Western Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar November 18 - 20, 2022
Los Angeles, California
Registration Close Date: November 19, 2022
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Health Guidelines for the Seminar: In accordance with the most current information available, TAPS will continue to monitor COVID variants and we may adjust protocols to ensure safe and healthy gatherings. We will require negative, onsite testing at no cost to attendees.

Service Animals / Pets: If you plan to bring a pet or service animal, we do not allow them in our meal rooms or function space. If you have any questions please contact seminarregistrations@taps.org.


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.


TAPS Military Mentor and Good Grief Camp Youth

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 five-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 Western 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 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, you can sign-up as part of the seminar registration.

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.



Monday, November 14
  • 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 our Western 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 18
  • 12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Peer Mentor Training

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

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

  • 5:45 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. - 8:30 p.m.

    Dessert Sharing Group Sessions for
    Illness Loss
    Suicide Loss
    Combat Loss
    Homicide Loss
    (tables will have signage indicating type of loss)

  • 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Legacy & Military Mentor Orientation

  • 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Young Adult Opening Session

Saturday, November 19
  • 7:00 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 9:45 a.m. - Opening Session with Bonnie Carroll and Dr. Frank Campbell

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

    Finding Hope after Loss – Dr. William Hoy
    When loss invades our lives, it seems that all of life is over and often that there is nothing left to live for. Much like the amazing vistas that only become clear after a storm has passed, grief can become a transformative force for good in our lives. We would never welcome the loss that brought grief about, but rolling back time and preventing the events leading to this point is not a choice we get. The choice we do get, however, is to find hope in the midst of loss. Join us as we discover practical tools for doing just that. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    Difficult Conversations: Who, What, How Much, What do I Say?Lisa Zucker
    Have I said too much? In this workshop, we will explore conversations about loss, from sharing about the way our loved one died to knowing when it feels right to hold back. The goal is to learn more about setting your own boundaries so you can share in a way that is most comfortable to you. In addition to direct conversations with people, we will also discuss having conversations about loss on social media and in other large group settings. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    Parenting While GrievingBecky Lomaka
    As parents, our desire to ensure our children are “okay” after the death of someone they love. In this workshop we will focus on dealing with your own grief while balancing your needs and the needs of your children. We will explore how grief can present itself differently for each family member and offer positive coping strategies for you and for your children. We will discuss ways to make your loved one who has died a part of your family life even though they are no longer physically here with you. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

  • 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

    Lunch and Peer Group Sessions for
    Parents and Grandparents
    Spouses and Significant Others
    Siblings and Adult Children
    Battle Buddies, Friends and Extended Family
    (tables will have signage indicating type of relationship)

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

    Handling the Holidays – Dr. William Hoy
    Handling the Holidays presents seven proven principles for growing through grief during the holidays, rather than just surviving the holidays during the first year or two of grief. Few periods in early bereavement are as difficult as the holidays starting with Thanksgiving and culminating with New Years. This workshop will help family members gain hope and direction for this period and will include practical ideas on such things as dealing with the expectations of others, staying home or going away, and keeping things like they always were (or not). **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    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.

    Leaning Into Our Grief – Becky Lomaka
    "When am I going to get over this?" is a question many people ask early in their grief process. In this workshop we will look at the many facets of grief and provide practical strategies for coping. We will unravel the many myths about grief and the "shoulds" associated with them. We will explore how it is possible to move forward in our grief and even find joy again. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

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

    Grief and the Preservation of SelfLisa Zucker
    Self preservation is an instinct to keep ourselves from harm, or to survive. In grief, there are times where life only feels like survival. But the preservation of the self extends further as we navigate grief and understand the new world in which we find ourselves. During this workshop we will explore survival and self preservation as well as talk about what self care, mindfulness, and post-traumatic growth are and how you can practically apply them in your life. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    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.

    Managing Difficult Emotions - Andy McNiel
    It is common for many of us to struggle with many difficult emotions after a person in our life dies, including, but not limited to anger, guilt, and regret. We may feel a sense of responsibility for the circumstances leading up to a person's death. We might regret missed opportunities as we think back on our relationship with our person. We may have intense anger associated with aspects of their death or issues related to our relationship with them. Whatever it is that might influence these feelings, difficult emotions can be challenging to navigate. This interactive session will take a closer look at some of these emotions and offer ideas for managing the impact they have on our lives after loss.

  • 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Family Dinner

  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Young Adult & Legacy Mentor Care Group

Sunday, November 20
  • 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast
    There will be tables reserved for a Men's Only breakfast social.

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

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

    Spirituality and Faith After a Loss – Dr. William Hoy
    One "sticking point" for a lot of people in grief focuses on matters of spirituality and faith. You might feel "let down" by God who did not answer your prayers in the ways you expected. Perhaps you are simply lost in your pilgrimage about faith, death, and the afterlife. Likely, you are grappling with the twin questions: "How do I make sense of this loss and who am I now that he/she has died?" This workshop is not about what to believe after a loss but rather how to work through to find your own sense of meaning and renewed purpose in your life after loss. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    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 grief.

    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.

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

    Creating Meaning From LossAudri Beugelsdijk
    This interactive workshop is for survivors exploring how they have (or want to) create meaning since their loss. 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 guided discussions to reflect on changes they have experienced, share personal observations about how meaning-making has played a role in their grief journey, and whether or not meaning is found or created. **This session will be live streamed via the Mobile App.**

    More Than the Way They Died – Lisa Zucker
    Their legacy is in their stories - that's how we keep them here with us. Through memories and moments, we get to know who your loved one really was, because their life is not defined solely by how they died. We invite you to bring a story, picture, or anecdote about your loved one that you would like to share. Please keep in mind that while we have a constraint on time during the workshop and would like to hold space for all who wish to speak to do so, we hope this inspires stories to be shared throughout the remainder of the day.

    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.

  • 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



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 The Westin Long Beach 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 November 19, 2022 (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.