Billet Coordinator – Kim Comfort Groves
Each season the Gillette Wild 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 Spirit Hall Ice Arena, in Gillette Wyoming. 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 Wild organization is immeasurable. The players ages range from 16-20, players will be required to 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 the 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 during their college career. 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 their own, or can share with a team member. They will need a bed, bureau and closet space. 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 is not required to cook for the players each day but would be asked to welcome the players to meals being cooked by the family when available. Players will be required to eat on their own when meals are not available. Simply put, the players must be able to be self-sufficient and able to cook and clean up for themselves.
What is expected of the players?
The players 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 players go home over the holiday break, unless they are from a different country and are unable to make it home.
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 their dream by providing a “home away from home”.
If you are interested in being a billet, please contact us today. Your willingness to share your home and family is all it takes, and you will truly make a difference in a player’s life.