Each season the Little Flyers recruit talented junior hockey players who show great potential to play at the college level, and beyond, who do not live within a reasonable driving distance of the Iceworks. To take advantage of this great opportunity, the players need families willing to share their homes, and become a “home away from home” for them. The importance of the billet families to the Little Flyers organization is immeasurable.
Many of our billet families have done this for dozens of players from all over the United States, Canada and Europe through the past 3 years. These boys, ages ranging from 16-20, have been able to complete their high school educations, take classes in local colleges, or hold part time jobs while pursuing their hockey opportunities and dreams. In most cases, very strong bonds are made between the player and his billet family as well as with the player’s family. These relationships will often carry on for many years after the player has left the team. Often billet families can be seen following the player in his future career be it college, semi-pro or pro. Our players have proven to be great role models for younger children in the billet family, as they demonstrate hard work and determination to achieve tough goals.
What is expected of the host family? The player needs a room of his own, or can share with a team member. He needs a bed, bureau, closet space and a desk or table and chair. While players are expected to provide bed and bath linens, personal care items, cell phones, media equipment and take care of their own transportation needs (most have their own vehicle). The family also needs to make food available throughout the day. For example: a basic breakfast, sandwich meats/leftovers at lunch and an evening meal if he’s home and you’re cooking! While on the road, players will take care of their own food expenses.
What is expected of the players? They must adhere to all team and house rules and show respect and consideration toward all family members. Your generosity will not be taken for granted.
How long is a host family’s commitment? This varies depending on the player. Some are with the family during the hockey season only. Others need to complete the school year. Some players go home for the weekend as often as the game schedule permits. All go home over the holiday break.
Families receive a monthly billeting payment for each player. Some have found it easier to house two players as they then travel together and are company for each other. Host families have included traditional 2-parent families, single-parent families and “empty-nesters” too. All that’s really needed is a willingness to help a player pursue his dream by providing a “home away from home”.
If you are interested in the possibility of being a billet, please call or send an email. Your willingness to share your home and family is all it takes, and you will truly make a difference in a player’s life.