The Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) has been offering retreats for the surviving family members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since 1995.
The first retreat for surviving children was so well-received that C.O.P.S. expanded the hands-on programs to include opportunities for surviving spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, in-laws, fiancés, significant others, and co-workers.
During the retreats, survivors work with counselors trained to focus on the issues unique to law enforcement death, and benefit from the strong peer support available from other survivors who can truly say, "I understand what you're going through."
It's so critical to the healing process to talk to those who are further along their journey of grief. Being able to see that other survivors can laugh and find joy in their lives again is a big part of what these retreats are about. It provides hope to those just beginning to deal with their loss that laughter and joy can be part of their lives again.
For information and registration forms for the 2011 C.O.P.S. Hands-On Programs, visit the C.O.P.S. Web site or call the C.O.P.S. office at (573) 346-4911.
Here's a schedule of upcoming retreats:
June 24-27, Adult Children's Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.
July 24-31, Teens Outward Bound, Grand Junction, Colo.
July 25-31, Kids Summer Camp, Salvation Army Lake Camp, East Troy, Wisc.
Aug. 26-29, Fiancés/Significant Others Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.
Sept. 9-12, Siblings Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.
Sept. 23-26, Surviving Spouses Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.
Oct. 14-17, In-Laws Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.
Oct. 28-31, Parents Retreat, C.A. Vines 4-H Center, Little Rock, Ark.
Nov. 4-7, Affected Co-Workers Retreat, YMCA Trout Lodge, Potosi, Mo.