Week 1: Welcome to Camp, Celebrate Freedom

Good Grief and Family Camp at Home: Summer Program
July 6 - August 28, 2020

Week 1: Welcome to Camp, Celebrate Freedom

Good Grief and Family Camp at Home: Summer Program
July 6 - August 28, 2020


Week 1: Celebration of Freedom

This week we introduce you to our TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp at Home!  You will have a chance this week to experience the wonderful activities we perform at our campouts, to get connected with your family through challenges, and to engage with others by sharing your challenge experience on social media, and coming together for a live Zoom chat and activity with your TAPS family!

Also this week we are sharing in the Celebration of Freedom. Our activities, challenges, and Zoom session are all inspired by how we honor our nation’s independence and those who served to protect those freedoms!

Welcome to Camp Video | Share with UsCamp Activities | Activity Booklet | Family Challenge | Zoom Chat | Parents and Guardians


Welcome to Camp: Celebration of Freedom




Introduction to Summer Camp is by U.S. Air Force Captain Nathaniel Lee. Nathaniel is a surviving child who lost his father Captain Donald Lee in 1997. Nathaniel was a TAPS Good Grief Camper, A Legacy Mentor, a Group Leader, and now the 2020 recipient of the Senator Ted Stevens Leadership Award.

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Share your Adventure

Don’t forget, each time you participate in TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp you earn points for a TAPS prize!!  You can participate in one way or many!

What counts as participation?  You can participate by:  sharing a photo from your family challenge, sharing a picture of you playing in the activity booklet, sharing a picture of you performing the activity from the video or your completed project from the video, sharing a picture of a family meal you created that meets the week’s theme, and lastly, by joining us in the Zoom chats on Thursdays!

Submit your photos in any platform you are most comfortable sharing, whether it be our TAPS Instagram, our Facebook, or sending us an emailed copy for us at Youthprograms@taps.org to post for you! 


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Activity Videos

Grief Buddies (all ages)

Make your own Grief Buddies! Sometimes, grief can feel like a lonely experience. Grief Buddies are fluffy pom poms of comfort to fidget with and keep you company during the big waves of grief so that you don't feel alone.


Activity Presented by: Celeste Arriaga

Supplies Needed:
Yarn, scissors, glue, arts and crafts eyes

Grief Buddies (PDF)

Cool Down Bottles (ages 7 to 12)

Lauren’s calming bottles are a great science experiment and tool to use when we need to regulate our emotions, plus the more glitter glue you use, the more the bottle will look like a firework!


Activity Presented by: Lauren Pescatore

Supplies Needed:
Water bottle or clear and see through container with a lid, water, food coloring, super glue or glitter glue, funnel; optional, but include at least one: beads, glitter, sequence, beans, rice, anything really!

Cool Down Bottles (PDF)

Words that Define Me (ages 13 to 18)

Utilize blackout poetry to share our unique story of then and now. Borrow words from other authors to speak for those moments that we do not have words for yet. At the end of the session we will have a project that reflects where we have been and where we are now, so we can see where we are going next.


Activity Presented by: Renee Monczynski

Supplies Needed:
Print this workbook, an old book or magazine (if available), color pens or markers, tape or glue stick, cardstock or paper

Then and Now (PDF)

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Activity Booklet

We know this summer can get very busy with computer assignments or dance classes, or connecting with relatives who live far away.   So we created this booklet filled with fun activities that anyone can do and from anywhere.  Maybe outside under the shade of a tree, or in your room during a raining day.  We know you will have fun with this activity booklet, from the crossword puzzle to the additional recipes and challenges, it is something the whole family can enjoy!

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Family Challenge


Walk to Honor and Remember our Heroes!

For this week we want to acknowledge the way our nation celebrates our freedoms! Your family challenge, should you choose to accept, is a 3K walk, or a distance of your choosing within a mile.

While walking through your neighborhood, take a moment to honor your person with your family and make it a race to count all the American flags and patriotic decor you see displayed throughout your walk.

Fulfill this challenge by taking and submitting photos of your family during your walk. Wearing TAPS gear is highly encouraged!

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Parents and Guardians

Celebration of Freedom Family Dinner Night!

What a fun way to come together than over a meal we can all share in creating, and eating! Here are some fun dishes that are festive and creative ways we celebrate freedom, through food!

Recipe Ideas:


Table Topics:

  • Can anyone share the story of our Independence?
  • What is your favorite way to celebrate our freedom?
  • What can we do tonight to honor those who fought for our freedoms?

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Zoom Chat


Flags of Honor Craft

This week, our Zoom chat is a TAPS Families Connect chat. We will come together to share, to laugh, to be inspired, and to work on a family craft - Flags of Honor.

Supplies needed:

  • Plain paper, cardstock, or construction paper
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • String or ribbon to display flag (optional)

Optional supplies:

  • Felt square
  • Foam stickers
  • Regular stickers
  • Ribbons
  • Fabric paint
  • Fabric glue
  • Glitter glue

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