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A Colorado summer camp for children has a stated policy of allowing transgender adults to sleep in the same cabins as children of the opposite biological sex, yet it refuses to disclose specific arrangements to inquiring parents.
Colvig Silver Camps, located in Durango, has adopted several “gender inclusivity” policies, such as allowing adult men who identify as transgender to sleep in the same cabin as girls or adult women who identify as transgender to sleep in the same cabin as boys. While the camp is upfront about the possibility kids could be bunking with transgender counselors, it will not tell parents if it occurs due to what it considers privacy concerns.
The camp’s “Gender Inclusivity FAQ” asks, “Will there be a transgender or gender expansive counselor in my camper’s cabin?” The document states, “Colvig Silver Camps staff members are assigned to cabins based on gender identity” rather than on the basis of sex. It goes on to explain that parents are not notified if their child is placed in a cabin with an adult of the opposite sex who identifies as transgender: “In the same way that we do not disclose the transgender status or gender identity of campers/participants, we do the same regarding the private information of our staff.”
The camp, accredited by the American Camp Association, doubled down on its stance, with another question on the Gender Inclusivity FAQ document asking, “Will I know if my camper is in a cabin with a transgender or nonbinary camper or staff member?”
“Colvig Silver Camps ensures the confidential status of a camper, participant, or staff member’s transgender/gender identity and will not disclose this information,” the document reads.
Descriptions of the camp’s counselor positions state that head counselors live “in a cabin with 4-6 campers,” while assistant counselors “live in a cabin with one Head Counselor and 4-6 campers.” Colvig Silver Camps accepts children as young as second graders, who tend to be seven or eight years old, into its overnight programs.
Parents will similarly not be informed if their own child begins transitioning while at camp without the child’s permission.
“What if my camper begins transitioning at Colvig Silver Camps in the form of using a pronoun or name that differs from their legal name,” the FAQ document reads before asking, “Will you contact me to let me know this?”
It answers: “Colvig Silver Camps will support a camper transitioning during their program. We will encourage them to reach out to their parent(s) or guardian(s) as well.” It goes on to add, “however, we will not disclose a camper’s gender identity to parent(s) or guardian(s) without that camper’s consent.”
Campers are also housed by their gender identity, and parents will not be notified if their child is rooming in a cabin with a camper of the opposite sex who identifies as transgender.
Sarah Parshall Perry, a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, discussed the potential legal ramifications of the policy in a statement to The Daily Wire. Perry noted that Colvig Silver Camps “can certainly hire and promote whomever they wish, including trans employees,” before going on to add, “Where this right ends, however, is at the long-recognized Constitutional right to care for one’s own children.”
“Where this right is infringed, including by failing to inform parents of a gender-neutral housing accommodation that might put their minor children at risk, parents may have a constitutional claim,” Perry noted.
She went on to explain that the viability of any potential lawsuits against the camp over their housing policy would likely hinge around whether or not a plaintiff “can show they were injured by the policy and have a ‘redressable’ injury that a court can rectify.”
“Frighteningly, that may require criminal conduct arising from the policy before a suit can be filed,” Perry noted.
She went on to note that Colorado has an “aggressive interpretation” of civil rights law, which has allowed the camp to use “Colorado’s anti discrimination law as an excuse to be able to open up any cabin any private space, any form or housing accommodation to anyone who identifies any particular gender whatsoever.”
The revelation of the camp’s policy comes after it was discovered that a summer camp in Washington state, which is also accredited by the American Camp Association, also pledged to house campers by gender identity and not to disclose the transition of children to their parents.
Meanwhile, a report from The Daily Wire found several summer camps across the country specifically intended for children who identify as “LGBTQIA+” and offer “trans-centered activities” that reinforce gender dysphoria.
Colvig Silver Camps did not respond to a request for comment.