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FAQ

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Who is the main sponsor of this event?

The Avalon School in Wheaton, Maryland and the Brookewood School  in Kensington, Maryland are the main sponsors. Both schools have been organizing pilgrimages of 15 - 23.5 miles for the past 16 years. Rich McPherson, the President of Avalon and Brookewood and the headmaster of Brookewood (with much help from Friends of the Camino) is the main organizer of the event.

Why is it called the Camino of Maryland?

We are imitating the Camino of Santiago de Compestela in Spain. Instead of walking across Spain (450 - 500 miles) we will be walking across Maryland (218 miles) and, instead of St. Jame's tomb, we will be walking to the tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, the first person born in our country to be canonized as a saint. She lived in Maryland and is the patron saint of Catholic Schools and the patron saint of Maryland.

When does the Camino of Maryland take place?

The Camino begins at 1 1 :00 am on Monday, June 10 at the tip of Point Lookout where the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River meet. It ends on Sunday, June 23 at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, Md with Mass celebrated at 1 :30 pm. In between we will stop at historic churches.

How long is the Camino?

It is approximately 218 miles. It will be an average of 15.6 miles a day. Our longest legs are 22 miles. One is St. Cecilia's to St. Mary's Ryken High School (June 11). The other is from Avalon (St. Catherine Labouré) to St. Mary's in Barnesville (June 20). Our shortest legs are the final day of 8. I miles from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to St. Elizabeth Shrine (June 23), 9.7 miles from St. Clement's Island to Sacred Heart in Bushwood (June 13), and 10.4 miles from Sacred Heart in La Plata to St. Joseph Pomfret (June 16).

Do you have to walk the whole Camino?

Certainly not. You can walk one leg, walk our southern route, walk our northem route, or walk each of the two weekends or any combination. Look at our website for all the possibilities. If you walk only one or two legs of the Camino vans will be available to shuttle you back to your car.

Do we walk as a group or at our own pace?

We would like to stay together but we understand that some pilgrims will walk slower than others. Each person will have road by road directions so if you fall back, you will still be able to find your way to each church. Google Maps is good if all else fails. It would be good to have at least one partner.

Where do we stay?

Some pilgrims will go home at night and return in the morning. Others will stay in motels and Airbnb. (Pilgrims must make their own arrangements.) Others will camp out at the last stop of the day, Churches and schools have allowed us to camp out on their property and use their bathroom facilities. To register pilgrims must be 18 years of age or older. Additionally, pilgrims must be 18 years of age or older, or be accompanied by an adult  to stay overnight with the Camino of Maryland’s host sites.

Where are the stops?

You can go to our website — Camino-MD.org to find the complete route.

What about tents and equipment?

You should bring your own tents and sleeping bags. If you are not in a group, we will provide vans to move your equipment from day to day. Groups should provide their own transport. Some pilgrims will carry their own equipment.

What is the cost?

If you stay at a school or church for the night, we ask for a $10.00 goodwill offering which will be donated to the school or church. If you stay at Ryan Hall at Catholic University, the cost is $20.00 (this includes dinner, a room, and a hot breakfast). It will be $4.00 for the boat to get to St. Clement's Island. Also, there will be a small cost to get to Point Lookout.

How do we eat?

Like the Camino in Spain, you are responsible for your own food. We will pass many restaurants and food stores. For a few of the stops at the end of the day, we will provide food trucks. A few of the churches and schools have offered to feed us. A coffee truck serving up the offical Camino of Maryland coffee, will be at each morning stop to provide coffee. Also, Avalon and Brookewood vans will provide water, snacks, band aids, rides, and other needs all along the way.

What will the surfaces be like that we walk on?

Mostly roads. In Southern Maryland (Route 5) there are wide breakdown lanes. From Clinton, Maryland to a few miles past Frederick it will be mostly sidewalks. The final legs are a mix of breakdown lanes and roads with little or no breakdown lanes. There are some roads with narrow breakdown lanes in Southern Maryland, also. Fortunately, they are not heavily traveled. Stay to the extreme left and be aware. There are a few hills, but the route is mostly flat. There will be someone walking in front of all the pilgrims so that cars will slow down. Wear a bright-colored shirt! Also, we will have large construction signs placed every few miles in front of us saying, Hikers Ahead, Caution." Some jurisdictions might provide police.

What are some of the things that will happen during the Camino?

We will have mass at the beginning of each day except the first day (June 10) will be at 7:00 pm at Historic St. Mary's and on June 13, mass will be at 1 1 am on St. Clement's Island and on the final day, June 23, the Mass will be at 1 pm at St. Elizabeth Shrine. We'll do the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the rosary each day along the Camino. Confession will be available. Some pilgrims might want to do some sightseeing or explore restaurants and pubs. Some evenings we'll have a fire and sing songs, enjoy cigars, beer, and wine. Always, there will be good fellowship.

Any final advice?

Get in walking shape. Wear bright-colored shirts. Bring two pairs of shoes. 4 pairs of socks. Pack lightly. Offer up any inconveniences for special intentions. Pray hard. Grow closer to God. Invoke St. Elizabeth Ann Seton often. Enjoy being outdoors. Tell others!

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?

You can go to our website Camino-MD.org and leave a message, and someone will get in touch with you, or you can contact Rich McPherson at rmcpherson1@gmail.com or 301 442-5463

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