National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp
About the Camp
There's no place quite like the Good Grief Camp at the National Military Survivor Seminar. Throughout the weekend, you’ll pass children walking hand in hand with their legacy and military mentors, witness the country's highest-ranking military officers singing and dancing with young survivors and see the bonds forged by shared loss.
It may be that a child or teen in your home is new to grief and loss, or it may be that your Good Grief Camper has never known life any other way. Wherever your child is in the grief journey, he or she will share the experiences of Good Grief Camp with others who can relate. These peer connections form the basis for lifelong friendships.
At Good Grief Camp, our young survivors play, talk, laugh, cry, create traditions and honor the loved ones who bring them together. With the support of child grief experts, children and teens can do the work of grief and learn coping skills in a safe place. While we create artwork, play games, go on field trips and participate in special events, young survivors will learn to tell the stories of their heroes, their families and themselves.
At the same time, our one-on-one mentor program pairs a trained service member, veteran, or young adult survivor with each attendee to be their buddy for the weekend.
Registering Your Child
You can register your child for Good Grief Camp by completing the National Military Survivor Seminar registration form. Within your registration, you must also complete an intake form for each child attending camp. We encourage you to register for Good Grief Camp early, as spots fill quickly.
Review the Attendance Eligibility Criteria to determine if your child is eligible to attend a TAPS Good Grief Camp sponsored event.
What to Expect
Event Check-In is a one time process for the parent to check-in the whole family, receive event information, shirts, backpacks, hero buttons, and service ribbons. Families with children must be sure to check-in with the Good Grief Camp table to set up times to meet with their child(ren)’s group leader(s). Appointments will be held during our Good Grief Camp Zone. See the event schedule for dates and times (link to schedule will be posted here at a later date).
Group Leader, Medical Team and Special Needs Consults
To insure your child has a safe and meaningful experience, parents or guardians will meet with each child’s group leader. Families will also check-in with the Good Grief Camp Medical Team. In addition, we have a Special Needs Professional available for parents to consult with.
Good Grief Camp Zone will be held Thursday night. Parents or guardians, can drop off their child(ren) in a safe space where youth programs staff, group leaders, and volunteers will host dinner, crafts, games, music, and a movie for all children age 3 - 17.
What the Good Grief Camp will look like:
- While in the Good Grief Camp, children and teens will be among their peers in designated groups that align with where they are in their grief journey.
- Each group is led by trained Group Leaders, and Senior Mentors, who guide healing through activities to foster hope and aid in building resilience.
- There will be designated areas to drop off and pick up your child(ren) before and after camp. Refer to your program for these locations. lD is required for pick up for those authorized to receive campers.
- All Good Grief Camp groups will have an opportunity to explore an iconic D.C. location as they spend time with their mentors and friends.
- For our graduating high school seniors, we will celebrate this milestone with our own TAPS style graduation from Good Grief Camp and transition into our Young Adult Program during our Sunday Night Family Dinner.
Your child will be given three TAPS T-shirts for camp, which must be worn each day to help us easily identify children within the TAPS group. Dress should be cool and comfortable. Shorts and tennis shoes are great since there will be a lot of activities and walking. They will also be given a TAPS backpack. If your child has attended a Good Grief Camp before and would like to bring his or her backpack from a previous camp, please feel free to do so.
Four-year-olds MUST be potty trained prior to attending Good Grief Camp (we do understand occasional accidents).
If your child's school requires an excused absence letter from TAPS, please email email@example.com or call 800-959-TAPS (8277) with your child’s name and the days he or she will miss school.
Children are allowed to have cellphones as long as they are on silent (not vibrate). We understand that having them can be a source of comfort for both you and your child. However, we discourage calls during group times. Please know that in an emergency we have a discrete system for interrupting the group if necessary.
For any questions about Good Grief Camp, contact TAPS Youth Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-959-TAPS (8277).