Shore Staff Team

At Your Service

As a Scott Lake guest you are outnumbered: not including our guest service staff based in Rhinelander and Saskatoon, the staff/customer ratio on the island is better than 1:1.  You will not be unattended.  Every member of the shore staff team share the same goal, to ensure that your visit to Scott is the trip of a lifetime.

Each day, long before most guests wake up, the Scott Lake shore staff have been hard at work, readying the dining room for breakfast, squeezing fresh juices and prepping coffee pots for cabin delivery.The housekeeping team springs into action as the boats depart the docks, scrubbing, tidying and folding until late afternoon. The bartender, given some necessary provisions for beauty rest after a late bar shutdown, begins the day with a thorough lodge cleaning, setting dining room tables for dinner and, of course, restocking the bar. Maintenance crew are tending generators, satellite dishes and plumbing chores all before the first lure hits the water and well after the nightly photo gallery goes dark.

Congratulations on one of the finest staffs in the hospitality business. If you improve anything else nobody will ever leave.

Brad Buchanan

Jason Hamilton

Jason Hamilton

General Manager

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This all started with a complete infatuation with fishing and hunting. Growing up around Lake Superior there were many opportunities to chase trout and salmon which led me into the guiding world. I attended the University of Waterloo, graduating with an MS in Biology, specializing in polar bears. This led to an amazing job as a biologist in Canada’s high arctic, tagging walrus, whales and doing some pretty wild fieldwork. But the outfitting world pulled me back, I took a guiding job at Scott, and quickly moved into the office: this will be my 9th year as GM and I love every minute of it. Most importantly, the people I get to spend my summers with, the guests and staff, are simply amazing. In between seasons I live in White Fox, SK with my wife and lab, fishing, waterfowling and adventuring around the world.

Danielle Grunberg

Danielle Grunberg

Assistant Manager

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This is Dani’s 11th season at the lodge. Dani works alongside Jason in the (new!) office as the Assistant Manager. She will be overseeing the kitchen and hospitality staff and will be handling some of the behind-the-scenes planning and organizing. Coming from Southern Ontario, she attended the University of Guelph and has continued to take courses related to her interests: wine, yoga and nutrition. Dani has travelled often, exploring places like Indonesia, Central America and Alaska. It has also taken her to work and volunteer in places like Nicaragua, Peru and New Zealand. She has now landed herself in White Fox, SK, alongside some of the other SLL staff. You can find her there teaching yoga, cross country skiing, hiking with the dog, or keeping up with the hospitality industry. She is looking forward to seeing both returning guests and meeting new ones. Her decade at SLL has made it feel just like home.

Brenna Savery

Brenna Savery

Maintenance Team

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Another Whitby, Ontario native, Brenna and Dani Grunberg were childhood friends. So, it’s not surprising that Dani recruited Brenna to join the Scott Lake team five seasons ago. Brenna is not hard to spot around here: she’s the one who is always smiling. If we ever had a smiling contest at the lodge, all the smart money would be betting on Brenna. She attended Seneca College in the Toronto area, gaining a diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services. Not a bad fit at all for working at a fishing lodge. Always a sports enthusiast, Brenna was deep into baseball and gymnastics. She competed at the national level on the trampoline and once won first in synchronized trampoline. No surprise there: she has always been a winner. Brenna has now joined the White Fox crew in Saskatchewan where, when not traveling, she enjoys the frosty winters.

Rachel Basler

Rachel Basler

Sous Chef

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In her fourth season at Scott, Rachael knows her way around kitchens. Her culinary training began with a two-year program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, her hometown. From there, she worked at a classy golf resort in Muskoka, Ontario in that province’s storied lake country. She has travelled throughout Central and South America in the last few years, improving her Spanish and taste for a variety of food. She now lives off-season in Victoria, British Columbia where she takes classes at an art school there. Landscape oil painting is her current artistic interest and there is lots of opportunity to find subject matter around Scott Lake. Since she has never lived far from water, she enjoys life on an island where water is never more than a hundred yards away.

Shaidaiah Brown

Shaidaiah Brown

Hospitality Team

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I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Alberta. I grew up on an acreage and was well immersed in fishing and gardening. I currently reside in Edmonton, AB where I will be graduating from the University of Alberta this April with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, earning the title of Registered Nurse. In my free time, I enjoy travelling, fixing my 77′ Yamaha and camping. I’m excited to return to lodge life and to finally meet the crew and guests after a long two-year wait!

Morgan Friesen

Morgan Friesen

Hospitality Team

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Born and raised in Saskatoon, Morgan has always been a country girl at heart and loves exploring the outdoors. She has worked in a variety of jobs that have surrounded customer service. Including her own personal training business! Morgan spends her free time training and riding her three horses with her dog Teddy, always by her side. She’s currently studying environmental biology with a minor in toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan in her hometown.
Morgan travelled to Germany for an exchange program that took her to Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Berlin among many other beautiful places to study.
Morgan is no stranger to hunting and fishing trips as she grew up surrounded by the outdoor life. She will feel right at home beside Scott Lake and its incredible sunsets. She is excited to have been recruited to join the SLL hospitality team and see what her lifelong friend Dawson has been talking about all these years.

Amelia Gunn

Amelia Gunn

Hospitality Team

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The things I love most in the world are people, food, and travel. That curiosity has led me across the world, from the Serengeti desert to Machu Picchu. Hospitality has always been the industry for me, it has allowed me to embrace an adventurous lifestyle. I received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph in Hospitality and Tourism Management and from there I have had the opportunity to work at some of the most spectacular hotels and restaurants in the country. Currently, I live around White Fox, SK with my little family whom you may recognize around the island (both the tallest member of our team and the smallest), where we enjoy the Canadian wilderness and the occasional escape from winter. Very happy to be part of the SLL team and looking forward to adventures ahead!

