YMCA pivots from Camp Cullen traditional overnight experience to provide a safe, contactless and memorable experience for the entire family
HOUSTON (June 12, 2020) – The YMCA of Greater Houston announces that it is inviting families to ‘Escape to the Woods’ to Camp Cullen on Lake Livingston this summer starting June 19, 2020. This unique and contactless outdoor adventure will provide families a destination close to home, but far enough to get away together. Families will have the opportunity to participate in fun experiences such as indoor and outdoor STEAM activities, sports and lots of adventure. For more than 45 years, Camp Cullen has been providing an overnight summer camp experience for teens and due to COVID-19, the Y made the difficult decision to suspend traditional summer programming for teen campers.
“Families will be greeted with 500 acres of piney woods overlooking Lake Livingston and be able to enjoy a true summer camp experience,” states Mish Hood, Executive Director, YMCA Camp Cullen. “Parents can control the environment and exposure while still having an incredible time outside of the home enjoying each other and connecting with nature.”
Camp Cullen will offer a variety of traditional action-packed summer camp activities including fishing, campfires, feed the fish golf, horse riding and more. Additional sports such as soccer, basketball, football, jump rope, hula hoops, floor hockey, kickball, badminton, volleyball, 9 square in the air and disc golf will be available.
Cornhole, ring toss, trash jam, ladder golf, horseshoes, bocce ball, slackline and croquet are a few examples of lawn games available for families to take advantage of while at camp. In addition, families are invited to explore the grounds through exciting scavenger hunts, bird watching, orienteering, geocaching, hiking and participate in a daily photo challenge. Board games will also be available to check-out for rainy days, or as an escape from the heat.
For families looking to bond over arts and craft projects, the Y will offer a variety of family fun projects and kits, including science kits, service kits and craft kits. The craft kits include activities such as friendship bracelets, a solar system, and a Mars Rover kit. The science kit includes metal detectors, a dinosaur egg excavation, and a shark tooth activity. The service kits include appreciation cards, seasonal planting materials and a birdhouse kit. The camp store will house apparel, toys and games for purchase.
The Y will also feature daily scheduled events including evening programs such as bingo, trivia and other socially distanced activities. Additionally, there will be feeding time at the barn and new varied activities rolled out each week.
For a parent who may need to need to continue working while the rest of the family plays, there will be free Wi-Fi available in the cabins, in the Mabee Lodge and select outdoor spaces. There will also be quiet workspaces, remote desks and coworking spaces.
Families will be able to order their breakfast, lunch and dinner meal selection online and YMCA staff will deliver directly to their cabin during scheduled delivery times. BBQ kits will also be available for grilling outdoors and include meat, tongs and charcoal to create a true grilling experience. The camp store will feature snacks, drinks and other items available for purchase.
Each family will have their own, private air-conditioned cabins with in-cabin bathrooms and showers. Depending on availability, cabins will have twin beds and/or full beds. Families are asked to bring bedding, towels and toiletry items. Each cabin will also feature a mini fridge and coffee maker allowing families to bring their own snacks, food and beverages.
The cost for families to attend ‘Escape to the Woods’ is $99 per person, per night which includes meals, lodging and most activities. Children ages 0-3 are free. There will be additional costs for select activities, activity kits and items from the camp store. There is a maximum of eight people per family allowed in each cabin, and a minimum of a two-night stay. The cost per day reduces as additional days are booked. Camp Cullen will limit the number of families to 24 to ensure safety, capacity and social distancing measures are met. YMCA members will receive a 25% discount on registration costs.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
The YMCA wants your family getaway to be a peaceful, relaxing and healthy experience. The program design revolves around catering to families and maintaining social distancing from other guests for peace of mind for all. To help ensure campers’ continued health, the YMCA will strongly encourage campers adhere to safety measures including, maintaining social distancing of 6-feet from other people and avoid physical contact with others; wash hands thoroughly and regularly, using soap and water or hand sanitizer; avoid touching the face, nose and eyes; cough or sneeze into a clean paper tissue or your elbow, then throw the tissue away immediately; and the use of masks and gloves are recommended, but not required. Staff will be wearing masks and it is encouraged for families to wear masks when in close quarters with others. In addition, optional scheduled events held in closed spaces will require social distancing and all delivered kits and activities are either single-use items or will be sanitized before and after each use. Before families check-in, cabins and in-cabin restrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Families will arrive to a fresh, clean environment and will be completely in control of exposure during their stay. With 500 acres to play and explore, there is plenty space for everyone.
“Camp Cullen is the perfect destination this summer to work, play, relax and unplug while controlling your environment,” states Stephen Ives, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston. “The YMCA has been a family organization for more than 130 years and encourages families to ‘escape’ the walls of their homes to head to the woods of Camp Cullen.”
Family registration for ‘Escape to the Woods’ is available online at the Camp Cullen website. YMCA Members receive first opportunity to register through Sunday, June 14th. Registration opens to the public on Monday, June 15th. Upon registration, families will receive a Camp Cullen Code of Conduct which includes further information such as a packing list, directions to Camp Cullen, check-in procedures, preview of activities and more.
For more updates and information regarding the YMCA of Greater Houston, please visit the YMCA of Greater Houston homepage, Facebook @YMCAHouston and Instagram @YMCAHouston. For further information about YMCA Camp Cullen, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 936-594-2274.
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About YMCA of Greater Houston
Founded in 1886, today the Y remains committed to the health of more than half a million people in Greater Houston who learn, grow and thrive through programs and services at our 25 centers. Strengthening community is our cause. Together, we connect active, engaged Greater Houston Area residents to build a better us.