Dr. Deborah Woodman, and Harry Stewart are two Charter members of Welcome Friend Association, and by extension, Rainbow Camp. The first of its’ kind in Ontario, Rainbow Camp takes place for a week in the summer, on the shores of Lake Huron, just outside of Thessalon, Ontario at Camp McDougall. The United Church of Canada camp site, has been welcoming young people, counsellors, counsellors in training and adults to come together around the Vespers campfire since 1960.
A serendipitous connection through her PhD work in north eastern Ontario (Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls areas) on forestry issues led Dr. Deborah Woodman to her current work with Algoma University, where she teaches Sociology and Anthropology. At about that time, Harry Stewart, local champion for issues related to Queer (LGBTQ+) individuals in community approached Celia Ross, former Algoma University President (1998-2010) and others at Algoma U. The intent was to draw from a wider group of people who may have a shared vision for bringing people together both from within the Queer community, as well as individuals who identify as Allied. It was through this initial effort that Harry Stewart and Dr. Deborah Woodman, among others, came together and began to develop the Welcome Friend Association, WFA.