Become a Good Grief Camp Mentor

Deadline to Register: May 13

TAPS was established in 1994 and has been supporting anyone who has lost a loved one in the military regardless of the geography or circumstance of the death. We honor the life and service of those they loved. These children are all part of the living legacy of military service.

Children and teens come together from all over the nation and are paired with military mentors who understand the military and can companion these children and teens throughout this special weekend. These children learn how we, as a nation, honor those who have served and sacrificed, and they also learn coping skills for handling their own grief. They meet other children their own age and gain a peer support network they can lean on throughout the year. The children, with their mentors, will go through grief work within their group and learn through experiences within the group and their mentor's guidance that the military supports them and honors their loved one. Here they learn that they are not alone and this is a safe place to talk and just be — wherever they are in their grief.

The TAPS Good Grief Camp gives youngsters a solid foundation on which to build a healthy future following a tragic loss of a loved one in the military. These surviving youth learn coping skills and will discover the feelings they are experiencing are normal reactions to an abnormal event — the untimely death of a parent or loved one.

If you register as a mentor, you need to be available for the entire weekend during the dates and times of the Good Grief Camp listed below. If you can't make a full commitment, please consider registering as a volunteer instead.

 

TAPS National Good Grief Camp Mentors

 

Mandatory Training

24 May 1800-2100 OR 25 May 1300-1600

Suggested but not mandatory training can be found on the TAPS Online Training website.

 

Good Grief Camp Dates and Times

Memorial Day Weekend

26 May 0730 - 1600 
27 May 0730 - 2130
28 May 0800 - 1600
29 May (optional) Arlington National Cemetery Ceremony in Dress Uniform

All events, including training, will take place, or depart from, the Marriott Crystal Gateway, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.

Free parking is available for Good Grief Camp mentors. Please review the Good Grief Camp mentor parking information for details.

 

TAPS GOOD GRIEF CAMP MENTOR REQUIREMENTS

Each Good Grief Camp Mentor must:

  • Register as a mentor by May 13
  • Currently serve in the military (active/guard/reserve status), be retired from the military, or be an OIF/OEF era veteran
  • Complete and pass a security background check
  • Attend one training session
  • Be on time and ready to participate in all Good Grief Camp scheduled events and functions throughout the weekend
  • Be willing to be a "big brother" or "big sister" to a child who has lost a loved one in the military
  • Be present and companion a child 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 are 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
  • 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 Good Grief Camp nor let it affect your role as a mentor each day
  • Demonstrate good moral and responsible conduct around all children. You should not 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.

 

For any questions, contact mentors@taps.org or 800-959-TAPS (8277).