A Day with Pilgrims

Gosh it felt good to spend the entire day talking about all things camino!

Yesterday I hosted my first Camino Planning Workshop. I’ll be honest I was more than a little nervous; it’s been a long time since I planned any kind of training course and it feels like a long time since I walked the camino. I’d organised these planning days in 2019 and like so many other things they were all cancelled. Now, as France opens up and life returns to some kind of normal it felt like a good time to bring the workshop out of hibernation.

I advertised locally a few weeks ago and the first date quickly filled, so a second date was added. I’ve also had a few request to hold further workshops later in the year… and even a request for a Zoom Presentation… I’ll have a think about that and see how I could make it work.

But yesterday I woke early and gathered all my camino ‘props’ and set about decorating our terrace. I gathered shoes and clothes and coats and socks and rucksacks and sleeping bags and walking poles… indeed everything a pilgrim would need before embarking on this life changing journey.

I’d created lots of handouts and had gone over and over in my head what I would say… and what not to say. In the event I didn’t need my notes, the information just flowed and the nerves disappeared with them!

As these are COVID days we held the workshop under my terrace in the garden. It was really hot yesterday in SW France (about 34c) so we were grateful for the shade and a tiny breeze that kept us comfortable. I’d asked all participants to bring their own food and drink… I hope that for future workshops we’ll be able to share a meal together but for today we brought picnics. It was one lady’s birthday and as a surprise her walking buddy had a special cake made to share with the group… it was amazing! Yellow arrows, pilgrim shells and even a tiny pair of walking shoes with even tinier laces!

The day flew by; it was such a wonderful feeling to chat with like minded people and to feel the enthusiasm of pilgrims planning their first walk. All too soon time was up and we said our goodbyes and parted as friends.

I think we possibly all dreamt of following yellow arrows last night! I had these messages this morning in my inbox… which has made me smile all day!

Hello Colleen, I just wanted to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart for the workshop day we spent with you yesterday. You taught us everything we would ever need to know about walking the Camino. You gave us so much information help and advice that I know we will have a far better experience on our walk than we ever would have before. Your presentation was so professional and all of the handouts are invaluable. Thank you again for everything, I’m really looking forward to walking with you in September.

Thank you for a Great workshop! We learned so much and had fun too! It was a ton of info but all important and we have homework to do. We talked about you and your kind nature and generosity at dinner tonight. Wonderful day!

I can definitely recommend Colleen’s workshops on the subject of the Camino. For anybody interested in the Camino both the beginner and the experienced there is much to learn and discuss. Colleen not only has great presentational skills, her enthusiasm for the subject is overwhelming and her depth of knowledge is very impressive. For me a day very well spent. Thanks Colleen

It was a great day and executed extremely well throughout. Especially the attention to detail. Your extensive info on the use of various products etc was very interesting. It took me by surprise as to how much could be involved on a walk!  Keep me in mind if a space becomes available on your trips this year!

I say CONGRATULATIONS on your first Camino workshop. Not too long, not at all boring. So well-organized and structured! Your experience is so rich and your motivation so strong that you have this capability to pass on your motivation to other. Everything is so well prepared and thought through. It’s so pleasant to listen to you and your feedback on your many caminos.

2 thoughts on “A Day with Pilgrims

  1. Good for you ! For your successful workshop and acting on your feelings to share your knowledge and experience.
    I envy the participants. You received some encouraging feedback from them.

    Buen camino

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved it! I’ve held four now and they are very popular. I’ve loved getting emails from pilgrims who have gone on to walk and some of those who have attended have gone on to walk with me too. I have been asked to try and do some on zoom… so another project for me to consider 😀


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