As part of our efforts to give back, the Baja United Group recently made a donation to Rancho Santa Marta, an orphanage supported by Cameron Steele. Cameron has a strong love for Baja and a great passion for giving back. Because of this, we thought you’d like getting to know this Baja Game Changer so we reached out to learn more.
Rancho Santa Marta is located in San Vicente, Baja California, Mexico, about 115 miles from the San Ysidro border crossing. For more information, please visit www.ranchosantamarta.org.
Who is Cameron Steele?
I am a Baja lover and family man who enjoys the adventure and culture of Baja. Being a dad to our 5-year-old daughter, Kay, is my number one priority in life and being a great husband to my wife, Heidi, for the last 20 years is an every day goal I achieve more days than not – but you may get a different answer from her (ha ha).
How did you get started with air TV hosting?
It all started in 1998. Since I wasn’t great at jumping dirt bikes, I signed up for the first ESPN X Games Freestyle moto qualifier. That year, promoter Paul Taublieb didn’t have a live announcer. I guess my motor mouth made an impact because Paul ended up offering me the spot at his first ever freestyle event. It was my first time jumping the metal ramps yet an easy decision for me to make. Later on, I became the analyst for this same show and landed my first TV commentating position. The crew saw me on camera and Paul and his team suggested me for an ESPN slot. My second on-air position was the 1999 Summer X Games in San Francisco.
What TV stations and media have you been featured on?
In the last six years, most of my features have been with the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing series and X Games. I’ve held positions at Supercross, Motocross, IRL and Triple Crown programming on ESPN. I also worked for the Champ Car World Series as the lead reporter for three years. I co-hosted a couple MTV Sports and Music Festival events and many other specialty programming along the way working for NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and many of their supporting networks. Today we produce shows like the ABC partnership with Monster Energy Rip to Cabo presented by Honda and Monster Energy Trail of Missions presented by BFGoodrich. Additionally, we are building two shows for CBS Sports, The NORRA Mexican 1000 presented by Method Race Wheels and Chenowth and the BFGoodrich 50 Best of Baja.
How has Baja changed your life?
What a magical place. The people and the locations have immensely improved my life. My family has grown up in Baja and my mom and dad started sharing that with me in the 70’s. Now I share it with my wife and daughter, along with many friends. You can’t deny how the experiences of this amazing place mold you to who you are – at least to who I am. Sadly, one of the greatest loses in my life happened in Baja when my close friend, Jeff, crashed and passed subsequently. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Our “Live Like OX” call out that we put on everything is how we pay respect to his memory. We miss him dearly.
How often do you go to Baja?
I’m in Baja very often. I can’t quite put a number on it, but I’d say over three months of the year and over 25 trips annually.
What do you typically do when you go to Baja?
I race, ride moto, adventure in trucks and share time with friends, old and new. There is no typical or standard trip as we visit every corner of the peninsula and love to keep exploring new places.
How has Baja become a family experience?
Our daughter, Kay, has been going to Baja since she was three months old. We share this time in numerous way but the best is spent in our trucks. We do four truck trips a year and all are with family.
What is your favorite Baja memory?
My favorite Baja memory has to be watching my wife win her first Baja 500 in the sportsman buggy class with our neighborhood kids, Cody and Bean, and our great friend, Azam. It was magical to see them celebrate. Another great memory is of the year that Colton and OX won in San Felipe with Heidi and Rene winning on the very same day.
Through the years, we have seen your ongoing love and support for the orphanages. Can you tell us about what you do and your accomplishments?
Our goal is to always be good guests and, although no one is perfect, we work hard to make a positive impact. My dad started supporting Bill and Kaye Lawrence at Rancho Santa Marta around 30 years ago and we have picked up that support and are running with it. God Bless Johnny Campbell and the Neal boys at Bullet Proof Diesel for not only being a huge part of this venture but for also putting up with my crazy head.
Have you had a chance to experience Valle de Guadalupe wine region and what were
We have made some quick stops in Valle de Guadalupe and I’m super impressed with what is happening there. It still has the Baja vibe but, I swear, some of those places look like they are straight out of Napa. I like to sample the Cabs (ha ha).
How has Baja changed over the years and what do you predict the future of the Valle de Guadalupe will be?
Baja changes but still stays the same. Ultimately, it’s the people that make it great – their style and vibe are the reason to go. There’s wine and dirt everywhere in the world but there’s only one Baja Stoke.