Families of America’s Fallen Heroes Find Hope, Healing in Nature at TAPS Family Campout

 IslandWood to Host Event July 20-23 in Bainbridge Island, Wash.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will welcome adults and children grieving the loss of a military loved one to its family campout July 20-23 at IslandWood in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Through supportive programs and nature-based activities, families will be given the tools necessary to cope with their loss and find hope, encouraging "post traumatic growth." Children will also have the support of a military mentor - an active duty service member, reservist or recent veteran who has volunteered his or her weekend to provide care and comfort to the children of fallen military members.

“This weekend, children and their guardians will step away from daily life, learn about their individual grief journeys and discover how to grieve as a family,” said TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll. “Getting out into nature will allow them to build stronger family units, reconnect and learn ways to communicate for the path ahead as they honor the lives and legacies of their fallen heroes.”

"We are honored to welcome TAPS and the family members of fallen service members to IslandWood," said Jennifer Antos, the Director of Strategic Development. "We have seen the important role the outdoors can play in the healing process by allowing families to come together in a safe, restorative natural setting.

WHAT: Opportunities for interviews during workshops, meals with surviving families and activities in nature.

WHERE: IslandWood, 4450 Blakely Ave. NE, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

WHEN: July 20-23, 2017

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW:  Jonathan Kirkendall, TAPS Manager of Youth Programs

To attend any part of the retreat, or to schedule an interview with TAPS staff or surviving families, contact Christine Fuentes at christine.fuentes@taps.org or 202.588.TAPS (8277). For interviews with IslandWood staff, please email Kristine Jimenez at kristinej@islandwood.org or call 206.755.6541.

While many surviving families are open to sharing their loved ones' stories, TAPS asks that the media be mindful that some may need time to collect their thoughts. You can find tips on covering families and trauma at www.taps.org/media.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).

IslandWood is a nationally recognized outdoor learning center that connects thousands of children and adults every year to the natural world in communities throughout the Puget Sound region.  IslandWood's mission is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship. In addition to school programs for elementary school students, IslandWood offers graduate programming in partnership with the University of Washington and Antioch University Seattle, conference programs for nonprofits and corporations, and nature-based experiences for military veterans and their families.  Learn more at islandwood.org.