Northeast Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

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Buffalo, New York
Registration Close Date: August 26, 2023
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Military Survivors 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 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.


Childcare is provided for children under the age of five-years old, five-years old but not yet attending kindergarten, and children 10-years and younger who are not eligible for Good Grief Camp. These children will be cared for and loved throughout the seminar by trained professional, licensed and insured caregivers. A designated suite will be available and set up with age-appropriate toys, games, and arts and crafts. Children 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 Northeast Regional Military Good Grief Camp page for details.


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


Getting Connected to the Seminar

The TAPS app allows you to stay organized at seminars and find pertinent workshop information with the click of a button. You will be able to receive real-time notifications from TAPS and save any sessions that you want to attend to your own calendar. While the app is Seminar-focused, most TAPS services are available through the TAPS app, as well.

Download and install the TAPS App

Download and install the TAPS App on your device using the button links or QR code below. If you have any questions or need further assistance, contact

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Monday, August 21

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 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.

Friday, August 25
  • 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. - Peer Mentor Training

  • 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Family Registrationn

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

  • 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Good Grief Camp Zone (Grades K - 12)

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

  • 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

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

  • 8:30 p.m.

    Young Adult and Legacy Mentor Gathering

Saturday, August 26
  • 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast
    There will be areas reserved for a Men's Only and Young Adults socials.

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

  • 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

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

    Difficult Conversations About Your Loss - 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 conversations about loss on social media and other large group settings.

    Helping Grieving Children and Teens - Dr. Pamela Gabbay
    Teenagers struggle with many emotions after the death of someone in their lives. Parents and caregivers want to do everything they can to help, but are not always sure about the best ways to support their teens. This presentation will cover practical ways that you can support your teen after the death of someone close. Topics that will be included in this workshop are: how to discuss grief and loss with teenagers, common grief reactions, coping with grief and loss, and helpful ways to engage grieving teens.

    Managing Difficult Emotions After Loss – 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.

  • 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

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

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

    Grief and the Preservation of Self – Lisa 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.

    Creating Meaning from Loss - Audri Beugelsdijk
    Dr. Bob Neimeyer says 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.” We will discuss what it means to flourish in spite of and through our grief. Participants will have opportunities to share personal observations about how meaning making has played a role in their grief journey. 

    When Things Get Real; Shifting Dynamics After a Loss  - Dr. Heidi Horsley
    Following the death of a loved one, survivors are often surprised by the fact that family dynamics change dramatically. We will explore what happens when the casseroles stop coming and the neighbors go home and how we can come together and find common ground in the face of struggle.

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

    Grieving Like a Man (Men Only) – Jon Ganues
    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.

    Parenting While Grieving - Dr. Pamela Gabbay
    As a parent, how do you navigate the challenges of parenting your grieving children while also taking care of yourself and your own grief? How do you make time for and fully acknowledge your loss while also helping your children cope with theirs? Often, parents put their needs on hold. While caring for your children is your primary role and concern, it is also important to think about yourself and what you need for support. In this interactive workshop, we'll discuss coping and caring for yourself while also caring for your children and other family members. Plenty of time will be given for discussion and questions.

    Ten Things You Can Do to Decrease Anxiety After a Loss – Dr. Heidi Horsley
    Are you feeling anxious after a loss? The journey of grief after experiencing a death is both personal and profound. It is common to experience intense emotions, including anxiety, as you navigate the process of mourning. In this workshop you will learn 10 practical tools and self-care techniques that will help decrease anxiety while on the path to healing and eventually finding hope again.

  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - Family Dinner

  • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Young Adults and Legacy Mentors Care Group (Ages 18 to 30)
    Please join us as we gather and have a time of sharing and support. This facilitated care group provides an opportunity to share about your grief in a safe space with others going through similar situations.

Sunday, August 27
  • 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Family Breakfast
    There will be areas reserved for a Men's Only 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

    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.

    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

    Understanding Sibling Loss  – Dr. Heidi Horsley
    In this interactive workshop, Heidi will discuss what helped her, after the death of her 17 yr. old brother, and what has helped the hundreds of bereaved siblings she has interviewed and worked with. Losing her brother was the worst thing that ever happened to her; it turned her world upside down. Often siblings wonder how they will survive after a sibling loss. They question who they are without their sibling, and worry about their parents. Heidi will also address the unique aspects and challenges of sibling death, and get feedback from participants about issues they are struggling with, and how they have found hope without their brother or sister.

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

    God Winks (repeat session)  – 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.

    Family Projects and Activities to Help Cope with Grief – Dr. Pamela Gabbay
    Doing activities together can be very beneficial when families are grieving. Within a family, members often cope with and process grief differently. Spending time with your children on their terms and doing activities that are important to them can open the door for deeper conversations and meaningful discussions. Creating hands-on projects together is a helpful way to bring family members together in their grief and during times of sadness and stress. Having fun, creating art projects, and sharing stories are all important ways to spend time together. Examples of activities will be shown and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussions.

    Spirituality and Grief: A Conversation About Faith and Belief After Los Andy 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.

  • 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Closing Session with Bonnie Carroll

  • 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 Hyatt Regency 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).



Registration to attend in-person (there is no virtual option) is open until August 26, 2023 (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.


Health Guideline and Animals

Health Guidelines for the Seminar: TAPS will make every effort to ensure safe and healthy gatherings. We will continue to monitor COVID variants and may require testing onsite and/or other protocols based on local regulations and CDC guidance. At this time, we do not require proof of full vaccination and masks are optional. Should we have to make any changes you will be notified right away.

Animals: We love animals, but we do not allow them to attend many of our events, which are private events that are not open to the general public. We do this for the health and safety of our members. If you have any questions please contact