By Kevin Scott, Great Falls Americans Communications
August 12, 2022
GREAT FALLS, MT – The Great Falls Americans are looking for prospective families or individuals to host team players coming to Great Falls for the upcoming 2022-23 North American 3 Hockey League season.
The Americans recruit talented junior hockey players that with great potential to play collegiately and beyond that come from all over the United States and internationally to display their skills at this level before committing to college teams. In order for them to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, the players need families willing to share their homes and become a “home away from home” as they pursue their hockey dreams. The billet family experience is immeasurable.
The players range in age from 16 to 20 (year olds), who need a stable environment for their move to the Great Falls area. They are away from their family and friends back home and their host (billet) families become their surrogate family.
The players, who come from all over the United States and world, live with host families come into their lives at an early age and leave as young men with the season and stay with the billet family from September until the season concludes at the end of March or early April. Players DO NOT pay rent as they become “one of the family.”
“Billeting is a very important part of our program,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach/General Manager Greg Sears. “It can be very rewarding for both player and families. Billet families often create bonds that last a lifetime.”
The local families provide room and board for the player with each player having their own bedroom and meals and snacks available for them to prepare for or for the hosts to prepare for the player. If you choose to host multiple (up to two) players, they may share a room with separate beds. The Americans have specific team guidelines and policies players must abide by to be with our organization. When you accept to be a billet family, a copy of these guidelines and policies will be sent to you.
Our host families must uphold and enforce these team rules and will need to be communicated to the player(s) when he/they arrive and discussed with the biological families. A handbook will be given to each host family to assist in this communication and the organization takes pride in providing this strong foundation for the players.
Some of the benefits to become a host family include the following:
• Each host family is paid a monthly stipend ($300.00 per player with up to two players in each home) to house a player(s) in their home.
• Host families, players, and player’s family members develop a special bond for each player and remain close after the player exit the Americans organization. We try to make sure the experience is rewarding for both the player(s) and the host families.
Billeting is a long-standing tradition in hockey and is a vital part of the overall success of the team.
More information on billet families can be found on our team website at www.gfamericans.com/host-a-player If you have any additional questions or would like to host a player(s), please contact our billet coordinators, Patrick Holtzmann (701-610-3082, pjholtzmann@ gmail.com) or Pam Jackson (406-564-5599, firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Great Falls Americans Hockey The Great Falls Americans are proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) and the Frontier Division and is sanctioned by the USA Hockey as one of their Tier III leagues that serve as a training ground that provides the best coaching, exposure, and development available for student athletes. The primary mission of the NA3HL is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes who have aspirations of playing in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the United States Hockey League and eventually the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or American College Hockey Association (ACHA).
Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: American hockey searching for billet families (PDF) (August 12, 2022)