Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Thank you for your interest in the 8th Annual TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. We hope the following will assist you as you prepare to join us.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 
SURVIVORS: If you are grieving the suicide loss of a loved one in the military, whether a family member, friend or fellow service member, you are invited and encouraged to attend. You will attend workshops and activities designed to help you cope with life after this loss; learning not how to "get over it," but how to get through it all. We'll have supportive discussions offering a chance to share with others who have also experienced suicide loss, helping us all learn that we are not alone.

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WHEN DOES THE EVENT TAKE PLACE?
The Seminar and Good Grief Camp will take place Friday, Sept. 30, through Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.

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WHERE IS THE EVENT BEING HELD?
All workshops and events take place at the TradeWinds Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The closest airport is Tampa International Airport

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HOW DO I SIGN UP TO ATTEND?
Visit www.taps.org/nmsss and click on the link in the "Register" section on the right side of the page. You can also learn more about general Seminar information and flight assistance on this page.

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WHAT ARE THE FEES TO ATTEND?
The registration fee for the Seminar is $125 per adult. This includes workshops, materials, sharing groups, onsite activities, a TAPS T-shirt and seven full meals. The fee for Good Grief Camp attendees (for survivors ages 4-19) is $30 per child and includes materials, seven meals, a TAPS T-shirt and a TAPS backpack. In addition, the $30 fee covers licensed, insured child care all day Saturday and Sunday for our youngest survivors ages 0-3. 

Registration fees are only refundable until Aug. 30, 2016.

If the registration fees, lodging or air travel costs are barriers to your attending, please let us know. We understand that the costs associated with attending this Seminar may prevent some from being able to join us, and we want to be sure everyone has access to this loving support. We are able to offer registration fee waivers and lodging assistance based on need and upon application. For more information, visit our fees page.


Note: Each registrant is responsible for making their own hotel reservations with the TradeWinds Resort and paying for hotel rooms unless you have received a scholarship.

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IS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE?
TAPS offers financial assistance for our National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp held in the fall and our National Military Survivor Seminar held over Memorial Day weekend. Scholarships are available to assist those who may wish to attend our Seminars but find that cost may prohibit attendance.

Very limited funding is available through scholarships to help cover hotel and registration expenses and flight assistance to cover travel. Details and guidelines on each form of assistance are below.

Scholarships

  • TAPS will offer financial assistance scholarships at our two national events
  • Scholarships may cover both registration fees and hotel accommodations 
  • You may apply and be eligible to receive scholarships for both of our national events in the same calendar year 
  • We encourage anyone wishing to attend an event to apply. Scholarships are very limited, and preference will be given to those who have never attended a National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar, to those who were not the beneficiary of SGLI and/or who demonstrate clear financial hardship.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is Aug. 19, 2016, no exceptions. You may apply for flight and scholarship assistance after registration is complete and all intake forms are filled out.

Flight Assistance

  • All attendees who meet the eligibility can apply for flight assistance, but preference will be given to first-time attendees
  • Loved one must have been active duty at the time of the suicide death or the death was related to their service in current combat/military efforts
  • Applicant must not have used a Hero Miles flight to attend the National Military Survivor Seminar in May 2016
  • Applicant must have never cancelled a Hero Miles flight
  • Applicant must be an immediate family member/relation to the service member (parent, stepparent, legal guardian, spouse, ex-spouse, fiance, child, adopted child or stepchild who was raised by the service member, sibling, or stepsibling)
  • Recipients of a donated flight will be notified by Aug. 12.

The deadline to apply for flight assistance is Aug. 5, 2016, no exceptions. You may apply for flight and scholarship assistance after registration is complete and all intake forms are filled out

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WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED TRAVEL SCHEDULE? 
Donated airfare is available (see flight assistance above). The deadline to apply for donated airfare is Aug. 5, 2016. Please note that special requests cannot be made for the donated flights. 

It is highly recommended that you book your travel to be in attendance for the entire Seminar and Good Grief Camp. Check-in for both the Seminar and Good Grief Camp will begin on Friday. The final times for check-in will be announced soon; check back soon for more information. Please note that it is imperative for children to attend the entire Good Grief Camp. Failure to do so lessens the cohesion in the group as the children start sharing and making connections early on in the Good Grief Camp.

