Central Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

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Hyatt Regency St. Louis At The Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
Registration Open from November 6, 2019 to November 14, 2020
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If you are unable to attend or have any concerns with attending in person we encourage you to attend our live workshops virtually. Select the virtual workshop button above to register as a virtual participant. You will be able to access the sessions via the TAPS events app. Workshops and sessions are listed within the schedule below. 

Your TAPS family warmly invites you to find a new sense of purpose and the support of peers at the Central Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.

Military Survivors at a TAPS Seminar

TAPS Seminars are created with your needs in mind. Our comprehensive model of care brings together adult and children survivors for a weekend of hope and healing. Whether you recently lost your hero, have lived many years without them or are somewhere in between, this TAPS Seminar is designed to meet you where you are in your grief journey.

By bringing together peer professionals, subject matter experts, mental health clinicians and TAPS Peer Mentors and volunteers, we will come alongside you to walk the journey together.  

Our TAPS Seminar faculty members are leaders in the field of grief and loss, suicide, traumatic loss and bereavement and will facilitate a rich learning environment to help you gain coping skills and tools to continue your loved one’s legacy. The seminar workshops and programming follow a dynamic curriculum based on the needs of mourning set forth in academia.

There are four categories of seminar workshops that you can choose from to find the support that fits your needs:

Acknowledge and Honor

The workshops in this category help those new to grief to understand the basics of grief and loss. The curriculum focuses on honoring the service of your loved one while gaining grace for the difficult circumstances that have come with loss. Our workshop leaders understand the need to share and hear the stories of others. Opportunities to connect are provided to those who may have carried their grief alone for far longer than they realized. Exploring your loss with others will help you find areas within yourself that may need some extra attention. These courses are also ideal for folks who need more understanding of how to support someone they love who is deeply affected by a loss.

Skill Building

These workshops build on the foundational Acknowledge and Honor courses and are more experiential in nature. The experience can come in the form of sharing or using our hands to create art and tangible objects. The workshops are based on exploring and understanding ways you can learn to cope with the unimaginable. Our faculty is well-versed in the pain and trauma of grief. They will help you gain some useful perspectives by offering a blend of education, sharing and expression.

Adjusting to a New Normal

Our seminar faculty has the skills and experience to meet you at the different stages you encounter while finding your new normal after the death of a loved one. These workshops include hands-on learning through creating, sharing, listening and by simply bearing witness.  

Meaning and Purpose

Meaning and Purpose workshops are dynamic. The workshop facilitators are experts in post-traumatic growth, meaning-making and legacy building. These courses will arm you with tools to embrace the future. We cover topics such as enduring bonds, relationship building, volunteering and being a living legacy.



Military mentors and TAPS children

The TAPS Good Grief Camp is a program for children who have lost a loved one who served in the Armed Forces (see attendance eligibility criteria). Good Grief Camp provides a safe space for military children to explore grief and embrace healing.

TAPS Good Grief Camp is led by experts in the fields of child development, mental health and education. Programming throughout the weekend mirrors the adult curriculum and provides families with a common language crucial to strengthening family bonds. Children and teens will honor their loved one, connect with their peers, and learn coping skills through games, crafts and other age-appropriate activities in a fun and supportive environment.

Children and teens will find comfort in knowing there are other kids their age who understand their loss, develop coping skills they can use once they leave Good Grief Camp and learn how America honors our fallen service members.



Children under the age of four-years old will be cared for and loved throughout the seminar by trained professional, licensed and insured caregivers. A designated suite will be assigned and set up with age-appropriate toys, games and arts and crafts. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers will have lunch on Saturday inside their room, along with healthy snacks all weekend. Individual schedules will be honored for each child, including nursing infants. 

If you need further information, please email childcare@taps.org.



TAPS Young Adults in Seattle

The TAPS Young Adults Program is for 18 to 25 year old surviving children and siblings. 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.

Transitioning into adulthood is difficult enough, but when you add grief to the scenario, it becomes more challenging. This program takes that into consideration when addressing five pillars of growth: Personal Development, Financial Stability, Communications, Career Guidance, and Service to Others. With practical life skills explored, the Young Adult Program strives to help each individual create a well-rounded life full of hope, healing, and growth.

