You may know of NYC as a highly successful organization whose existence and significance can be taken for granted. However, when NYC first began, we were led by staff with modest experience––at best––in outdoor education.
Enter Bob Mann, a former NYC Board Member and long-time donor, who passed away recently. Today we honor the life of Bob Mann, a significant volunteer who helped made NYC what it is today.
Born into this world with a passion for the outdoors, Bob graduated with a degree in Education and Biology and went on to earn an Administrative license. He served youth in many capacities, and retired as Director of Outdoor School (ODS) for the Northwest Region Education Service District.
As NYC Founder and long-time Executive Director, Art Pope, reminisced, “I first met Bob Mann when I was hired to run the Camp Yamhill Outdoor School (ODS) program in 1979. I had exactly zero experience with Outdoor School; I barely even knew what it was.
However, Bob’s booming laughter and irrepressible good humor offered assurance of his confidence in my ability to lead new staff, and run a successful program. He also made it clear that having fun was part of the job, as far as he was concerned.
Bob’s visits were always appreciated. On one particularly noteworthy visit, Bob proudly pulled several large envelopes out of his car and showed us a strange-looking collection of furry, flat-as-a-pancake items that––with a flip of the wrist––worked quite well as Frisbees. Bob then explained to us staff how rare it was to find a perfect “sail-rat”. They were to be found only on highways with heavy truck traffic and could only be collected during spells of very hot, dry weather. Even now, as I drive a scorching hot section of bare pavement, I think of Bob every time I spot a particularly flat and well dried spot of fur asking to be peeled off the pavement and sent for a sail!”
All fun aside, Bob touched thousands and thousands of lives while he worked for Washington County ESD. He made sure the resources were in place which allowed sixth grade students to get away from home and discover new abilities while surrounded by young leaders with a love for the natural world. Bob was also a role model to the hundreds of high school counselors and college-age staff who worked at Washington County’s ODS programs every year.
With Bob’s help and support, Art Pope went on to start Northwest Youth Corps, and when asked by Art, Bob willingly joined NYC’s Board of Directors. For many years, Bob was a source of wisdom and inspiration for our staff and other board members. We respect his contributions greatly and will miss him tremendously.
After his departure from the board, Bob made regular donations to support our work. Please contact us, if you would like to honor Bob’s legacy with a gift. We are grateful to those generous donors who have already made a recent donation to NYC in his name. Thank you for your support, and thank you again, Bob Mann, for helping to make NYC a reality.