Foster Mom Upset After Transgender Son, 9, Turned Away From Summer Camp

Foster Mom Upset After Transgender Son, 9, Turned Away From Summer Camp

PHOENIX (CBS Local) — An Arizona mother is speaking out after she was told her 9-year-old transgender foster child wouldn’t be allowed to attend summer camp.


Amber Checky said her son had received a scholarship to attend the Tonto Creek Camp in Payson for four days in mid-July from the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.


“He was just really excited about all the things that he would get to do that he’s never done before,” Checky told CBS affiliate KPHO.


Checky said the only request she made was for a private bathroom for her son or a bathroom with a curtain. And initially, it looked like everything would work out.

“About a month later, we received an email from the camp site saying that unfortunately their staff who has a degree in this would no longer be attending and that they were refunding our money and he couldn’t attend anymore,” Checky said.


“We recently learned as we planned for our camps that in order to fully accommodate transgender youth, we would need additional staff training for all our camp counselors,” the camp’s CEO, Tom Fraker, said in a statement. “Therefore we felt that at this time, we would not be capable of accommodating transgender campers to the best of our ability.”


“For a kid who’s already experienced so much loss and so much pain and [with] so many other things stacked against him in his life, knowing the reason why he’s not allowed to go to camp is not something we were willing to do as parents, so we told him it was cancelled,” Checky said.


Checky says the camp has reached out to her to have an additional conversation. She says she’s open to providing the camp with resources on how to treat LGBT youth, but even if the camp reverses its decision on barring her son from attending, she won’t be sending him.