Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is involved in becoming a member of The Friendship Force?
You should join if you like the challenge and excitement of meeting new people, visiting new places in the U.S.
and abroad, and believe you can help promote peace by better understanding other cultures and ways of life.
Once you fill out a Membership form and submit a check ($35 for an individual and $58 for a family) to the Treasurer, you will receive monthly news briefs from the President by email or by U.S.
By joining you make a commitment to participate in the activities of the club as described below.
The Baton Rouge club is part of Friendship Force International (FFI). There are 370+ clubs around the world. The FFI website has more information about the organization, mission, goals, and club exchanges.
2. What do Baton Rouge club members do?
Members celebrate events such as World Friendship Day; participate in joint community activities such as Women's Week; host a Christmas in July party for veterans in Jackson, LA; have picnics, ethnic dinners and a Christmas party, as well as conduct the business of the club.
The club usually sponsors two "journeys" during the year: an Incoming and an Outbound, described below. During those events members participate by either hosting other clubs' members in their homes or, at minimum, participating in the welcome and farewell events for the visitors.
3. What do you mean by the term "Journey?"
An International Journey is a home visit by club members of one country to club members of another country. A Domestic Journey is a visit to another club in the same country.
We further refer to an Outbound Journey when we visit another club and we are known as the Ambassadors. An Incoming Journey occurs when a club visits us and we are then known as the Hosts.
Journeys are coordinated by FFI in Atlanta and locally coordinated by an Journey Coordinator or "JD." Photos of some past exchanges can be viewed on the club's webpage.
Domestic journeys range from 3-7 days and international journeys from 7-14 days.
4. What is an "Journey Coordinator" (JC)?
An JC is appointed by the club's Board of Directors subject to the club's policies. The person makes a commitment to recruit ambassadors/hosts, plan events or travel preparations, and communicate with the JCs of the other countries or cities. The JC is responsible for maintaining a budget and submitting a report at the close of the journey.
5. How are IncomingJourney Ambassadors hosted?
A. Home hosts.
The JC assures that each incoming ambassador is assigned a home host from our club. That host invites the ambassador to be part of his/her household for the entire time of the journey in Baton Rouge. Hosts provide breakfasts and meals not provided as part of a club event, sleeping accommodations, and transportation to the scheduled events for that week. There is no compensation to the host. Throughout the week a natural camaraderie between host and ambassador evolves.
Home hosts usually initiate correspondence with their newly assigned ambassadors as soon as the 'match' is
known. Some friendships last years after the journey is completed.
Single women usually stay with single women, couples with couples, etc.
B. Day hosts.
This is an opportunity for someone who wants to participate in the journey but, for whatever reason, is
unable to home host. This individual volunteers to escort an ambassador for a day, or part of a day, to a
scheduled activity, or to entertain them on an 'options day.' This frees the home host to tend to other appointments, prepare dinner, etc. There is no compensation.
C. Small dinner hosts.
This is another way for a club member to participate in the journey without home or day hosting.
Coordinating with the home host this individual either offers to prepare and serve a meal for the home host and the ambassadors at his/her home or offers to prepare food to take to the home host's residence.
Other club members may be invited to join this group and they usually offer to bring a dessert, salad, or
Sometimes two home hosts make plans to swap two different evenings: one hosting the group one night and the second hosting the hosts and their ambassadors a second evening.
6. A tradition of 'treating the hosts'
Incoming ambassadors may want to treat their host to a dinner. It usually works best if the host suggests they do that on an evening there is a 'free' day. An alternative might be a lunch meal on an outing that is not part of a group activity. Some ambassadors may offer to prepare a meal for their hosts instead.
When BR club members are ambassadors on an outbound journey it is tradition for them to also invite their hosts to an evening meal and/or offer to prepare a meal for them.
7. What should I expect financially when I go on an Outbound Exchange?
Traveling with Friendship Force is fairly economical. Expenses you can expect include: $165 to
Friendship Force International per journey week; $100+ to each club you visit (usually 2) that they use to cover most of the expenses for activities the week of your visit, such as admission fees, etc.; and up to $50 to the Baton Rouge club to pay for group gifts/tips, administrative items and ED support.
Your lodging and most meals are free.
Additionally, you will have airfare and shopping expenses. Ambassadors traditionally take their hosts to dinner one night and bring them small gifts representative of Louisiana as well as smaller gifts to give to day hosts who assist in some way.
Any side trips/tours before or after the official journey are also your financial responsibility.
8. Am I required to host or go on an Outbound Journey if I am a member?
No. We hope though by joining that you want to actively participate in the events of the club, such as attending welcoming and farewell events for the ambassadors.
9. Do you travel as a group?
Yes and no: the group usually consists of 12 - 20 individuals. Travel arrangements vary from departing the local airport as a group to some, or all, of the individuals making their own travel arrangements. The end goal is for all ambassadors to arrive at the host city at a designated date and time.
10. Do you visit other clubs in the United States?
Yes. Domestic Journeys are organized by the clubs involved. They meet the needs of those who do not want to travel abroad as well as those who want to see how people live in other parts of the U.S.
It is coordinated by an JC.
11. What if I am not able to go or do not care to go on the scheduled Outbound
Journey? Are there other ways for me to travel with the organization?
Yes, there are a number of ways. You may travel with another club from this country if they have room for
There are Mission, Discover, and Cultural trips where ambassadors stay mostly in hotels. The FFI website also provides information on festivals and regional/international conferences that often have extended homestays after the events.
12. If I don't see myself traveling in the next year should I still join?
Yes. Friendship Force is not a travel club. The mission of FF is building global goodwill through personal
We look forward to having you join the Friendship Force of Baton Rouge. Please contact any of the Board members with further questions.