At the core of our summer program are exceptional local host families who generously open their homes to aspiring young athletes. These families from Healdsburg and neighboring communities play a vital role in nurturing the dreams of players from Sonoma County and beyond. The bond formed between host families and players extends past the summer, creating lasting memories. Despite the demanding schedule, players find a "home away from home" from June to August, thanks to the hospitality of dedicated host families. These families become passionate supporters, seamlessly integrating into the Prune Packer family.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does your team provide for host families?
FREE SEASON PASS - Host families receive complimentary season passes for the season during which they host a player, unwavering moral support, recognition on social media, in our newsletter, and during games. You are our superstars and we want to make sure you know that!
What is the general process to become a host family?
Prospective host families must be selected to complete a secure application, undergo a home visit for player accommodations assessment, and an interview. Upon approval, families will receive player and host family guidelines. References are required, and each adult must consent to a background check. To begin the selection process, please send an introductory email to our coordinator, Max Shupe: max.shupe(at)gmail.com
Are players randomly assigned to families?
Host families and players complete questionnaires, considering factors such as pet ownership, ages of children, and the player's unique needs. We work with both families and players to place players for the summer. We ask that families maintain some flexibility to accommodate necessary roster changes leading up to the season. We want everyone in our program to thrive and to have an excellent experience.
What are the minimum requirements to host a Healdsburg Prune Packers player?
Host families are responsible for providing a private, clean, safe bedroom, and basic meals. Our players are considered family, and we encourage them to become an integral part of your household.
How large of a responsibility is it to host players?
Hosting Healdsburg Prune Packers players demands commitment. Host families become surrogate families, attending games to support and cheer for players, ensuring adherence to rules set by the home, Healdsburg Prune Packers, and the Pacific Empire League as applicable.
If there is one thing you want people to know about hosting a Healdsburg Prune Packers player, what would it be?
Prospective host families should consider the diverse reasons shared by previous hosts: Giving back to the community, witnessing player growth and development, fostering a family atmosphere for young men, and contributing to the overall baseball experience. Hosting a Healdsburg Prune Packers player is immensely gratifying for baseball enthusiasts, offering a profound connection to the game and the team beyond mere spectatorship.
"For us, we don’t just consider our Prune Packer player as a visitor---to us, they are family. Being a host family is an incredible way for our three children to develop meaningful relationships that last beyond the baseball season. From amazing weather, music on the square and delicious tacos, Healdsburg is a special place in itself and our family loved showing our Prune Packer how proud we are of our tight knit community.
Enjoying games at Rec Park on a summer evening with other Host Families will always be one of our favorite memories. We were so lucky to have our player’s family come visit and catch a few games together. Staying in touch because you genuinely care about one another is a testament to how much fun we all had together."
-The Luci Family
"Our family has had the pleasure of hosting a Prune Packer for the past five years. Three of those years, we have had a wonderful young man named Morgan live with us. He has become a member of our family, and we call him our bonus child! Over the last three years life has thrown us a few curveballs and Morgan has always been willing to help out and support us, especially Jacob and Makenna with whatever was needed. His dedication to baseball has helped our son, Jacob, fall in love with the game even more.
I can honestly say our lives are forever changed for the better because we took a chance and hosted a player. Every player we have hosted has been respectful, kind and responsible in our home. We feel truly blessed because baseball has brought us life long friendships with these young men. Go Pack Go!!!"
-Kevin and Kellie Wood
"We have been a host family since 2018 and it has been such a great experience for us. Each of the players we have hosted have become part of our extended family and we still keep in touch with all of them. Our boys were 5 when we started and it’s been so fun for them to have a big brother in the house every summer.
Even as the kids have gotten older, the excitement and cool factor hasn’t lost its luster. Summer in our household has become synonymous with Prune Packer baseball and you can find us at the ballpark for pretty much every home game. Go Pack Go!"
-Paul, Monica, Wyatt & Jackson Smith
"Imagine living with Randy Johnson or Mark McGuire for a few months before they crushed it in the MLB. When you host a college baseball player, whether they play for the Healdsburg Prune Packers, Cape Cod or Alaska Baseball League, that is unlikely to happen. Instead, there is greater magic to be made.
A young college student will become part of your family and you won’t want him to leave. You'll hit up many Prune Packer games, but more importantly, bonds will grow--ones that last a lifetime. With each of our collegiate baseball lads, we maintain contact, help out when needed. We let them know that although ultimately baseball is just a game, it is important to focus on it and bigger things in the game of life. Those bigger things can last longer and years down the road deliver unanticipated smiles, genuine friendship and the joy of knowing you helped someone--whether through teaching them to make a Jimtown Burger or navigate some of those difficulties life tosses at folks. We highly recommend becoming a host family."
-Jim, Kristin and Diego Boardman
"We have built lifelong friendships as a result of being a Prune Packer host family, with both players and their families. We’ve hosted eleven baseball players over five years and still keep in touch with almost all of them. This has allowed us to see them play in MLB spring training, regular season and playoff games! While it’s a whirlwind of a schedule for two months in the summer, not to mention a lot of cooking, it’s a very rewarding experience. We wouldn’t hesitate to host again in the future."
"Having never had a son, nor a stranger living in our house we were a little apprehensive about hosting our first Prune Packer. We are now devotees of being a host family for the team. We’ve had two Packers live with us (one player stayed with us twice) and still are in touch with them both. While not on the road, at practice or a game, both guys eased into life at home, were polite and were helpful around the house. They bring a new energy to our lives and knowing players make going to the Prune Packer games so much more enjoyable. They’re our “Summer Sons” and are always welcome back to their Summer Home."
-Geri and Andrew Biehl