Legacy or Military Mentor Volunteer at Midwest Regional Military Good Grief Camp
TAPS invites those currently serving in the military, veterans, and military survivors who have graduated from Good Grief Camp to volunteer as a mentor for the Midwest Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.
The world changes for a grieving child when someone is there for them — and that's where you come in.
In the Good Grief Camp, children and teens grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the military come together from all over the region to create lasting friendships, learn coping skills, build resiliency, and honor their fallen service member.
After a group training session with TAPS Youth Programs staff, Legacy and Military Mentors are paired with their own mentee and work in small groups facilitated by an experienced leader. You may request the age group you'd like to work with. Children learn through active play, and the curriculum is designed to meet each child where they are in their grief journey. The one-on-one attention give each child the companionship and support needed to feel comfortable connecting with others and engaging in activities. You'll definitely create lasting memories and feel pride in yourself for the work you've done.
All Legacy and Military Mentors must be available for the entire weekend. This schedule is tentative and subject to change. A detailed schedule will be provided a couple weeks before the event.
Friday, August 21
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — Good Grief Camp Kid Zone - OPTIONAL - dinner will be provided
Saturday, August 22
7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. — Mentor training - MANDATORY for ALL mentors
8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Good Grief Camp - breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided
Sunday, August 23
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. — Good Grief Camp - breakfast and lunch will be provided
The mandatory mentor training is designed to help you navigate serving in this volunteer role and helps ensure that 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.
All activities will take place the Hilton Columbus in Columbus, Ohio.
To become a Legacy or Military Mentor, you must:
- Currently serve or have served in the military 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) with the energy and stamina necessary to companion a child from early morning to late in the day throughout the event.
- Pass a security background check.
- If applying as a Legacy Mentor, submit a short written response and provide two previous group leaders as references.
- Attend the required training prior to the event.
- 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.
There is limited lodging available Friday and Saturday nights to those who are traveling 40 miles from the seminar. All meals will be provided at no cost. Free parking is available on-site.
To register as a Legacy and Military Mentor:
- Create a mentor account.
- Once you've created your account, log back in and complete a background check release.
- After you receive a confirmation email of a completed background check, log into your account and register for the Midwest Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.
For questions about mentoring at the Good Grief Camp, call 800-959-TAPS (8277) or email email@example.com.