Each season the Prince George Spruce Kings recruit talented hockey players who show great potential to play at the Junior level. In order 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 a billet family to the Spruce Kings organization is immeasurable.
Many of our billet families have done this over many years for many players that have come from all over Canada and the United States. These boys range in age from 16 to 20, will be attending high school, college or university and may hold part time jobs while they live in our city and represent our team while pursuing their hockey dreams.
In most cases, very strong bonds are made between the player and his billet family as well as the player’s family. These relationships will often carry on for years after the player has graduated from the team. Billet families can be seen following “their” player in his future career in college, semi-pro or pro. Our players have proven to be great role models for younger children in the billet home demonstrating hard work and determination to achieve tough goals.
What is Expected?
The player needs a room of his own or can share a room with another team member. He needs a bed and dresser and some closet space. The billet family is required to provide meals for the player (occasionally it will be the responsibility of the player to prepare his own meal). Players are expected to provide their own personal care items, cell phones, media equipment and to take care of their own transportation needs (most will have their own vehicle). A set of house rules and expectations will go a long way to help a player prepare for his new surroundings.
Players must adhere to all team and house rules and show respect and consideration towards all family members. The generosity of a billet family will not be taken for granted. The billet coordinator will maintain contact with the billet family and the player to ensure that both are enjoying the experience.
How Long Is the Billet Family Commitment?
This will vary depending on the player. Some players may only require a billet home for the duration of the main camp and pre-season schedule while other players will be with the team for the full length of the season. Depending on the team’s success, this could be from mid-August to the end of May. Most players will go home during the Christmas Break or as the schedule permits. Throughout the season, players will be on the road for up to five days/nights at a time as they travel with the team to compete against other teams in the league.
To cover expenses, billet families are paid monthly for each player in their home. Some families have found it easier to house two players as they can travel together and provide company for each other.
Billet families have included two parent families, single parent families and “empty-nesters”. All that is required is the willingness to provide a “Home Away from Home” for a player that has made the commitment to pursue the dream of furthering his hockey career with the Prince George Spruce Kings.
If you are interested in becoming a billet family or would like more information, please contact Ron Gallo through the Spruce Kings office at 250.564.1747 or by emailling [email protected]