Legacy or Military Mentor Volunteer at Tennessee Family Campout

July 30 - August 2, 2018
Bolivar, Tennessee

TAPS invites those currently serving in the military, veterans, and military survivors who have graduated from Good Grief Camp to volunteer as a mentor at the TAPS Tennessee Family Campout. 

mentor and camper

The world changes for grieving children when someone is there for them — and that's where you come in.

At this special outdoor adventure, children and teens grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the military come together and are paired with legacy and military mentors who companion these kids throughout the campout.

As a legacy or military mentor, you'll support a child throughout the campout as he or she shares and connects with other surviving kids and learn how to honor his or her loved one. You may do art projects and play silly games. You may help overcome fears on the rope course and enjoy nature walks. You'll definitely create lasting memories and feel pride in yourself for the work you've done.

 

Good Grief Camp Schedule

All legacy and military mentors must be available for the entire campout during the times listed below for Good Grief Camp. If you can't make a full commitment, please consider registering as a volunteer instead.

MANDATORY TRAINING

Monday, July 30 — 12 p.m. (Lunch Provided)

The mentor volunteer training is designed to help you navigate being a mentor to a surviving military child and ensure you and your buddy have the best experience possible. TAPS also provides an optional online Good Grief Camp training course; this course reinforces but doesn't replace the required in-person training.

CAMP SCHEDULE

Monday, July 30 — 12 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 31 — 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, August 1— 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Thursday, August 2 — 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

All events, except training, will take place at the Victory Camp in Bolivar, Tennessee.

 

Mentor Requirements

To become a legacy or military mentor, you must: 

  • Currently serve in the military, be retired from the military, be an OIF/OEF-era veteran OR be a military survivor who has graduated from Good Grief Camp
  • Be at least 20 years old (exceptions to age requirement for military personnel and teen survivors are considered)
  • Complete and pass a security background check
  • If applying as a legacy mentor, submit an essay and provide two previous group leaders as references
  • Attend the required training prior to the event at which you're volunteering
  • Be on time and ready to participate in all camp activities throughout the event
  • Be willing to be a buddy and companion to a child who has lost a loved one in the military
  • Be present while also being cognizant of your own grief and loss of a military friend or family member
  • Show empathy toward children and surviving families as they're grieving
  • Use good judgment when assessing safety for children
  • Set and enforce good boundaries with your mentee
  • Create a safe place and an environment of trust and acceptance for your mentee
  • Identify your mentee’s special needs and/or allergies from the intake form
  • Not fraternize with fellow mentors, mentees, TAPS staff or adult survivors during the event. Your focus should be on your mentee and his or her well-being.
  • Intervene when necessary and keep group leaders informed if there are concerns
  • Honor time constraints
  • Follow directions from group leaders and TAPS staff
  • Not partake in alcohol during the event nor let it affect your role as a mentor each day
  • Demonstrate good moral and responsible conduct around all children. You shouldn't use profanity, tell “drinking stories,” or make inappropriate comments.
  • Be willing to withhold any personal political views as this may complicate the grieving process for children. No anti-war comments will be tolerated.
  • Be willing to continue the mentor role throughout the rest of the year for the child’s birthday, special events, or holidays

 

Lodging and Transportation

All lodging, parking, and meals will be provided - you will be staying in cabins. Please note, however, that bedding and toiletries are not provided. A suggested packing list, directions to the camp, and more information will be sent to you in June.

 

How to Register

To register as a military or legacy mentor: 

  1. Create a mentor account.
  2. Once you've created your account, log back in and complete a background check form.
  3. After you receive a confirmation email of a completed background check, log into your account and register for the Tennessee Good Grief Campout and any additional programs you're interested in.

 

For questions about becoming a legacy and military mentor, call 800-959-TAPS (8277) or email mentors@taps.org.