PARENTS: Frequently Asked Questions



Here you will find answers to questions often brought up by the parents of our participants, including information on the Skill Building Phase, details about their stay in the United States or Northern Ireland and Friends Forever International in general.  Updated upon request; please submit new inquiries to Chelsea Fitton at or Tegan Kurzynowski at


What does the program entail?

Please see the FFI RECIPE page for a general overview of the guiding principles of our program or the Sample Schedule page for examples of what activities happen during the time the participants are in the U.S.


What happens before the two weeks in America?

This period is what we refer to as the "Team Building Phase". Please refer to the FFI RECIPE page or click the icon to learn more.


How many responsible adults go with the young people?

There are two team leaders involved from the start of the program and they are the primary leaders throughout the two-week skill building trip. There is also one Program Coordinator.


Where would my child be staying?

Participants from our Northern Ireland and Middle East programs travel to the United States during their Skill Building Phases and stay with one of the 2 main chapters of FFI: New England and Midwest. For more information on each chapter, click the map icon.

Participants from our United States Programs travel to Northern Ireland during their Skill Building Phase and stay in Belfast.


How is the program funded?

The majority of our support comes from individual donors, Rotary clubs, and small family foundations. We also have fundraising events throughout the year. We charge our partner organizations (youth clubs and schools) a fee per participant. You should contact your youth club or school to ask how much you are required to pay.


What do they do in abroad?

The time in America is called the "Skill Building Phase". For more information on this phase please refer to the Friends Forever RECIPE page or click the icon. 


What do the young people gain by participating in the program?

We aim to provide the youth the opportunity to develop confidence, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership skills. We also want to give young people a greater voice and a platform for that voice.  We encourage participants to examine their values and take action in their communities which reflect those values. We aim to empower the young people to make positive change, both in their relationships with each other and in their communities. For examples of how the young people are making a difference, click the icon.


What are the expectations after they return home?

After the youth return home, they enter the "Community Building Phase". For more information on this phase please refer to the FFI RECIPE page or click the icon.


What are the Madlug bags?

Through our partnership with Madlug participants have the opportunity to purchase a daypack at a reduced price of $15 USD. You can purchase a bag through FFI. To learn more check out the Madlug page.


What happens if my child gets sick or injured?

Answer to come


How much money does my child need to bring?

While your child is on the Skill Building Trip they do not have to pay for meals, lodging, transportation, or program activities. We generally recommend participants carry only enough money for treats and gifts, less than $300 USD.



What do we pack?

Please note that the below items are listed merely as a guide; please consult your child's group leaders and/or host site for any items specifically requested.

sturdy hill walking shoes

one pillowcase & one bed sheet

money for anticipated personal expenses in U.S. dollars *

trousers/shoes suitable for: public presentations, sightseeing, school visits, and athletic activities

personal toiletries

swim gear (optional, summer session**)

* Please note that, while we will provide all meals and program expenses, extras such as personal sweets and phone cards to call home will not be provided by Friends Forever International.

jacket can be light in summer, please bring a heavy jacket in the fall

a daypack (backpack or rucksack)

a few small gifts for new friends and hosts

* *Average Temperatures, in degrees Celsius, during the Skill Building Trip:



  • New England: High 27 C, Low 18 C

  • Midwest: High 29 C, Low 19 C



  • New England: High 16 C, Low 3 C

  • Northern Ireland: High 49 F, Low 38 F

one towel (and face cloth if desired)

emergency contact information

Please supply your program leaders with any necessary personal medications for safe-keeping for the duration of the trip

Please note that the above items are listed merely as a guide; please consult your child's group leaders and/or host site for any items specifically requested.


 Also, the following items are strictly prohibited and therefore must be left at home:

Inappropriate clothing: Please do not bring shorts, skirts, or dresses that are shorter than mid-thigh, as they are considered inappropriate for many of our activities. 

Cigarettes/Alcohol: Smoking is illegal for all of those under 18.  We ask that all of our participants and leaders refrain from smoking while on the Friends Forever International Program. Also, the consumption of alcohol is illegal for those under 21.  Any participant caught drinking alcohol will be immediately sent home at his/her own expense.

Excessive amounts of money: While time will be made available for shopping, the two-week schedule in the U.S. is packed full of activities that will take priority.

Friends Forever International

One Morgan Way

Durham, NH 03824

+1.603.397.5301 |


Youth Leadership | Empowerment | Change