Midwest Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar September 24 - 26, 2021
Columbus, Ohio
Registration Close Date: September 25, 2021
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TAPS is closely monitoring COVID-19 cases and conditions in areas where our events are scheduled to take place. We will follow CDC and local guidance in our decision-making to ensure our events are conducted safely. The health and safety of our TAPS families -- survivors, staff, volunteers, and participants -- are our primary concern. We will keep all participants informed of any changes to our programs due to COVID-19 or other circumstances.


Military Survivor at a TAPS Seminar

For Adults: TAPS Seminars

TAPS Seminars are created with your needs in mind. Our comprehensive model of care brings together adult survivors of all ages 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 sessions and programming follow a dynamic curriculum based on the needs of mourning set forth in academia.


Military mentors and TAPS children

For Youth: TAPS Good Grief Camp

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 and develop coping skills they can use once they leave Good Grief Camp.


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 invites those active duty military, veterans, and military survivors who have graduated from Good Grief Camp (Legacy mentors) to register as a volunteer mentor for the Good Grief Camp. Visit the Legacy or Military Mentor Volunteer at the Midwest Regional Military Good Grief Camp page for details.


Military Survivor at a TAPS Peer Mentor Training

Become a Peer Mentor

During the seminar, TAPS will be conducting a Peer Mentor training session on Sunday morning for adult military survivors who are at least 18 months beyond their own loss and are ready to be there for other adult survivors to offer support.  As a Peer Mentor, you will have a wide variety of opportunities to choose from to support your peers through activities such as seminars, retreats, TAPS Togethers, hosting a Care Group, supporting the Online Community, and providing one-to-one mentoring. You will learn more about grief and trauma, learn to identify risks and warning signs for suicide, gain basic helping skills, and become part of our nationwide TAPS Peer Mentor Team.

If you're interested in attending the in-person Peer Mentor training at the seminar on Sunday morning, you can sign-up as part of the seminar registration.

There are also many opportunities to attend a training virtually from home. See our peer mentor virtual training calendar for dates and times.

For more information, email peermentors@taps.org.


Getting Connected to the Seminar

The TAPS Events app puts the program right in the palm of your hand. Leading up to the seminar weekend, you can connect with fellow survivors and TAPS staff, review the scheduled program, read about featured speakers, and access additional content that will support you wherever you are in your grief journey.

For those attending virtually, you will access the Zoom sessions by logging into the TAPS Events app on either your desktop computer or mobile device.



Times listed below are in the Eastern time zone.

Monday, September 20, 2021
  • 7:00 p.m. — Pre-event What to Expect, Your Seminar Questions Answered
    Attending in person? Please join us for a pre-event Zoom meeting to talk about what to expect at a regional seminar. We will also review safety and health standards that will be in place for ourn Midwest 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.

  • 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Family and Mentor Check-In

  • 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Hotel Check-In Assistance

  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. - Family Dinner

  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Good Grief Camp Zone (Ages 5-18)

  • 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - First Time Attendee and Peer Mentor Gatherings

  • 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

    Dessert Sharing Sessions for the following groups: Accident Loss Survivors, Combat Loss Survivors, Homicide Loss Survivors, Illness Loss Survivors, and Suicide Loss Survivors

    Share groups offer an opportunity to share your own story, experiences, and feelings while listening to others who have a similar story and relationship with their service member. They're structured by relationship, circumstance, or sometimes both. TAPS offers a wide range of groups with something for every survivor.

    Please review: Share Group Guidelines for Participants

  • 9:15 p.m. - Winding Down with Emily via Zoom


  • 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. - Chair Yoga with Emily

  • 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. - Family Breakfast

  • 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. - Family Check-In

  • 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. - Good Grief Camp

  • 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - Opening Session with Bonnie Carroll and Dr. Frank Campbell

  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Workshops and Sessions

    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 ach can result 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 may help others cope more effectively. This session will not be live streamed.

    Meeting Your Needs while Grieving  – Dr. Mark Hensley
    An important part of the grief journey includes understanding what we actually know about bereavement and breaking down the many unhelpful myths surrounding it. This workshop will also help attendees understand how different types of loss can affect grief and the importance of friends, family, peer, and community support. This session will be offered virtually*.

    Who Am I Now?Erin Jacobson
    Oftentimes a secondary loss after the death of a loved one is the loss of ourselves and the identity we have formerly known. Using tools for self-discovery and opportunities for self-disclosure, we will examine how to reclaim our identities. This workshop will provide a space for both reflection and expression. This session will be offered virtually*.

  • 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

    Lunch and Sharing Sessions for the following groups: Surviving Spouses, Fiances and Significant Others; Surviving Parents and Grandparents; Surviving Siblings and Adult Children; and Surviving Friends, Battle Buddies and Extended Family

    Share groups offer an opportunity to share your own story, experiences, and feelings while listening to others who have a similar story and relationship with their service member. They're structured by relationship, circumstance, or sometimes both. TAPS offers a wide range of groups with something for every survivor.

    Please review: Share Group Guidelines for Participants

  • 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Workshops and Sessions

    Grieving While We Work, Working While We Grieve – Dr. Mark Hensley
    Returning to work can be a stressful experience or a helpful experience for those grieving the death of a loved one. In this session, we’ll discuss strategies around re-entering or entering the workplace for the first time after loss while protecting your need and right to grieve. This session will be offered virtually*.

