Summer Good Grief Camp Opportunities
Make Summer Plans Now
This summer, TAPS has space for more than 80 surviving children from around the country to gather in California and North Carolina for two Good Grief Campouts and an inaugural teen hiking adventure in the Cumberland area of Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Away from the familiarity of daily life, and without the distractions of electronics, connections center around shared experiences, special memories, and the need to embrace both self and loss. Good Grief Campouts combine emotionally challenging themes with natural outdoor activities to create the perfect backdrop for rituals that honor and remember loved ones.
Over the course of the three- or four-day campouts, each camper is paired with a mentor. This continuing connection with the military helps children honor the life and memories of the military member they loved and lost. Volunteer mentors offer security and acceptance by simply being there for the children. Many mentors keep in contact with their buddy long after the Good Grief Campout ends as they continue to care for and nurture the child during their grief and healing.
Inaugural Teen Hiking Adventure
The summer culminates with the first-ever joint TAPS and Outward Bound Appalachian Trail teen hiking adventure. Teens ages 14-17 will consider the challenges of the grief journey while conquering the landscape of one of America's most famous hiking trails. Space is limited for this event, so parents please complete the application as soon as possible to secure a spot for your teen.
Family Healing at Campouts
There are also two opportunities for families to participate in TAPS Family Campouts in Washington and Tennessee. These unique events will bring 100 parents or guardians and children together for healing activities and shared fun. As families make new memories in the great outdoors, they also discover creative and interesting ways to explore emotions, relationships, and changed family dynamics.
Working individually with peers and together as the family unit, campers use their time to strengthen family bonds and challenge themselves in new ways. Last year, one young survivor said, "I found somewhere safe to let out my feelings."
When survivors leave a TAPS Family Campout, they feel more comfortable planning things they want to do in a life without their hero. They feel empowered to look to a future that honors the person they lost by making room for love, grief and hope.