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Billet Parents

Billet Parent Information

If you are interested in becoming a housing family for the Des Moines Buccaneers, please contact Billet Coordinator Robin Benkufsky at robin@bucshockey.com

 

Every season, the Buccaneers' organization is looking for additional housing families. If you have a home with extra space, the Bucs would love to hear from you. The Bucs meet with all interested families and then attempt to match them with the best possible player.

 

How old are the players?

The players are between 16-20 years of age. They are primarily in the 18-20 range with some high school students mixed in as well.

Where do they play hockey?

The home of the Des Moines Buccaneers is Buccaneer Arena on Hickman Road.

When do the players arrive? How long are they here?

The players arrive in late August. We hope to have them in their billet homes shortly after their initial arrival. The players stay in town until the end of the season which is sometime between mid-April and the end of May, depending on length of a playoff run

What is their daily schedule?

Depending on their age, high school class may be in the schedule in the mornings. If they are not high school students, players will attend daily practice, team workouts, team meetings, community outreach events, and other team functions on a daily basis. They will usually be busy each day with a variety of these events from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. On weekends they will usually have a game in the evening, which does frequently include travel by Team Bus and occasional overnights at hotels. 

How important is education to Bucs players?

The Coaching staff, along with the parents, stress the importance of achieving high grades and valuing a quality education. High School students are expected to attend class and continue to develop themselves as students away from the rink. Post-high school players are also encouraged to take part-time college classes for credit to continue their education while being away from full-time schooling.

Do these players expect to have hockey careers post college?

The Buccaneers have sent 33 players to the National Hockey League in its 40-year history, making us one of the most celebrated USHL Organizations in league history in terms of NHL development. We also have sent hundreds of players to the of the AHL, ECHL and European Professional levels. 

How often does the team travel throughout the season?

Once the season begins in mid-September, the team traditionally plays every weekend each month with 30 home games and 32 games away from Buccaneer Arena. 

 

Do the players go home for the traditional holidays?

Holiday travel depends on the game schedule. The Buccaneers tend to have games over the Thanksgiving holiday. In regard to Winter Break, the players go home for most of the first week then resume their playing schedule the second week. 

What happens when the host family plans to be away at a time when the players are in town?

As the players are never allowed to stay at their host home overnight by themselves, the housing committee will work with the other host families to make an appropriate overnight plan when needed. This plan will be reviewed and approved by parents, billets, and coaches.

Can a player go away for the weekend with their host family?

If a team has the weekend off and the parents and coaches approve of the player leaving town with the host family, the player is allowed to enjoy a weekend away with their host family.

What meals must the host family provide for their player?

Each athlete needs to have a healthy breakfast, sack lunch for the day and dinner upon returning home in the evening. We believe in players treating their bodies exceptionally well to allow for the most output they can deliver as a player. Healthy snacks are key, as well as healthy and structured meals.

Are the players expected to do chores at the house?

It is appropriate to expect your player to keep his living space tidy, take care of dishes, warm up meals and help with basic chores around the home as their schedule provides.

Are the hosts expected to provide transportation for their player to school, arena or for games?

The host family is not expected to drive the players as the boys can make arrangements with other teammates regarding rides as we try and place players either with roommates who have cars or teammates who live close that have vehicles. 

Do the host families receive financial support?

Yes, the host families receive a monthly check from the Buccaneer Organization to help provide for each player.