Northern Hawk-Owl. Photo © Aarre Ertolahti

Cam Snell

Cam Snell was involved with the Thunder Cape Bird Observatory since the very beginning. He was the Superintendent of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park from 1988 until his retirement from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 2005?, and as such was a valuable resource to both the development and the operation of TCBO. Cam met with the original scouting team of Dave Shepherd and David Hussell in July 1991 at the Kabeyun trailhead, and hiked out to the Cape in May 1992 with the tower architects Walter Kuch and Greg Adams on their initial scouting trip.

Cam and his staff were essential to the tower building effort. They cleared the wide path up to the tower site from the shore so that we could carry the prefabricated sections up to the site from the barge; and they were among the two dozen volunteers who actually built the structure. Cam was one of the leaders of the construction project since he had more experience than most of us in the construction and carpentry trades.

Cam was responsible for clearing the trail to the Cape from the Kabeuyn Trail and designating it as a SGPP trail; prior to the trail being laid out it was very difficult to access the cape on foot.

We were always able to count on Cam for logistic support at the Cape, such as transporting materials and volunteers to the site, supplying tools such as chain saws and generators, propane and gasoline, and even our first boat and motor. He also took the lead in instructing new wardens and volunteers on boating safety and the safe use of equipment at the Cape.

Cam became the MNR liaison member on the TCBO Committee in 1993 and served continuously until 2005. On behalf of the TCBO Committee and Birds Canada he acted as the immediate supervisor for the Coordinator (Warden) at the Cape, and was the primary contact for the Cape staff when any issues arise. His successor, Superintendant Greg Wilson continues the tradition of support for TCBO from Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Cam Snell (pre-retirement)