American Pilgrims on the Camino hosts an annual Gathering of Pilgrims. The Gathering is an opportunity to share experiences, to support one another and to learn more about the Camino and pilgrimage experience.
The 2018 Gathering of Pilgrims
Average maximum and minimum temperatures for Scottsdale for April 13th are 77°F and 54°F.
In March 2017, American Pilgrims on the Camino celebrated its 20th Annual Gathering of Pilgrims at the Calvin Center, a beautiful natural setting in Hampton, Georgia. The Gathering's theme was "Camino Community: Past, Present, and Future." We kicked off the festivities with an energetic and interactive Flamenco presentation by Caló Gitano where everybody was on their feet discovering their inner Andalusian!
On Friday and Saturday, we continued to learn about Spain, the Camino, and pilgrimage with diverse topics such as pilgrimage as peace-building, the evolution of hospitality on the Camino, integrating the labyrinth into the Camino life, processing your Camino upon returning home and Dum Pater, the music of the Camino. As always there were sessions devoted to the practical side of doing the Camino… Camino first aid, packing light and general Q&A. Chapter coordinators had plenty of opportunity to learn about American Pilgrims and interact with each other. Finally, returned hospitaleros were able to make a full circle with their experience of giving back to the Camino.
As always there was plenty of time for personal interactions with other peregrinos, past and future… Some took part in the morning walks… Others shared heartfelt Camino stories in the Camino 5 x 5…. Some enlightened us with their Camino knowledge in our first ever trivia night… Yet others entertained us with their musical and dancing abilities! Finally, twelve soon-to-depart peregrinos received a shell and blessing in the wonderful outdoor Shell Ceremony.
On Sunday, the Gathering concluded with three compelling speakers addressing spiritual matters involving kindness to oneself, what the body teaches us during pilgrimage and the idea of spiritual suffering.
The last 20 years has been an amazing journey for American Pilgrims and we look forward to the next 20 years.
There have been requests for transcripts and other material from the Gathering's fabulous speakers:
• Ian McIntosh: Pilgrimage as Peace-Building on the Global Stage
• Linda Fitts: Integrating the Labyrinth into the Camino Life - Transcript and handout
• Maryjane Dunn: Will the real St. James Please Stand Up? The Pilgrim Community of the Liber Sancti Iacobi
• Rebekah Scott – Heading Our Way: Future Trends in Camino Hospitality
• Lynn Talbot: Whose Camino Is It?: Franco, Santiago, and the Way of St. James
• Martha (Marty) Stortz: Carnal Knowing: What the Pilgrim Body Teaches – Transcript and Powerpoint
• Cheryl Grasmoen: The Journey Continues: Returning from the Camino
• Yosmar Martinez, Stacy Witting and Russ Hall: So you have a Camino manuscript… Now what?
• Jim Martin: What to Pack… or Not to Pack? Packing List
• Jessica Swan: Yoga on the Camino
• Cindy Day: Practicalities of Walking the Kumano Kodo
¡Muchas gracias! to our friends from the Xacobeo organization in Galicia, Spain who have provided generous and continuing support for American Pilgrims Gatherings. Please visit their website (by clicking on their logo). It truly is an outstanding resource for pilgrims. And of course they are the definitive source for information on the Camino routes in Galicia.
Hospitalero training by American Pilgrims is always conducted in conjunction with the annual Gathering but in addition we offer other sessions throughout the year. Check the Hospitaleros page for further information.
Consider giving back to the Camino!. Those who have gone on from walking the Camino to serving as hospitaleros say that this experience often is even more rewarding than the Camino itself. For some insight into the sense of fulfillment, there is an interesting YouTube video about service that has snippets of interviews with the late Don José María of San Juan de Ortega, Don Jesús Jato of the albergue Ave Fenix and the Confraternity's Marion Marples.
For more information, see our Hospitaleros page.
In addition to the training offered by American Pilgrims, weekend courses are offered in Canada several times each year. Our Canadian friends or anyone who cannot make it to training offered by American Pilgrims might consider this alternative. Please see our Local/Regional Events page.