Who we are

Meet our Directors!


Nancy Mance

Nancy is from a long line of Brownsville natives dating back to her great grandparents. Her mom even attended Camp Lula Sams as a Girl Scout in the 1950s! Although she was not born here, her family returned in the mid 1980s. She attended Oliveria Middle School and St. Joseph Academy. Her passion for camp began while attending Texas A&M in College Station.  She spent her summers working at a variety of youth camps and decided one day her life's work would include introducing children to the wonders of the outdoors. Her degrees in Biology and Kinesiology laid the foundation of knowledge, and 12 years in the classroom have given her the experience to provide a quality camp program

Operations Manager

Howard Mance

Howard was born in Baltimore MD to a military family. As a child he traveled all over the world including Japan, the United States, England, and Germany.  He served in the Army for 9 years, and received an honorable discharge. As a child, he learned a great deal of outdoor skills from his grandfather at their log cabin homestead in Pine Bush, NY. As an adult he served as a Colorado high angle rescue volunteer and his skills working on a variety of equipment in the military as well as his passion for the outdoors created the perfect match for his role at a camp.  

Summer Programs Manager

Conor Murray 


Conor came to America from Scotland as a Summer Camp Counselor in 2011.  For the past 7 years he has been involved in Camping in the Texas Hill Country first as a cabin leader and then as a program director.  He brings a wealth of knowledge to the Camp RIO team as he helps us begin our journey to offering overnight programming. His passion for camp and love for working with children are a wonderful asset to our RGV community. Conor has been awarded several camping awards throughout his career and we are excited to have him on board.  He and his wife Meghan love following soccer and keeping their dog Felix out of trouble.

Outdoor Education Program Manager

Mary Barba

Mary was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas.  She graduated with a degree in Education from The University of Texas at Brownsville and taught elementary school before moving to Camp RIO.  She has a passion for people and a passion for learning.  She and her husband love to spend time at the gym and the beach whenever they have the chance.

                                     Our Camp Pets! 


Felix is Conor and Meghan's dog and has had quite the career as a camp dog (having had worked at three camp offices!)


Ruby is a sweet and adorable puppy but don't be fooled she is always on the lookout for your food! 



Chewy is Nancy and Howard's pet pig, He is super sweet and smart but he will sniff out any food within a 100 mile radius!