Billeting Youngsters - A Good way to stay involved with ice hockey by Rob Parker
Have you always considered yourselves to be a hockey family, but now your sons and daughters have grown up and left the game behind? Do you find yourself missing that early morning rush, the need to prepare a good breakfast that will give them a good start for their game, and above all the tense and excited atmosphere that seems to spread through the house before a tournament or game?
One way that you can keep the thrill of the game alive in your house is to volunteer to billet youngsters who are still involved in the game. Billeting is a time honoured tradition among hockey parents, who know all too well how expensive hockey can be. Travelling from town to town for games can really add up if a team is forced to pay for accommodations, and billets are always needed. Consider the following:
Every year, thousands of parents and grandparents make the competitive hockey dreams of minor hockey players come true by providing them with a place to stay while they are out of town. For many youngsters, these trips would be financially impossible without a place to stay free of charge!
If you are or were a hockey family, you know the importance that billeting volunteers played in your own lifestyle. It is always nice to see parents staying involved by helping other families in areas where they were once helped themselves!
Billeting will also allow you and your family to retain close ties with the hockey community as a whole. If you can believe it, there are people out there today who can say that Sidney Crosby stayed with them for a weekend during a minor hockey tournament before coming into his own in the big leagues! To be sure, the chance to billet a future genuine hockey super star or even NHL player is rare, but every kid that plays does have this dream to some degree, and their enthusiasm can be very catching.
In addition, the young players you billet will bring an atmosphere of excitement into your home that you may have forgotten about after your own kids hung up their skates or moved out. There is really nothing like the pre-game breakfast, talking about the game over a dinner, and about the activity of the next day. If you find that you are missing all of the subtle blessings that being involved in ice hockey has to offer, billeting might just be the way to get back in touch!