    Your Window of Tolerance: Understanding and Managing Emotions - Emily Muñoz
    Ever wonder why one moment you feel like a raw nerve, only to be numb and detached a short while later? Grief and stress are emotionally and physically exhausting. We'll use the twin lenses of biology and compassion to discuss the ways grief and trauma can challenge (and overload) the body's ability to manage its own stress response. We'll use a concept called the "window of tolerance" to guide our own looks into the ways we can make even the hardest days more manageable. This session will be offered virtually*.

    Honoring the Challenges & Milestones of Your Grief Journey  - Andy McNiel
    Grief can be a long hard road to walk. It is a journey with many ebbs and flows where challenges are met along the way and milestones achieved. Each of us has a unique story of what that journey has been for us, how we have been changed, and who we are now because of our grief. This session will explore the many challenges and milestones we experience in our grief. We will discuss some of the ways we have grown through grief and pain and consider milestones that mark the path we have walked. Sometimes it is helpful to look back on where we have been, what we have learned, how we have grown, and how this offers insight and hope for our future and where life will take us from here. This session will be offered virtually*.

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

    How to Grieve Like a Man (Men Only)  – Dr. Frank Campbell
    In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the ways men may reveal their grief and share our experiences. Our goal will be understanding and insight, not changing the way others grieve. This is an ideal workshop for men in attendance who may be dating a survivor, as well as for men who are actively grieving the loss of a loved one. This session will not be live streamed.

    Managing Guilt While Grieving: The Art of Active Listening Dr. Mark Hensley
    Survivor guilt is often part of grief. In this session, discover why we might feel guilty and whether that guilt is justified. (Hint: It’s probably not.) Learn ideas to overcome feelings of guilt that can get in the way of effective grieving. This session will be offered virtually*.

    Gods & Monsters: What Mythology Can Teach Us about Loss, Love & Hope - Erin Jacobson
    Throughout time humans have used myths and legends as a way to make sense out of the unfathomable. When an experience or idea is too much to understand through concept alone, we use story to explore and process meaning. In this interactive workshop, we will revisit myths and archetypes, both new and old to help us understand our own experiences with grief, loss and healing. We will also take time to reflect on the ways we are currently telling our own stories to ourselves and others, and how we are casting the heroes, villains, victims and monsters. This session will be offered virtually*.

  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Family Dinner

  • 8:30 p.m. - Winding Down with Emily via Zoom


  • 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Sunrise Strides Morning Walk

  • 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast

  • 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - Peer Mentor Training

  • 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Good Grief Camp

  • 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. - Workshops and Sessions

    Metaphors for HealingDr. 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. This session will not be live streamed.

    Spirituality and Grief: A Conversation about Faith and Belief after Loss Andy McNeil
    Faith, belief, and spirituality play a vital role in the lives of many of us after someone in our life dies. Many of us find strength through our faith as we journey through grief. While others of us may find faith to be difficult in the aftermath of loss. Spirituality can have complicated ebbs and flows as we navigate the many challenges that grief brings to our lives. Join us for this interactive session on spirituality and grief. We will discuss how our faith has brought us strength, how our faith may have been challenged by loss, and ways our grief may have impacted deeply held beliefs. This session will not be live streamed.

    In the Shadow of Loss: Real Talk about Changes and Challenges – Emily Muñoz
    Our loved ones died - as if that weren't bad enough - but why might so many other parts of our lives have changed, too? Grief can shake the firmest foundations, shed new light on other relationships, and prompt or necessitate other big life changes. We grieve our loved ones; we also grieve the lives we've lost. This session is for anyone staring down shifts and transitions, anyone trying to get through unexpected or overdue ends, and for all of us who need strength and support as we lean (grumpily and hopefully) into what's next. This session will be offered virtually*.

  • 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - Workshops and Sessions

    God Winks  – Bonnie Carroll
    Some people call them “God Winks,” some call them signs, messages or after-death communication. No matter what we call them, signs from our loved ones can be very present in our lives. Stories and experiences of the presence of our loved ones will be discussed in this open-minded and intimate sharing session. This session will not be live streamed.

    Chair Yoga – Emily Muñoz
    If you have a body, this session is for you. All sizes, ages, shapes, and designs are invited to participate in meditative chair-based movement (and/or quiet sitting). In this session, you'll be able to finally release the breath you've been holding and to fill your heart and lungs with something new. Each of us will have physical and emotional space and support as we use music, gentle movement, and peaceful stillness to nurture and comfort our bodies and our spirits. This session will not be live streamed.

    Does Joy Really Come in the Mourning? - Erin Jacobson
    Joy. What comes up when you hear that word? Do you feel hopeful? Resentful? Defeated? Grounded? Something in between? Oftentimes as we move through different points of loss and rebuilding the concept of happiness or joy can be a complicated one. In this exploratory workshop, we will open up ways to look at reconciling living lives of vitality and joy within the lens of the tremendous losses we have sustained. This session will be offered virtually*.

  • 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Closing Session with Bonnie Carroll and Dr. Frank Campbell

  • 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Family Lunch

*All sessions offered virtually will be live in Eastern Time Zone and will not be recorded. 



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 Hilton Columbus Downtown 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).



In-Person and Virtual Registrations are open until September 25, 2021 (look for the blue button at the top of the page). You'll receive a confirmation email once you have submitted your registration. Please email seminarregistrations@taps.org if you do not receive a confirmation email after registering.



To support this event as a volunteer or discover other ways to help, please visit the Volunteer with TAPS page.