It is typical for players from across the United States, Canada and even Europe to move away from home during their teenage years in pursuit of their hockey dreams. Over the years, we have had great success helping out-of-town players feel at home in Columbus.
Host families provide these young athletes with an invaluable part of their hockey experience. These dedicated players are pursuing their dream of playing junior, collegiate or even professional hockey, and for many, this is their first experience living away from home.
Host families open their homes, families and hearts and in the end, become an extended family for these players. Host families provide the support and structure needed to help them focus on advancing their hockey career and helping them grow as young adults.
Here in Columbus, we are fortunate to have a large network/support system in place to find the right hockey home for the out-of-town player. We take great pride in our process to help find the perfect match for all parties involved.
Interested in being a host family?
As a host family, you must:
- Meet all USA Hockey volunteer, SafeSport, and screening requirements.
- Sign a contract with the billet player’s family, that provides guidelines and outlines expectations (managed by team billet coordinator and head coach).
- Be a mentor, a friend, an encourager, and a good role model.
- Treat your billet player as a part of your own family.
- Provide structure for your billet player by creating “home rules” and helping enforce team rules relating to curfew, visitors, and standards of behavior.
- Provide a furnished bedroom for the billet player or a furnished bedroom to share with another teammate (not any other household member).
In return you will:
- Build lifelong friendships with billet players and their families.
- Receive a $400 monthly stipend (billet fees paid by billet player’s family).
- Show your support for the AAA Ohio Blue Jackets development program and help our teams to be competitive and successful.
Becoming a billet family is so fulfilling. Being able to provide a supportive environment for a player pursuing their dream of playing elite hockey for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets was an easy decision. Michael has been a positive role model for our son. We’ve formed a lifelong friendship with Michael and his family.
Billeting is a wonderful, rewarding experience creating many great memories. By opening your home and heart, a player enters as a stranger, and leaves as family.
~ Andy & Karen Stultz (Host Family)
Starting from our first visit to Columbus, we felt right at home with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program, but we could never have imagined how much of an impact it would have on family.
Being a part of the OBJ organization has been an incredible experience. The coaches, trainers and programs for player development are top notch, as are the hockey and off-ice athletic training facilities. The OBJ program is dedicated to building confidence and preparing players for advancement to the next level.
Our son’s billet family not only opened their home but also their hearts to Michael, making the decision to send him 2,500 miles away to pursue his dream of playing elite hockey an easy one. We knew he would be in great hands.
The strong bond Michael has made with his teammates, coaches, staff and billet family has, in turn, created lasting friendships for us as well, which will continue on for many years to come.
~ Roman & Kathleen Sochan
We had such a great experience working with the Blue Jackets and their billet coordinator, Holly Frank! This was the first time our family had to go through the billeting process. Holly and the Jackets made us feel incredibly comfortable throughout the whole process. It was a big decision for our son to play hockey away from home for the first time but we felt very good about it in the end because of the professionalism of everyone involved. On top of that, they matched us with the best billet family in the world! We were very fortunate to have such a great experience.
~ Justin & Susie Driscoll
If you have questions regarding the billeting process with our program, please contact our our billeting coordinator Holly Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.