National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

Frequently Asked Questions


Thank you for your interest in attending a very special 25th Anniversary of the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp! We hope the following FAQS will help you as you prepare to join us in Washington, D.C.

Who should attend?
When does the event take place?
Where does the event take place?
How do I sign up to attend?
What are the fees to attend?
What is the recommended travel schedule?
What should I pack?
Do I have to select workshops prior to attending?
Will there be opportunities to sightsee while in Washington?
Is child care offered?
Should my child attend Good Grief Camp?

 

Who should attend?

Adults: If you're grieving the death of a loved one in the military, whether a family member, friend or fellow service member, you're invited and encouraged to attend the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar. You'll meet and connect with other survivors who are also facing similar loss and discover you're not alone. You'll be provided opportunities to attend workshops designed to help you cope with life after loss.

Young Adults: If you are 18-25 years old and are a surviving child or sibling, we have a program designed specifically for you. Whether you are a graduate of our Good Grief Camp or new to our TAPS events, please know you have found your tribe to grow and heal.

Children: Children and teens grieving the loss of a loved one are invited to attend TAPS Good Grief Camp during the seminar. Good Grief Camp provides a safe and supportive atmosphere for children to learn coping skills, establish and identify support systems and create awareness that they aren't alone in the grief of their loved one. Children and teens meet others of their own age group to share and learn together.

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When does the event take place?

The 25th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp will take p
lace Friday, May 24, through Monday, May 27. Check-in begins Thursday, May 23, at 11 a.m. The adult seminar opening ceremony starts at 11 a.m. Friday. The event concludes on Monday, May 27 following the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day ceremonies and the National Memorial Day Parade.

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Where does the event take place?

The seminar is held in Arlington, Virginia.  The primary hotel is the Crystal Gateway Marriott at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia.

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How do I sign up to attend?

Please submit a registration form to attend the adult seminar and Good Grief Camp. A confirmation email will be sent once we receive your registration form. Please allow yourself at least 60 minutes to complete the form.

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What are the fees to attend?

There is a registration fee of $25 per adult and $25 per child. These fees help to offset the cost of meals, workshops, materials, and transportation during the four-day seminar. 

If your plans change unexpectedly, please let us know so we can cancel your registration and open that space to other survivors interested in attending.  Send an email with full names of all those in your group who need to cancel to seminarregistrations@taps.org.

Note: A limited number of scholarships for hotel expenses and donated airfare are available for first time attendees unable to cover the costs to attend the seminar for financial reasons. See the Fees and Scholarships page and Donated Airfare page for more information about how to apply or call TAPS at 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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What is the recommended travel schedule?

You should arrive by 9 a.m. on Friday, May 24, to attend our opening session. Good Grief Camp for children will also begin Friday morning.

If you’ll be participating in the Memorial Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery or the National Memorial Day Parade, departures should be scheduled for late afternoon on Monday, May 27.

If you’re flying to the event, please arrange your travels to arrive and depart from the Reagan National Airport (DCA). Free airport shuttles will be available to take you to and from the hotels.

Dulles (IAD) and Baltimore (BWI) airports DO NOT have shuttle service to and from the hotel and will require transportation by taxi or SuperShuttle with fares ranging from $45 to $70.

If you’re driving, parking is available for a fee of $20 hourly or $39 daily, and valet parking is $45 daily. Visit the hotel website for driving directions.

If you're arriving via train from the north, get off at Union Station and take the metro system to the Crystal City stop (directly under the hotel).

If you're arriving via train from the south, get off at the King Street Station and take the metro directly to the Crystal City stop as well.

TAPS will provide transportation to all off-site activities and events during the seminar.

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What should I pack?

Most of our events, including workshops and activities, are casual. Hotel meeting rooms, despite our best efforts, can range in temperature, so you may wish to bring a light sweater for your own comfort level. Our Saturday evening banquet for adults will be a semi-formal affair, however, you may wear whatever is most comfortable, from cocktail attire to your TAPS T-shirt.

For our visit to Arlington National Cemetery, we suggest you wear clothes that are appropriate for warm weather and wear a lot of sunscreen. We encourage you to wear your TAPS T-shirt and comfortable shoes. Please remember that Arlington National Cemetery is sacred ground.

Weather can vary, so bring clothes that will protect you from cold, rain or hot weather. (You can visit www.weather.com and enter the hotel zip code, 22202, for current forecasts.)

You may wish to bring a bathing suit if you’d like to swim in the hotel pool during the weekend. 

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Do I have to select workshops prior to attending?

No. Workshop attendance is flexible; you may choose which sessions to attend at your leisure, and if you get into a workshop and find it is not what you expected, you are welcome to slip out and join another workshop. 

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Will there be opportunities to sightsee while in Washington?

We have optional activities planned during the weekend that will be held among some of the historic sights of Washington, including the Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Three activities are planned for Friday evening: a Washington Nationals baseball game, a bus tour of the monuments and the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks.

If you want additional time to visit the city, you may wish to arrive a day early or depart a day later after the seminar concludes.

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Is child care offered?

Good Grief Camp supports children ages 4 to 19, therefore, we have professional childcare available for children 3 and under. The same group has provided childcare at our National Seminar since 2005! Care is provided Friday through Sunday with extended hours so parents can spend time with their older children in the evening.  Meals will be served in the childcare rooms. If you have questions about the child care offered, please call us at 800-959-TAPS (8277) or email michelle.davenport@taps.org.

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Should my child attend Good Grief Camp?

Whether your child or teen is new to grief and loss or has never known life any other way, your child will find support at TAPS Good Grief Camp. They will: 

  • Be assigned a military or legacy mentor to be their buddy for the entire weekend
  • Find comfort in knowing there are other children just like them
  • Share as much or as little as they want
  • Develop coping skills they can use after they've left the Good Grief Camp
  • Learn that America honors our fallen heroes who served in the military
  • Discover they have a new group of friends their age who will be there for them and who understand

Learn more about Good Grief Camp and what to expect.

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