Board Report – January 2024

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Board Report – January 2024

Prepared by Allison Venuto, Secretary, American Pilgrims on the Camino Board of Directors

The American Pilgrims Board of Directors met on the Camino met in Hunt, TX, the weekend of January 27, 2024. The meeting was held at Mo-Ranch, the site of the 2024 Annual Gathering of Pilgrims, starting the day with a tour and discussion of event logistics. Additionally, the board discussed plans for the 2025 International Gathering. Next, the board reviewed the eight Pilgrim Principles—humility, simplicity, flexibility, responsibility, collaboration, candor, hospitality, and gratitude—by which the board operates; reviewed the previous meeting’s minutes; and participated in a teambuilding activity.

The formerly named Legacy Project is now the Pilgrims’ Stories Project, and the initiative moves forward with meaningful connections to those who created our foundation. The external relations chair provided an update to the El Camino de San Antonio Missions Trail; American Pilgrims will continue to provide communications about how pilgrims can start the Camino there and continue the pilgrimage in Spain. The board met with representatives from the Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago, and heard a summary of Il Encuentro Mundial de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago held in October 2023, plans for the implementation of the Camino Europa Compostela, and their goals for the upcoming year.

The grants committee provided an update, reporting that 22 applications have already been received. The board discussed potential major donation invitations, means of serving the Camino in expanding ways when requests come to American Pilgrims, and potential engagement with lifetime members. Then, American Pilgrims representatives who attended Il Encuentro Mundial provided updates on the way American Pilgrims is helping build infrastructure and connecting pilgrims. Currently, there are no major updates for the potential Madrid and Portuguese albergues.  

The Ribadiso Welcome Service and Hospitalero teams continue to see strong interest from the pilgrim community, as evidenced by high numbers of applications and two filled trainings. The chapters committee presented an application from Louisiana to form a new chapter and this was unanimously approved, contingent upon the completion of coordinator and chapter agreements.

Among other updates, the communications team plans to solicit organization-wide information into a planning calendar to help coordinate and promote our wide-ranging activities. Next, the membership team discussed the development of a more robust engagement strategy to help pilgrims connect with the organization. Before discussing technology updates and adjourning, the board learned that American Pilgrims received a platinum rating from Guidestar/Candid for the second year in a row, demonstrating the organization’s commitment to financial integrity and transparency.

Most of the next day was focused on action items related to the previously determined goal categories of (1) international outreach, (2) preserving our past, leaving a legacy, (3) expansion of appeal, and (4) organizational sustainability. The board will meet again in March following the Annual Gathering, and discussed holding the July board meeting virtually.

Your MEMBERSHIP in American Pilgrims on the Camino makes it possible for everyone to make the pilgrimage that is best for them. Thanks, as always, for your support and if you aren’t already a member, you can become one here.

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