Southeast Michigan Chapter

The Southeast Michigan Chapter of American Pilgrims covers that area of the state, bounded roughly by Lansing, the southern state border, Lake Erie and Flint (Lower Southeast Michigan). Broadly stated, the purpose of this local chapter is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon. We plan to accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, hikes, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

The chapter will be scheduling local hikes, talks, potlucks, book talks, lending book library, and more! We will also be hosting an annual Shell Ceremony for pilgrims who will begin their journey in the coming year. Please return here to see updated lists of our upcoming events. We also send quarterly mailings with upcoming events. You will receive these mailings by joining our local chapter.

Contact chapter coordinators David Larwa, Rose Marie Callahan and Paula Jager at
[email protected] for more information or to be added to the chapter e-mail list.

  • You've arrived! You have your compostela. You've attended the Pilgrims' Mass. You've hugged the Saint. Now what? You need to scan through this blog entry by the venerable Johnnie Walker: 20 things to see and do in Santiago de Compostela.
  • There are a thousand and one packing lists out there but THIS is our take on the topic. 

You can always contact us through [email protected] to find out what we're up to! And click HERE to see photos of recent events! Hopefully seeing all the happy people will make you want to come join us!

Shell Ceremony and Walk
Sunday, 7 April 2019, 12:00 - 3:00 PM
6360 Chilson Road, Howell MI 48843
Special first Sunday event

During the Middle Ages, before pilgrims left home they were afforded the benedictio perarum et baculorum, the ritual blessing of the pilgrim satchel and staff. Following in this ancient tradition, the Southeast Michigan Chapter of American Pilgrims is pleased to hold its own shell ceremony and blessing of the pilgrims.

If you are walking the Camino this year and want to receive a shell and blessing from the group, please be sure to RSVP for this event.

NOTE: We are NOT meeting at out regular location for our regular monthly walk (this is just 5 minutes away). We also want to encourage others to come honor the tradition of supporting prospective pilgrims. We truly hope you can join us for this very special event!

We will start with our Shell Ceremony at 12:00 PM and then take our first steps together as pilgrims on the Penosha Trail (5 miles) at Bishop Lake Recreation Area. A recreation passport is required. The walk will start at the Bishop Lake Trailhead which is located off Bishop Lake Road in the Brighton Recreation Area. The trailhead is located by the restrooms at the parking lot. There is ample parking with a covered pavilion located within 200 feet off the parking lot. The pavilion will be used for the shell ceremony. Visit the Brighton Recreation Area website or contact us to find a link to the map marking the trailhead: Bishop Lake Trail System Map

Please RSVP for the event and let us know if you are walking this year! Your contact will be Rose Marie Callahan and Paula Jager. The best way to reach us is by contacting: [email protected].


Planning Your Camino
Thursday, 4 April 2019, 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Are you Camino-bound? Join the Southeast Michigan Chapter for what you need to know before hitting the trail. The focus of this workshop, presented by Katherine Souper, is the practical considerations of planning a Camino journey. Topics include choice of route, sleeping options (from refugios to luxury hotels), route-finding, equipment, safety, when to go and how to pack for a 40-day journey and stay within the recommended guidelines of a backpack that weighs the lesser of 8 kilograms (17.6 pound) or 10% of your body weight. Katharine is the author of Steps Out of Time: One Woman's Journey on the Camino.


REI Ann Arbor Store
970 W Eisenhower Pkwy
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Ongoing Events
Lakelands Trail Walks
First Sunday of the month, 12:00 - 2:00 PM
Except see the special event above on Sunday, April 7th

Join the Southeast Michigan Chapter on the first Sunday of the each month (starting January 6, 2019) and discover the Lakelands Trail in Hamburg, Michigan. This is a linear park in the Michigan State Park System. This is a former railroad route and has been developed into a 16 foot wide pathway. We will talk and walk about 5-6 (flat) miles round trip from Biggby Coffee (beverages and snacks are available for purchase), share pictures, tips, etc. No need to RSVP; just show up! We walk rain, shine or snow! The group will meet before each walk at the Biggby Coffee shop. The location is 9568 Chilson Commons Circle, Pinckney, MI 48169 which is located 5 miles from US-23 West at M-36 and Chilson Road.

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?
The Southeast Michigan Chapter Camino Mentor Program can pair individuals who have questions about their upcoming Camino with a nearby veteran who can answer questions. Contact [email protected] for details.

Experienced Camino walkers and cyclists who would like to serve as mentors should contact us so that you can be added to our resource list. Potential mentors should provide us with your name, ZIP-code and a brief rundown of your experience including walking or cycling, which route and when.

Also you can visit American Pilgrims on the Camino via Facebook for great dialogue, photos, and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

Rev 03/25/19