Are you or someone you know interested in housing a Jr. Bruin player or two for the 2017-18 season? Billeting a player has its perks. You receive a monthly stipend, free season tickets and a lifelong friendship with a great young man and his family back home.
Becoming a host family (also called a billet) is something of a tradition in the sport of hockey. It is a great way to get involved in the Missoula hockey community, as well as develop special bonds with the players and their families.
What is a billet family?
A family that opens their home to out-of-state and out-of-country players. For many of them, this will be their first time away from home and they will need a stable living environment for
their move to Montana while they pursue the next step in their developing hockey career.
How old are the players?
Players are between the ages of 16 and 20 with the majority of them being 18 and 19 years old.
What does a typical day look like for the player?
During the week, players typically have practice daily, team workouts, along with team meetings and community outreach activities. Some players attend school, while others may hold a part time job. The weekends are usually busy with games on Friday and Saturday nights.
How long does the player live with the host family?
Players arrive in mid-to-late August to begin the season and remain until the end of the hockey season in March or April. At Christmas, they usually have 5-7 days off to go home and spend time with their families.
What are the responsibilities of the host family?
When a family volunteers to house a player, they are required to provide room and board for him. Billet families must be able to provide the player with his own bedroom which should include a bed, dresser and closet space. A desk with chair is helpful, but not mandatory. The family also agrees to provide nutritious meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for either the player to prepare himself or eat with the billet family. Billet families are expected to treat the players as “one of the family” and not just a “renter.”
What are the responsibilities of the player?
Players will provide their own personal care items, cell phones, and computer. They must clean up after themselves, keep their room tidy, do their own laundry, and follow all team and house
rules, showing respect for every family member. Players are also responsible for their own transportation to and from school, work, and all hockey activities.
Can a family host more than one player?
Yes! It’s often easier to host more than one player. Two (or more) players can share transportation expenses, and often provide company for each other. If hosting more than one player, families do not need to provide separate rooms for each.
Does the host family receive compensation?
Yes! Each billet family receives a monthly stipend for each player living with them. In addition, the family receives season passes to all Missoula Junior Bruins’ home games. Besides offsetting the expenses a family incurs when hosting a player, this allows our organization to acknowledge the invaluable service families provide to the individual players and the team.
What happens if the host family needs to go away for a period of time?
Arrangements will be made, through the Billet Coordinator, for the player(s) to stay with another host family, a teammate, or a friend from school/work.
What happens if the billet situation is not working?
Generally, billet families and players get along very well. We strongly recommend that all billet house rules be communicated to a player when he arrives. It is best if these can be in writing with a copy provided to our Billet Coordinator. If any situations arise, they should be handled immediately – first within the family, and then with the Billet Coordinator. If problems still persist and cannot be resolved, the Billet Coordinator will communicate with the General Manager and make other arrangements for the player.
What happens after the season ends?
Most of the time, billet families, players, and the players’ family develop very special bonds and remain close long after the player has left the Missoula Junior Bruins hockey club. We do our
very best to ensure that this experience is rewarding for both the player and the billet family members.
Cliff Cook – General Manager
Please contact the Billet Coordinator to fill out the short 'Host Family Questionnaire' used for matching up players and families.
Please click on the below links for more information.