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Children on the Camino

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1988)
Does anyone have any experience with children walking the Camino? I suppose the two main categories one would encounter would be school groups and kids walking with their parents. How old was the youngest peregrino that you've seen?
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
This one was pretty young!
 

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Telluridewalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1988)
Thanks for all the replies! As a follow-up, and only somewhat "on-thread," I just figured out how to search "subject lines only" (under "Advanced search"). I'm always improving myself on following the unwritten forum rule: "Search first, then post." :p
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Telluridewalker said:
Does anyone have any experience with children walking the Camino? I suppose the two main categories one would encounter would be school groups and kids walking with their parents. How old was the youngest peregrino that you've seen?

Hi the youngest long distance pilgrim we met on the CF was a little french girl of seven and a half who was walking with her dad and her twelve year old sister.
The Hospitaleros often tried to create a 'family space' by giving them corner bunks or, when available, a separate room. As a family they seemed to be covering about 20km a day and the little one carried her own pack. She was a healthy, imaginative, engaging child and played happily around the albergues in the evenings.
One of her favourite activities was washing her clothes and having a chat with 'the big girls' (though as she often forgot to use soap some of the older pilgrims would rewash her little bits and pieces for her on the sly!)
We also saw some spanish boys of 5 and 6 walking the stage between Astorga and Rabanal with their parents but I think they just doing one stage a month as a family.
Nell
 

CaminanteQuixote

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking with kids 2012
We are currently walking the Camino with two kids, age seven and two. We have started in Le Puy, and will see how far we get in three or four months. Our experience may be a bit different, as we are camping through France. Heavy backpacks!

We are attempting to maintain a blog, for both our friends and family and for others who may want to attempt the Camino con ninos. I have included a category "for kids" that details activities we do with our children to help make the experience more engaging and pleasant for them.

It will be rough to maintain while we are actually walking, but We hope to clean it up later. Feel free to join us, and see how far we make it. Thanks to all who share information on traveling with children. It helped us prepare for this journey.

http://caminantequixote.wordpress.com/
 

CaliforniaDadandSon

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1st 2013
My son is 11 and he is excited about the trip but now that we are only a few months away the training portion resulted in him declaring, "what a horrible way to spend a summer" on our last hike. I can smile because I have been hearing this from him for months but each time he keeps lacing his shoes and tells me, "I really do want to go!"

I have my doubts but the tickets have been purchased and how expensive they were from California this year. We are going if I have to carry him :?

For those of you with children that never seem to finish anything, who are prone to give up before the battle has even started yet you contemplate a monumental achievement for them such as the Camino, our blog is below. I am going to update it as we begin, good and bad, tears and laughter. I hope that it assists someone who may be considering going and bringing a sometimes reluctant little peregino.

My hope for my son is that he at least tries to finish and somewhere along the way he realizes that he can do just about anything if he tries.

http://awalkwithmyson.tumblr.com/
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
California Dad and Son, I'll be reading - like your style!
We walked last year with eight kids aged between six and seventeen. We were quite a few days in when nine-year-old son had a bad attitude day. By then we were comfortable with the idea that he would be able to follow the waymarkers....we were uncomfortable about him dragging his heels and having to be told to hurry up all the time so we told him our destination for the day and said we'd try to convince the hospitalero to allow us to save him a bed (our experience was that this would not happen, but we are as big as you on unbelievable threats - as if we'd have left him with nowhere to stay!) We proceeded to walk, albeit not the most speedily...fast enough to quickly lose sight of said son, slow enough to be overtaken by groups of peregrinos, none of whom told us anything about a poor little lone boy crying on the side of the road - we took that as a good omen, and then sat down in the shade for a very early snack break soon afterwards. I seem to recall that was a long stop. It might even have lasted until a little boy crested the brow of a hill. He had been walking about as fast as your long-dead grandmother and was hardly in need of a break, so we offered him a piece of chocolate and pressed on. I ate the chocolate he refused. We were in for the long haul - we have two sulkers in the family and as much as we try to help them overcome this non-genetic flaw, we know it can be neither forced nor sped up. In this instance the saving grace appeared in a most unexpected form. Coming from New Zealand, we have NO experience of snakes and they hold immense attraction to young boys. The excited cry of "Snake" was enough to make him run. I still can't get my head around how a dry dead shrivelled oversized worm could put a skip in Sulker's step and cause him to sing all the way to the next destination. But I accepted it.

And if you want more bad parenting examples, I can provide a further two with the same son!
(FYI, we would NEVER let kids out of sight when hiking in the NZ bush/forests...the Camino is different)
 
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yael greene

New Member
as a parents of two aged 8 and 11 we started to seriously think of doing the camino together as a family. i find your blogs sooo important as its rarely documented (kids doing the camino).
please write often - we send you goodluck from jerusalem
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: SJPP-Los Arcos (2011), Logrono-Sahagun (2012), Leon-Santiago (2013)
My husband, son, and I have been walking for a few weeks every summer - this will be our third year on the Camino Frances, and we hope to finally get to Santiago this time!

My son was 11 the first year, and it was difficult. Every day he got tired and wanted to stop; we carried his pack for maybe 30 minutes a day to give him a little break. (We both got tired and wanted to stop, too, but someone had to be the grown-ups! We were also woefully over-burdened and poorly equipped that first year.) We kept our days to around 20-24km max, with a few lower than that.

Last year, we seem to have walked with a different kid. He rarely complained, was much more confident with his Spanish, left me in his dust, and we walked 25+ days regularly, including one of 32 or so (Burgos to Hontanas). I think we carried his pack once for 15 minutes.

This year, we will be walking with a surly teenager. Oh joy.

Good luck, and enjoy the time with your son!
 

CaliforniaDadandSon

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1st 2013
Seeing that photo of Kiwi Family who walked with 8 children and hearing from others similarly situated has put a spring in my step. I casually mentioned this blog to my son and for some odd reason, he has began exercising with great intensity trying to "get ready" as he calls it. I also heard him explaining to a friend, "this is a once in a life-time opportunity." Who is this kid? He must be listening to motivational speakers or perhaps he has had a vision. I am so grateful for the encouragement and experiences offered. Thank you.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
So excited for you! Before you know it he'll be keeping a journal complete with watercolour memories :D Make sure you pack a small palette and notebook just in case. For the record, I'm not joking and will willingly ward off any keep-your-weight-down advocates with my own precious (stupidly) hard-cover journal.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP - Pamplona March/April 2013
We did St Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona over 5 days at Easter with an 11, 2 X 12 and a 13 yr old. We didn't stay in albergues, we didn't carry our packs, we are active people but not serious hikers. It was a brilliant success and certainly we would all do it again. We split what most people do in 3 days into 5 days which meant no blisters/aches/pains/moans/boredom/complaints. The final day was Zubiri to Pamplona and it actually didn't take a feather out of any of us!

Enjoy!
 
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