Oakland, CA: Northern California Chapter, Shell Ceremony & Potluck

Mar 11, 2023 10:00AM—3:00PM


St. Augustine Catholic Church: 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland.

Event Contact Guy Joaquin | Email


Help us celebrate our pilgrims heading out to the Camino this year at our restarted annual Shell Ceremony & Potluck. We’ll be gathering at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland with special guests to confer scallop shells (symbol of the pilgrimage) to outbound pilgrims as well as recognize departing volunteer hospitaleros.

Wondering what to put in your backpack on your first, or next, Camino walk? If you are new to the Camino, this is a perplexing problem. If you have already walked several Caminos you may still be refining your packing list. We’ll also host a panel of veteran pilgrims who have many ideas – some the same and some different – about what is best to pack. You will go away with invaluable information, tips, and tricks for your Camino.

Schedule: Doors open at 9:30 AM. After the shell ceremony, we’ll have lunch then our packing panel. We plan to finish up by 3:00 PM. We always need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are very welcome to attend, both members and non-members.

Advance online registration is required. Click the Register button to sign up by Friday, March 10.

Cancellation: If you are unable to attend, please email us at norcal@americanpilgrims.org so we can update our list.

Getting There

By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Avenue off of College Avenue in Oakland. The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets when heading west towards the bay and the parking lot entrance is on the left side of the building. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard on the right side of the church (follow our yellow arrows).

By BART/Bus/Foot: From Rockridge BART Station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz (0.7 mi).

Carpooling: Registered participants will have access to an online “Carpool Bulletin Board” to post a message if they need a ride or can give one.

What to Bring

Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with H-Z, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with A-G, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). We’ll have 3×5 index cards on hand to make a label for your dish.

Be Green!

We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.

El Rastro

El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash-free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.

Camino Mercado

We invite Camino authors, artists, creatives, and other vendors to display and sell your wares. There will be a table set aside for your use. Note: American Pilgrims does not endorse any of products. We are solely providing a space to connect sellers and buyers.


Please help us cover our event expenses (room, supplies) with a cash contribution to our donativo box at the check-in table. Your generosity allows us to devote more resources to our mission that includes supporting the Camino infrastructure through our Grants program.

Chapter Gift Basket

The 26th Annual Gathering of Pilgrims is coming up in April and each chapter is asked to contribute a basket as an auction prize. Consider bringing an item to fill our chapter basket that represents the best of what the Bay Area has to offer. Local treats, wine, snacks, apparel, souvenirs or any non-perishable items. Just bring the item(s) to the potluck and we will include it in our basket.

The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.