PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix mother is speaking out after she was told her 9-year-old transgender foster child wouldn’t be allowed to attend Tonto Creek Camp in Payson.

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

Checky says her son had received a scholarship to attend the camp from the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and was supposed to go to the camp for four days in mid-July.

“We haven’t told him why he hasn’t been allowed to go to camp,” Checky said.

[WATCH: "We told him it got canceled"]

A series of email exchanges between Checky and the camp show that the only accommodation Checky requested was for a private bathroom for her son, or a privacy curtain.

Initially, it appeared like everything would be fine, but then she was contacted again by the camp’s CEO Tom Fraker.

“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.

In a statement to Arizona’s Family, Fraker wrote in part:

“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 accommodations were what was requested. Therefore we felt that at this time, we would not be capable of accommodating transgender campers to the best of our ability for both the specific camper and the other campers in attendance. We will have this training for all staff by next summer camp season.”

On its website, Tonto Creek Camp describes itself as “a local nonprofit organization that aims to remove barriers that restrict youth access to nature and increase opportunities for them to engage in hands-on educational activities outdoors.”

Meanwhile, Checky says the camp has reached out to her to have an additional conversation. Checky says she’s open to providing the camp with resources on how to treat LGBT youth.

Still, she says that even if the camp reverses its decision on barring her son from attending, she won’t be sending him.

“We told him it got canceled,” Checky said.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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