The Will Medeiros Rainbow Day Camp fund
It’s been said a lot over the last few days that our Rainbow is less colourful now and that we’ve lost a little piece of our magic.
At the request of an overwhelming number of his fellow counsellors and Rainbow families, we’ve set up a Will Medeiros fund at Rainbow through the Community Foundation of Guelph so that his name, his legacy and his magic can live on forever.
You can make an on-line contribution by following these steps:
- Start here
- Click on Donate Now
- Enter the amount you wish to contribute
- Choose the “Will Medeiros Rainbow Day Camp fund” from the drop-down menu
- Click on Continue with my Donation
- Follow the instructions in order to receive an instant tax receipt
You can also send an e-mail transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you can drop off cash or cheque to the UPS Store on Stone Road across from Stone Road mall. Please make cheques payable to “Guelph Community Foundation” and write “Will Medeiros” on the info line. You can simply walk in, hand them the envelope and they will put it in our mailbox – no stamps required!
You can also mail your contributions to:
337-304 Stone Road West
On behalf of his Rainbow family, thank you for helping us keep his memory alive – we will make sure his smile and his spirit are remembered for generations to come.
A little more about Captain Rainbow
Since the age of 5, Will Medeiros attended Rainbow Day Camp all summer every summer with his little brother Adam and younger sister Tess. With the children’s camp ending at age 12, the volunteer program requiring their volunteers to be 15 years old and no Leader-in-Training program at the time, technically, at age 13, Will wasn’t allowed to come to Rainbow. His dad, Paul, called the Administrator (who he didn’t know as she had just started at Rainbow a few weeks prior) and begged for her to take Will as a volunteer for the summer. “He’ll do whatever you need him to do” he said “feel free to make him do all the jobs no one else wants to do”. He even offered to pay for Will to be at camp. Although a little hesitant and wondering just what KIND of kid needs a Dad to pay for him to volunteer at camp, Jenn agreed to welcome Will to the Rainbow team. And thank goodness she did!
Will spent a summer as a “paid volunteer” and spent the following summer as a “real” volunteer (Paul didn’t have to pay that year!), we officially hired him the next summer as a Junior counsellor and he spent his following summers filling practically every job at Rainbow.
His fellow counsellors will always remember him as the ultimate team player, always willing to go the extra mile, to carry more than his fair share of responsibility, and to do whatever it took to ensure that every camper or counsellor he crossed paths with was having as much fun as humanly possible.
You may remember Will from his enthusiastic and often silly songs at morning circle, legendary belly flops in the pool, or at the sign-in table as the first face you see in the morning as you come to camp.
Whatever your memories of him one thing is certain: he had a smile on his face. That was Will’s trademark and it was infectious. Whatever kind of day Will was having and no matter how flustered he was, he always seemed to live with an honest and bright smile on his face that was contagious to everyone around him.
When Will would tell a joke he had us all laughing even before he got to the punch line. Whether you knew Will as a camper, a fellow volunteer, a fellow counsellor or even as a parent, the thing that was clear to all of us is that we knew him as a true friend.
As a co-worker, a Will high five was the ultimate pick-me-up, and as a camper, five minutes hanging out with Will at lunch would no doubt be one of the first things you’d tell your parents about when you got home.
And even though Will was charismatic, charming, talented, handsome and popular, he never failed to make a meaningful connection to all the campers who were nervous, vulnerable, or who started camp on the outside looking in.
He did, however, break many hearts over the years at Rainbow – 7-year old girl campers seem to have never-ending crushes on our Will! And he taught our boy campers that you can be silly and put yourself out there all while still being cool.
Will’s warmth, compassion, and love for people would make them feel like a million bucks, and make them feel not only like they could have fun with him but also go back to their group with the excitement and confidence they need to interact with their peers and to have the best week of their summer.
It has been a dark week for Rainbow, for Guelph, and most of all for the Medeiros family but the light of Will’s one-of-a-kind smile makes the dark just a little bit more bearable.
That light lives inside all of the counsellors who worked by his side, all of the parents who felt comfortable leaving their campers with him in the morning, and all of hundreds of kids Will affected throughout his time at Rainbow. Many of those kids are now 15 years old themselves and are ready to start the next chapter of their lives carrying with them always the lessons that Will taught them and all of us.
Over the last 44 years, Rainbow has had thousands of campers and hundreds of counsellors, but only one Will Medeiros.
We love you and thank you Will.
RIP, Captain Rainbow
With Love from your Rainbow team