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WILL TAPS PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT?
Ground transportation to and from the Tampa International Airport will be provided by TAPS for all attendees on Friday, Sept. 30, and Monday, Oct. 3. Transportation will also be provided on Thursday, Sept. 29, for those who have been approved to attend Peer Mentor training.

If you are arriving into Tampa International Airport via flights you booked yourself, please make sure you are aware of the shuttle bus schedule as provided on the Transportation page, and schedule your flight arrivals/departures accordingly. You must add your travel information to your confirmed registration once your flight is booked, so we can plan your ground transportation.  

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WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
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. Fall weather in the Tampa area is still very summer-like, with daytime highs in the 80s and nighttime lows in the high 60s and 70s. We will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather and location with many outside/beach activities; please pack accordingly to enjoy all the TradeWinds Resort has to offer.

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WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BRING?
Some events will be held outside during the day. Please bring appropriate outdoor clothing, a sweatshirt or a windbreaker and comfortable walking shoes. Also a camera can be helpful to document the highlights of the event. Many survivors like to share contact information with each other; a small notepad and pen to keep handy can be helpful.

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IS CHILD CARE OFFERED?
We have licensed, professional child care available for children ages 3 and under, as the Good Grief Camp supports children ages 4-19 years old. If you have questions about the child care offered, please contact TAPS at 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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IS THERE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER FOR TAPS?
If you need to provide your family back home with an emergency contact number, you may provide them the direct TAPS numbers of 800-959-TAPS (8277) or 202-588-TAPS (8277).

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DO I HAVE TO SELECT WORKSHOPS PRIOR TO ATTENDING?
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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GOOD GRIEF CAMP: SHOULD MY CHILDREN ATTEND? WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE PLANNED? 
The TAPS Good Grief Camp is a wonderful experience for children of all ages. They will:

  • Find comfort in knowing they are not alone
  • Develop coping skills to handle their emotions
  • Learn how America honors those who died while serving in the military
  • Discover they have a new group of friends their age who will be there for them and who understand
  • Realize they are still a part of the military family as the Good Grief Camp mentors stand by ready to assist and be a “big brother/big sister” to your child

Helpful information for parents whose children will be attending the Good Grief Camp:

  • At the Good Grief Camp for young survivors of a military suicide, a child must either know that their loved one died by suicide or that they were not told anything to contradict this information (i.e. died by heart attack, car accident, etc.). The reason why this is important is when you are surrounded by others who are survivors of a loss by suicide, most will pick up on this in the group when others are sharing. Please contact TAPS with questions about this at 800-959-8277 (TAPS).
  • 4-year-olds MUST be potty trained prior to attending the Good Grief Camp. (We do understand occasional accidents.)
  • We will have specific hours set on the agenda. Please make sure your child comes to his/her group ON TIME, but not earlier than the start of camp, as this time is set aside for mentors and group leaders to meet to discuss the activities of the day.
  • Please ensure your child is picked up promptly at the close of the sessions for the day.
  • We understand your concern for your children. However it can be disrupting to others if you enter their group room and can be upsetting to the child if they think you are concerned for their well-being. If you need something or it is imperative to speak to your child, please go to the TAPS office and we will be happy to help. We have a discreet system for interrupting the group if required!
  • 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. However, neither calls nor text messaging will be used during our group sessions. If you need to speak to your child, please contact the TAPS office.
  • Your child will be given a TAPS T-shirt for the Good Grief Camp. Please have them wear it each morning as this helps us easily identify children within the TAPS group. Dress should be cool, casual and comfortable. Shorts/pants (depending on the weather) and tennis shoes are great since there will be a lot of activities and walking. They will also be given a TAPS backpack and a workbook. If your child has attended a Good Grief Camp before and you would like to bring their backpack or workbook from a previous camp, please feel free to do so!
  • Please note: TAPS wishes to protect the mission focus of helping those children and teens that are actively grieving the suicide loss of a loved one in the military. To that effort, we are limiting attendance at our Good Grief Camp to those who have lost someone extremely close to them, like a parent or a sibling, which makes up the vast majority of the group of children. If you feel your child is grieving the loss of someone very close to them and they are not a child or sibling of a deceased service member, please contact TAPS to discuss this further. You may also contact us via email at info@taps.org or phone at 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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