Webinar: A Conversation on Loss & Resilience in a Life of Adventure

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar July 1, 2020, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM Eastern
Course Available

Join the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Expedition team members and survivors Rachel Hunsell and Gabriel Rao and two world-class explorers, Vern Tejas and Will Gadd, as we navigate conversations around life, loss, and resilience in a life of adventure. We will dive into personal stories and adventures to recount the experiences and discuss tangible lessons learned. This chat webinar will offer glimpses into lifestyles often limited to the imagination and build bridges of empathy to the similar experiences we all navigate in life, loss, and resilience.

This webinar is presented by the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®.



Vern Tejas
Vern TejasVern is known for Denali’s first solo winter ascent, the first solo of Mt. Vinson (Antarctica’s highest), first winter ascent of Mt. Logan (Canada’s highest) and as lead guide for Colonel Norman Vaughan’s first ascent of Mt. Vaughan in remote Antarctica. In 2000, Vern was named one of Alaska’s top 50 Athletes of the Century by Sports Illustrated and in 2012 was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to his fame in the extreme environments of Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica, Vernon’s success in guiding people to the summit is simply remarkable. Along with guiding numerous high altitude expeditions, Vern is a ten time summiteer of Everest and an avid adventure racer finishing 10th in 1999 and 13th in 2001 in the Eco-Challenge Race. Vern’s guided ascents are an extremely unique blend of his dynamic spirit, climbing expertise and guiding savvy, known throughout the guiding community. With a guitar in hand and a smile on his face, Vernon treats everyone to the remarkable experience of life.
Will Gadd
Will Gadd
All-round action hero Will Gadd is a living legend in the truest sense. Year after year, he continually pushes the boundaries of ice climbing and, even after having won every major title from the World Cup to the Winter X Games, still manages to impress. A veteran of the sport, Will continues to seek new adventures and seems to have a boundless energy. In 2010, he once again proved his pedigree by climbing a 130 foot ice wall solidly for 24 hours at the Ouray Ice Festival in Colorado, reaching a total height of 25,414 foot. Eager to rise to a fresh challenge, Will also broke the world distance record on a paraglider not once, but three times. He was also the first person to cross the U.S. by paraglider after a gruelling seven-week trek. His hunger for adventure doesn’t stop there however – he can turn his hand to almost every outdoor sport such as rock and ice climbing, kayaking, mountaineering, caving, Nordic and Alpine skiing and mountain biking. 


Gabriel Rao
Gabriel RaoGabe is the Manager of the TAPS Men's Program and leads a variety of programming including workshops during Survivor Seminars, Men's Programs, Expeditions, and Special Events. Gabriel creates an environment that is safe and encouraging for all TAPS Survivors no matter where they are in their journey of grief. As a survivor who honors the life and death of his brother Elijah J.M. Rao and of his wife's late husband, Jack Martin III. Gabriel understands intimately well the challenges and gifts of life after loss.
Rachel Hunsell
Rachel Hunsell
As the Programs Manager for Outdoor Engagement, Rachel Hunsell develops, implements and supports programming in the outdoors across the TAPS network, including our backcountry Expeditions. Rachel connects survivors with the healing power of the outdoors and encourages participants to reconnect with their inner strength by creating emotionally safe and understanding environments. As a survivor honoring the life and death of her brother, Marine Lance Cpl. J. Kyle Price, she understands the valleys and mountaintops we experience along the journey after loss.

Program Details

This webinar is free and open to the public. Continuing education is not available.


About the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®

The TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® is positioned to be the national and worldwide leader in training and education for bereavement professionals, bereaved individuals, and grieving military, veteran and civilian families. The Institute serves as a resource and training center, providing a hub for high-quality collaboration among professionals working in the field of grief and loss.

The Institute is where practical information on coping with loss are accessible for all who seek current strategies, the most effective tools, and best practices for supporting those who are grieving and those who serve the grieving. 

The Institute provides workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and more to educate caregivers, mental health professionals, clergy, funeral directors, casualty officers, the bereaved themselves, and so many others on the best ways to travel the grief journey.

TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing® is located at TAPS Headquarters, 3033 Wilson Blvd., Third Floor, Arlington, VA 22201

Email us at Institute@taps.org or give us a call at 800-959-8277 (TAPS) with any questions.