If you have any questions, please email youngadults@taps.org.


Getting Connected to the Seminar

For those attending in person, the TAPS Events app puts advance details about the seminar right in the palm of your hand. You can connect with fellow survivors and get logistic updates and reminders during the event. You’ll also be able to review the schedule, read about the presenters and featured speakers, and learn more about TAPS staff who are here to support you wherever you are in your grief journey.

For those attending virtually, get Zoom video access information by logging into TAPS Events app. You can access the app on your desktop computer or using your mobile device. 



Monday, November 9
  • 7:00 p.m. Central  — Pre-event Safety and Health Standards Review
    Attending in person? Your Questions Answered. Please join us for a pre-event Zoom meeting to review safety and health standards that will be in place for our Central Regional Seminar. We will discuss hotel check-in, registration, meals, mask requirements and many other details that have been taken care of for us to gather safely in-person. Access to the Zoom meeting will be through the TAPS App.

Friday, November 13
  • 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central — Family Seminar Check-in and Registration

  • 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central — Family Dinner and Welcome

  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Central — Good Grief Camp Zone

  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central  —  Dessert Sharing Sessions

  • 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Central —  Peer Mentor Gathering

Saturday, November 14
  • 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Central— Breakfast

  • 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Central — Family Seminar Check-in and Registration

  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central — Good Grief Camp

  • 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Central — Opening session

  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Central — Workshops and Sessions*

    *For those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded.

    Goals, Grief and How Things Change — Renee Monczynski
    Often we find ourselves setting big goals that match our beautiful, broad, imaginative dreams. In this session, we will learn how to set realistic goals, to give ourselves credit for the small wins, to reset after lessons learned, and to achieve those wonderful dreams in realistic expectations.

    Is My Loss Traumatic? — Dr. Frank Campbell
    Traumatic grief has characteristics different from the more traditional grief associated with death. Dr. Campbell will describe elements that stand out when experiencing traumatic grief that compromise the activities of daily living and impact sleep, physical health and overall well-being. When assumed to be characteristics of "normal" grief, many find processing their loss overwhelming, resulting in a more difficult grief journey. Participants attending are encouraged to ask questions or share personal experiences they are coping with to gain insights and practical solutions that have helped others manage more effectively.

    Creating Meaning from Loss — Audri Beugelsdijk
    This interactive workshop is for people whose loved one died a year ago or longer. Ideas about the role of meaning making in the grief process are presented, such as Bob Neimeyer’s assertion that loss “requires us to reconstruct a world that again ‘makes sense,’ that restores a semblance of meaning, direction, and interpretability to a life that is forever transformed.” Participants engage in a writing exercises to reflect on changes they have experienced since the time of their loss, then support each other in sharing their personal observations about how meaning making has played a role in their grief journey.

  • 11:45 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Central — Lunch and Sharing Groups

  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Central — Workshops and Sessions*

    *For those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded.

    The Ideal vs. the Possible: Expectation and Grief — Renee Monczynski 
    In grief, our expectations of others and ourselves change. In this interactive workshop, we will acknowledge the  expectations of ourselves and others before their person died, and how they have changed after the death. We will  build new skills that allow for healthy expectations of ourselves and of others during our grief journey. Participants  will learn skills to reduce self-criticism and shame associated with grief. Participants will gain practices in  elevating their own self confidence and self-worth.

    New to Grief: Sharing Your Story — Dr. Frank Campbell
    For many who are at the start of their grief journey finding their voice and discussing their loss is a major hurdle.  This workshop is designed to answer questions presented by those in attendance. This time is set aside to offer a  safe place to discuss the challenges you may be struggling with in the way you  are grieving. Anyone who is new  to the grief process may also be dealing with suggestions others are giving about how to grieve. We can  discuss specifics and give support to each other in this workshop for the newly bereaved.

    Extraordinary Experiences — Dr. Ken Doka
    Hearing a whisper, seeing a sign, witnessing an eerie coincidence, these extraordinary experiences after a loss can be difficult to talk about and understand. Join as Dr. Doka, author of When We Die: Extraordinary Experiences at Life's End explores case studies and fascinating research on these unusual phenomena to help you come to your own understanding of what these experiences mean in your grief journey.