Ross Kennedy

Ross Kennedy

Sous Chef

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I have been living in my hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo working at the Westmount Golf and Country Club. I am a sous chef in charge of creating new fish features every week. I have also been put in charge of our fine dining 6-course tasting events and have been having so much fun. In June of 2021, I participated in a fundraiser to raise awareness for mental health by biking 1000km and creating media content focused on being kind and understanding to yourself. I have used this time to reconnect with my family and spend time with my 2 nieces. I am most excited to reconnect with everyone I have missed so much for the last 2 years, sit around the bar laughing and listening to Blue Rodeo, maybe even playing a game of darts. I’m also very much looking forward to seeing those northern lights again!!!

Eli Mahoney

Eli Mahoney

Sous Chef

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Eli has gone from one island, Vancouver, to a smaller one (just 12-acres), here in the middle of Scott Lake for his third season. The kitchen here is a bit smaller too. His most recent place of employment, Milestones in Victoria, British Columbia, had seating for a 300-seat food emporium in Victoria. He worked there for seven years, but really likes the 60-seat operation here at Scott. He also worked for five years as a cook and then assistant manager at another Victoria restaurant specializing in Greek cuisine. He is comfortable with the seven-day routine at Scott: it’s part of the cooking life. Eli knows that the free afternoons at Scott can be heavenly. You can find him hiking and swimming (he does know about the water temps at Scott) and last season started to get into fishing. There will be lots of cooking and plenty of fishing this season

Claire Markel

Claire Markel

Hospitality Team

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This is the only time of year Claire is in one place for very long, having acquired a severe case of the travel bug. She has spent the last several years on the move, including a full year in Europe where she worked on an organic farm in France. She also has tasted life in northern lodges with three seasons at Plummer’s lodges, working at Great Bear and Great Slave lodges, making Scott Lake the deep south from her perspective. Snowboarding has been a passion along with horseback riding, but her long running interests have focused on art. She studied art for two years at the Alberta College of Art and Design and two more years at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, earning a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.

Nikita Panousis

Nikita Panousis

Hospitality Team

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Nikita fell in love with fishing over the last couple of years as she moved to B.C and spent time on the lake learning the basics of fishing over mountain sunsets in the Kootenays. Her Greek heritage has significant influence over her life having grown up in her family’s Greek restaurant in Edmonton. Hospitality comes second nature to her. She has a love for spanakopita, karaoke, hula hooping, and meditation. She loves the outdoors and is always up for a spontaneous adventure. She is currently enrolled in a Social Work program and is excited to see where that leads. Hearing about the lodge sounded like a dream and she can’t wait to experience and help add to its magic.

Nigel Rivera

Nigel Rivera

Head Chef

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Nigel is a veteran of nearly 10 years and continues to showcase his creativity and consistency in the Scott kitchen. Nigel will have the grill and the smoker fired up, serving good ol’ traditional fishing lodge fare, meats to perfection and adding an Asian flair. Born in a small town in the Philippines, Nigel came to Toronto to join his parents there when he was twenty. After completing culinary training at George Brown College for Culinary Arts, one of the most distinguished culinary programs in Canada, he began plying his trade in Toronto restaurants, including the well-respected Gilead Café and Momofuku. He has recently moved to the West Coast to explore Vancouver Island’s cuisine style. Working right near the ocean, he has grown his talent with seafood. Besides cooking, Nigel loves music—he’s generally in charge of the kitchen ambience—and travel. He, to no surprise, has enjoyed the different foods of Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia. If you hear some big laughs coming from the kitchen door, it’s probably Nigel and the kitchen gang back together again.

Dawson Sawchuck

Dawson Sawchuck

Maintenance Team

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I grew up all over from southern Saskatchewan up to Prince Albert.  One thing remained the same: my love for all things outdoors. After a summer at the Lodge I get straight into hunting season. When I’m not outside I enjoy art, working on trucks and spending time with family and friends. This season I am looking forward to seeing everyone we have been missing during these last two years.

Ingrid Van Opstal-Tamez

Ingrid Van Opstal-Tamez

Hospitality Team

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This year marks 10 years of me working in the tourism industry as a Massage Practitioner. I received my diploma in Vancouver, moved to Whistler, and travelled extensively throughout British Columbia, working in heli-skiing, bike, and fishing lodges between the interior mountains, coastal ranges, and most northern region of Langara Island overlooking Alaska. Born and raised a prairie girl, I returned to Saskatchewan in 2020 and now live near beautiful Kenosee Lake. Being on a snowboard, bike, and paddleboard are my favourite ways to enjoy the outdoors, and between seasons I’m a painter, graphic designer, muralist, and student at the U of R. I look forward to meeting all our guests in the upcoming summer season!

Steve Yanish

Steve Yanish

Maintenance Team

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In 2007, his first season guiding at Scott, the other guides noticed how careful Steve was around the rocky areas of the lake. Someone, probably Biff, said “it looked like he was driving through a school zone”. The nickname stuck, but Steve now knows the lake cold and keeps things moving. He always delivers in the fish department. Like most Scott guides, Steve’s outdoor life began early around his Crescent Lake, Saskatchewan home. As he recalls he was “constantly hunting and fishing”. Going into guiding was as natural to him as setting a hook. For six years he did the tough kind of guiding—extremely remote trips for sheep, caribou, grizzly, all the big stuff in the northern edge on the Yukon. Steve now runs a hunting outfitting business in a vast watershed in a remote corner of British Columbia. When the going gets tough, Steve is just getting started.

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