Today in our #GCFGrantStories series, we spotlight Rainbow Day Camp, which received funding through The Guelph Community Foundation’s Kids to Camp grant program. This program funds registered charities (or organizations partnered with a registered charity) operating camps that allow them to offer free or subsidized camp registration to children and youth from financially disadvantaged families. If it were not for these funds, many of the local campers who benefit would not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the summer camp experience.
The Rainbow Day Camp supported children from over 35 families who would not have been able to attend camp without the funding. The camp also connected with the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington and offered subsidy spots for five leaders in training campers who learned what it takes to become a counselor. Staff said it was amazing to see these leaders in training take on the challenge and support campers of all abilities. The camp also worked very closely with the staff of Supporting Kids In Camp through the Canadian Mental Health Association to ensure they were providing support to as many campers as possible. At the end of each week there were many big hugs and goodbyes. The staff said that seeing the campers build relationships with their counselors and fellow campers was truly amazing.
One story the camp staff shared with us that they said hit close to home was that of a returning family who had one of their children suddenly pass away weeks before camp began. A subsidy spot was given to their other child (not pictured here) who would otherwise not have attended. This child then not only participated in the camp, despite their grief, but their parents asked for additional weeks at the camp because “Rainbow became the only place that they felt safe other than home.” The camper expressed how much she loved camp, and her parents said that they saw her able to smile again.