Southern Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar February 26 - 28, 2021
Dallas, Texas
Registration Close Date: February 27, 2021
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This event is open to all military survivor adults and youth. If you are unable to attend in-person, we encourage you to join us virtually for our live sessions. Please double check that you select the correct button above (in-person or virtual) when you register for the event. 

COVID-19 Information - For those attending in-person we will adhere to the CDC and WHO standard event safety protocols. These include but are not limited to, face masks to be worn at all times and social distancing guidelines in place. We look forward to being together again and encourage anyone who is unable to adhere to the in-person safety protocols please register for our virtual seminar sessions. The sessions will be live and we look forward to making them interactive with our speakers!    


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, 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


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 Southern 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


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 Central time zone.

Monday, February 22, 2021
  • 7:00 p.m. — 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, February 26, 2021
  • 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Family seminar check-in and registration

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

  • 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - Childcare

  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Good Grief Camp and TAPS Teens

  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    Dessert Sharing Sessions for the following groups: Young Adults; Suicide or Homicide Loss Survivors; Illness Loss Survivors; Combat Loss Survivors; and Accident 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

Saturday, February 27
  • 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast

  • 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. - Eco-Therapy Walk with Dr. Christine Norton

  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - Good Grief Camp and TAPS Teens

  • 9:15 a.m. - Opening Session with Bonnie Carroll and Dr. Frank Campbell

  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. - Workshops and Sessions*

    REAL: Resetting Expectations After Loss  – Renee Monczynski
    In grief, many things change including what we thought we could expect of others and ourselves. In this interactive session, we will learn how to reset expectations after loss. We will build new skills that allow for healthy expectations of ourselves and of others during our grief journey.

    Yes, Men's Grief is Different  – Dr. Frank Campbell
    This workshop is intended to be interactive with the participants while describing some of the more traditional ways that men reveal their unique grief. It is a workshop for sharing and caring for those who grieve differently with insight as our goal rather than changing the way others grieve. Discussion and understanding will be a focus and encouraged by those attending.

    Understanding How Personalities Impact the Ways We Grieve  – Barbara Petsel
    All of us have different personalities, but usually one of the 4 "colors" of our spectrum is more dominant than the others. Learn how different personality spectrums effect how we grieve, as well as why others might grieve differently.

  • 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

    Lunch and Sharing Sessions for the following groups: Surviving Siblings and Adult Children; Surviving Parents and Grandparents; Surviving Spouses, Fiances and Significant Others; 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 2:55 p.m. - Workshops and Sessions*

    Understanding and Communicating Our Needs while Grieving  – 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.

    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.

    Strategies for Dealing with Grief and Special Days During a Pandemic  – Barbara Petsel
    Strategies and ideas for lessening the stress of special days, remembering the person who died, and creating rituals for bonding with memories, as well as making new memories (anniversary of death, birthday of loved one, holidays, etc.).

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

    Healing Trauma Finding Hope in the Outdoors - Dr. Christine Norton
    In this session, Dr. Christine Norton will discuss the healing power of being in nature and the role that ecological metaphors can play in helping cope with loss. She will present important scientific research and theory and will also guide participants in some mindfulness-based activities related to nature-connectedness.

    What to Say: Sharing Your Story  - Dr. Frank Campbell
    For many who are on a grief journey, finding their voice and discussing their loss is a major hurdle. This workshop is designed for you to ask questions. This time is set aside to offer a safe place to discuss the challenges in the way you are grieving and the struggles that arise such as when others suggest how you should grieve. We can discuss specifics and give support to each other as we learn how to find our voice.

    Managing Guilt and Regret after Loss - Andy McNiel
    It is common for many of us to struggle with feelings of guilt and regret after a person in our life dies. We may feel a sense of responsibility for circumstances leading up to a person’s death. We might regret missed opportunities as we think back on our relationship with our person. Whatever it is that might influence these feelings, both guilt and regret can be difficult emotions to navigate. This interactive session will take a closer look at guilt and regret and offer ideas for managing the impact they have on our lives after loss.

  • 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Family Dinner

Sunday, February 28
  • 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast

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

  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Good Grief Camp and TAPS Teens

  • 8:45 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. - Workshops and Sessions*

    A Curious Journey to Writing Our Story  – Rachel Hunsell
    In this experiential workshop, we will embark on a journey of self-discovery, getting curious about the stories we tell ourselves and others. Do you ever wonder if you could explore a new narrative? Shape the way you want to see your life? During our time together, we will begin to move and mold our stories, inviting our grief to do the same.

    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.

    Spirituality and Grief: A Conversation about Faith and Belief after LossAndy McNiel
    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.

  • 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.

    Connecting and Communicating with Your Grieving Child or TeenagerAndy 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.

*Except for God Winks (in-person only), all workshops and sessions are for those attending in person and virtually. These are live sessions and will not be recorded. 



Lodging is provided at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center 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 or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).



In-Person and Virtual Registrations are open until February 27, 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 if you do not receive a confirmation email after registering.