registration form.
Q: DO YOU HAVE OPEN HOUSES? CAN WE TAKE A TOUR?
A: Yes, and please, bring the whole family. Call us at 936-594-2274 to schedule a tour anytime. Tours are a great time to see our new camp and meet our experienced and dedicated staff.
Open Houses will be held on April 7 and April 28. For directions, click here. We look forward to welcoming you to YMCA Camp Cullen.
Q: CAN I CALL OR VISIT MY CAMPER DURING CAMP?
A: It is better for your child if they have the opportunity to enjoy the camp experience without parental interruption. We encourage you to send your child letters and emails, and we are available to speak with you about your camper at 936-594-2274. Once you register online for camp, you will be assigned a username and password for Bunk1, where you will be able to send bunk mail and purchase pictures of your camper during the camp session.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD GETS HOMESICK?
A: It may happen and if it does, please know that counselors are trained to deal with the issue. To avoid homesickness, we engage campers immediately when they arrive at camp. Counselors get kids involved in games and activities and every camper has a buddy in the cabin for the week.
Q: I JUST REGISTERED. NOW WHAT?
A: All additional forms for camp are available here. These include Health History, Camper Profile, Horse Waiver and more. ALL of these forms must be completed and sent to camp by May 1, 2013.
Q: HOW MUCH MONEY IS SUGGESTED FOR THE CAMP STORE?
A: About $30 per week is recommended for snacks, drinks (no sodas), camp clothing and other items. The camp store will also be open Opening and Closing Days. Please do not send cash with your campers. Each child will be given a FREE camp T-shirt opening day.
Q: CAN I SEND A CARE PACKAGE TO MY CHILD?
A: Yes, care packages are welcome. Send the package directly to the Camp Cullen office and include your child's name and session number on the package. Please do not send food as that may cause a health issue for other campers in your child's cabin with dietary restrictions.
Q: WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD NOT BRING TO CAMP?
A: We "UNPLUG" at camp to get more connected with people; therefore, iPods, electronic games, and cellular phones are not allowed. Do not bring gum, firearms, matches, lighters, knives, tobacco products, valuable items, illegal drugs, money, fireworks, electric fans and aerosol cans to camp. Aerosol insect repellent is not allowed; we suggest lotion or repellent wipes.
Q: WHAT TIME IS CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT?
A: Check in is Sunday from 3-4 pm and check out is Saturday from 10-11 am.
Q: WILL I NEED IDENTIFICATION TO CHECK OUT MY CAMPER?
A: YES! Staff will request a picture ID when you sign your child out.
Q: WHAT IS THE WEEKEND STAYOVER PROGRAM?
A: If your camper is staying for two consecutive weeks, they can stay at camp for the 'bridge' weekend to enjoy activities and a more relaxed schedule. The cost is $200.
Q: WHAT SHOULD WE PACK FOR CAMP?
A: Please pack old clothing that's loose and comfortable for rugged sports, climbing and hiking through the woods and horseback riding. Each item must be clearly marked with your camper's name. Luggage should be compact and easy to carry.
NOTE: There are no laundry services at YMCA Camp Cullen.
Do not send clothing that is tight-fitting, low cut, revealing or featuring inappropriate advertising logos. Shorts and T-shirts fit our activities best.
2 Pair of closed toe shoes such as sneakers or athletic shoes
1 Pair water shoes for the showers and the waterfront activities
1 pair of jeans (required for horseback riding)
2 swimsuits (Girls – one piece or Tankini only, NO BIKINIS ALLOWED)
7-8 pairs of underwear
7-8 t-shirts or blouses
7-8 pairs of shorts
7-8 pairs of socks
Raincoat or Poncho
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
Laundry bag (old pillow case will work)
1 Vinyl mattress cover for twin bed (optional)
Soap & Soap Dish
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Brush or Comb
Shampoo and Conditioner
3-4 bath towels
1-2 beach towels
1 Flashlight with extra batteries (A MUST)
Insect Repellent (non-aerosol)
Paper, Pen, envelope and stamps
Sunscreen or Sun Block
Q: HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?
A: Prices for 2013 camping sessions can be found by clicking here.
Q: DO YOU OFFER A SIBLING DISCOUNT?
A: Yes, we offer a $50 discount per session, per sibling. The discount will be applied after registration.
Q: IS A YMCA MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR CAMP?
A: No, it is not necessary to be a Y member. Everyone is welcome at Camp Cullen. There are some cost savings as a benefit of membership. Y members save $100 per session of camp.
Q: IS A DEPOSIT REQUIRED TO REGISTER?
A: A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot for camp.
Q: WE RECEIVED A YMCA GIFT CARD. CAN WE USE IT TO PURCHASE A SESSION OF CAMP AT CAMP CULLEN?
A: Yes, however, YMCA gift cards must be redeemed at one of our centers in the Greater Houston area. The Welcome Center staff can assist you with registering for Camp Cullen and redeeming your gift card. Locations of centers can be found by clicking here.
Other types of gift cards such as VISA or American Express may be redeemed when registering online.
Q: I WOULD LIKE TO REGISTER ONLINE. CAN I DO THAT? WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR DIFFICULTY WITH REGISTERING ONLINE?
A: Click here to register online. Anne Bennett, Camp Cullen Office Director, is available at 936-594-2274 or email@example.com to answer any questions you might have.
Q: WHAT IS KAMP K'AANA?
A: Kamp K'aana is a two-week fun-based weight management summer camp at Camp Cullen that helps obese kids, ages 10-14, and their families make lifestyle changes necessary to achieve their ideal weights. Partner organizations include Texas Children's Hospital, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center and Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, contact Gina Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: WHY DID CAMP CULLEN CLOSE IN 2010?
A: An unfortunate fire that destroyed our dining hall allowed us to take a step back and assess the needs of Camp Cullen. After careful consideration, we decided to completely redesign camp. With that work, it was unfair to our staff and campers to keep the camp open during construction. Our improvements will be complete in December and we are looking forward to opening on January 18! Schedule a tour anytime to see how camp has changed.
Q: WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WILL WE SEE?
A: Some of the updates include new cabins with bathrooms and showers, a new dining hall close to the water's edge, a new pool building and new program sites. Camp Cullen's opening caps a $16.5 million investment by the YMCA of Greater Houston to create the premier overnight camp in the Houston area.