Tampa Bay (Florida) Chapter

The Tampa Bay Chapter of American Pilgrims was established in January 2019. It covers the west central Florida coast, also known as the Greater Tampa Bay area. The purpose of this chapter is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the marvel and wonder of this historic pilgrimage by way of social events, potlucks, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

Fostering the spirit of the Camino, the Tampa Bay Chapter welcomes everyone interested in the Camino to our gatherings. For additional information, to be added to the chapter email list or to be connected with an experienced pilgrim who can answer your questions on how to prepare and what to expect, contact chapter coordinators John Melville, Joni Melville and Sandra Ceballos at [email protected].


Chapter events are listed here and on our Facebook group page. If you live in the area, request to join the group.

Sand Key Park & Shell Ceremony
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Training for walking on the road and concrete is important. Join the Tampa Bay Chapter for a hike across the Sand Key causeway. Bring your poles, sunscreen and Camino spirit. We will meet at the Sand Key Park shelter area. Parking is five dollars per car for the whole day. We will walk from Sand Key Park together through Clearwater Beach to the Memorial Causeway bridge. The total walk is approximately 7 miles round-trip to the bottom of the bridge (7.5 miles round-trip to the top of the bridge). As this is an out-and-back walk, you can always turn around whenever you wish. There is no shade on this walk. Bring plenty of water and pack yourself a lunch with plenty of snacks, as you may need some nutrition in the middle of our hike. The shelter is on a first come, first served basis. Hopefully, we can grab some tables when we get there prior to our walk.

After our hike and lunch (~12:00 PM), we will have a shell ceremony for pilgrims who will be walking their first Camino. As a group, we will send off our fellow pilgrims with a ceremony of blessings and good wishes for a Buen Camino. If you are a first-time pilgrim, please send an email to [email protected] letting us know you will be attending so that we can include you in the ceremony. Also, please let us know if you are participating in the hike, too, or just the ceremony.

Camino Reunion
Saturday, May 11, 2019, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Join the Tampa Bay Chapter for a luncheon and hear from our returning pilgrims that did the Camino francés and the Camino portugués. Need to meet with a mentor? Just let us know.

Whistle Stop Grill and Bar
915 Main St.
Safety Harbor, Florida 34695

Summer Fun Cool Down
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Florida Summer means let's do something "cool" and by that, we mean lets hit the water. Join the Tampa Bay Chapter for a fun day of kayaking at Weeki Wachee and then lunch. Meet with fellow pilgrims, ask questions and enjoy the camaraderie that is the spirit of the Camino. Bring hats, bug spray, snacks and kayaking attire. Please call us to let us know if you need to rent a kayak or if you will be bringing your own.

Flatwood Wilderness Park Hike
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Join the Tampa Bay Chapter on a 7-mile hike at Flatwood Wilderness Park. Trail walking, bring your boots, poles, hat, bug spray and your Camino Spirit. Would you like to speak with a mentor? Give us a call and let us know. POTLUCK: Bring a dish to share and stay for Camino fellowship.

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?
The Tampa Bay 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 on Facebook for great dialogue, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

For information about the chapter and its activities or about membership in American Pilgrims, contact us at [email protected].

Rev 03/17/19