  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Central - Workshops and Sessions*

    *For those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded.

    Grief, What Helps When It Hurts — Dr. Ken Doka
    This session explores the ways that grief affects us – including physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Grieving a significant loss, whether by a death or separation, affects not only the way that we feel but also the ways that we think and behave. While each of us is different, there are things that we can do to help those around us and even ourselves as we cope with loss, an inevitable though painful part of both love and life. There are signs that we should be aware of, as well, that we or those we care about may need the help of counselors, clergy, or support groups as we cope with especially complicated losses.

    Grief Can Do THAT? — Dr. Frank Campbell
    This workshop is designed to describe many of the confusing ways grief will impact individuals and families. Our time together will also include opportunities to ask questions or present concerns from those attending. Descriptions of how Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are impacted and how vital self-care is for management of traumatic grief.

    Reflections on Caring for Yourself and Others During the Holidays — Andy McNiel
    Adorned with lights, bright colors, and stories of good cheer, the holidays can stand in stark contrast to the sorrow experienced by families grieving the death of a close family member or friend. For this reason, many bereaved individuals anticipate the holidays with apprehension. Join us for a session of encouragement and support as we explore ideas for coping with the holidays and how hope and meaning might be found, even in the midst of grief and loss. We will look at strategies for coping with the challenges of grieving during the holiday season, including how to make the holidays meaningful for people of all ages.

  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central - Family Dinner

Sunday, November 15
  • 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Central — Breakfast

  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central — Good Grief Camp

  • 8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Central — Workshops and Sessions*

    *For those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded.

    Grace in Grief - Communicating Our Needs — Renee Monczynski
    Learn to incorporate grace as we grasp the new language of grief and how to better explain our own needs to ourselves, family and friends.

    Metaphors for Healing — Dr. Frank Campbell
    This workshop will focus on the benefits of developing accurate metaphors to describe your feelings of loss. This approach to communication when grieving has proven helpful for getting support that is helpful from those who want to be able to provide support and have not had a loss comparable to your loss. This approach allows a different response to "how are you?" than the assumed "I am fine" phrase many see as an expectation by society.

    Spirituality Unplugged — Dr. Ken Doka
    This session teaches participants to effectively utilize their spiritual strengths in coping with illness, loss and grief. The session offers a hands-on approach to techniques such as spiritual autobiography, planning and developing rituals, and assisting clients to utilize other spiritual practices.

  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Central - Workshops and Sessions*

    *For those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded.

    God Winks — Bonnie Carroll
    Learn to incorporate grace as we grasp the new language of grief and how to better explain our own needs to ourselves, family and friends.

    Connecting and Communicating with Your Grieving Child or Teenager — Andy McNiel
    Knowing how to connect and communicate with your children or teenagers about their grief can be challenging, particularly when everyone in the family is grieving in their own way. This session will provide ideas for engaging with your children or teenagers even in the midst of grief. We will offer the opportunity to share ideas with one another and offer some practical ideas for meaningful connections to strengthen family bonds.

    How Gratitude Shifts — Renee Monczynski
    Every day since the loss of our loved one might not be good, but there is good in every day. We will explore the science of gratitude and the benefits of this practice. Attendees will learn to walk in gratitude as a daily practice.

  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Central — Closing Session and Lunch



There are no registration fees for our regional seminars. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, TAPS provides lodging, all meals, materials, activities and T-shirts at no cost to you.



Lodging is provided at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis At The Arch for those traveling more than 30 minutes to the event. Please request your lodging in your registration form and specify how many nights you’ll be staying. TAPS covers the cost of the lodging for Friday and Saturday nights and will book your hotel room for you.

You'll need to cover the cost of your transportation to and from the seminar. 

If you have questions about lodging, please email lodging@taps.org or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).



Seminar and Camp Registration is open from November 6, 2019 to November 14, 2020 (look for the blue button at the top of the page at that time). You'll receive a confirmation email once you have submitted your registration. Please email support@taps.org if you do not receive a confirmation email after registering.