The SAR Youth Exchange Program involving the children and grandchildren of SAR members in France and the United States was first implemented in 2008 and 2009 and has been a resounding success. The exchange includes young ladies and gentlemen between the ages of twelve and twenty years old. This program has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for young people from both countries to experience a different culture, develop new relationships, and share our mutual heritage of freedom. During the summer of 2010, the SAR had six youths participate in this program. The American youths were from Santa Ana, California; Concord, North Carolina; and Jacksonville, Florida. The three French youth participants from France were all from Paris, France.
The SAR Youth Exchange Program is on a reciprocal basis. The program participants are paired based upon common interests and age. The time period for those participating from the United States could occur during the summer months of June and July, when most schools are on vacation. In France, the time period for the exchange could occur from the end of June to the beginning of September, when French schools are on vacation. Thus, upon agreement between the paired families, the youth of the United States and France will be visiting during the time periods mutually convenient. It is recommended that the duration of the visit to both countries be approximately two to three weeks, however, these time periods and duration of visits can be changed based upon individual preferences.
If SAR members’ children or grandchildren are interested in participating in this exchange program and do not possess a French or U.S. passport, those appropriate documentation applications should be filed immediately. For interested youths under the age of eighteen, both of the applicant’s parents’ consent and proof of parental relationship are required. Each participant in this exchange program must also show proof of medical insurance and have the appropriate immunizations for visiting France or the United States.
All responsibility for travel arrangements, costs, and liability of these exchanges rests solely with each candidate and his or her family. The SAR will not be responsible for any expenses whatsoever. The role of the SAR is to merely collect each candidate’s interest and then identify and match each participant based upon common interests.
A Facebook group page has been inaugurated so that eligible youths can get acquainted, share experiences, and establish friendships. This group’s membership is open to all eligible program participants, their parents and grandparents, and members of the SAR Youth Exchange Committee. However, it is anticipated that the Facebook group will primarily be used by the youth of France and the United States. It is not necessary that group members either have participated in the exchange program or plan to participate in the future. The Youth Exchange Program’s participants are encouraged to join the Facebook group whether or not they plan to participate in the youth exchange program. Hopefully, by joining the Facebook group, interested youths will find other peers with common interests and decide to visit each other by participating in the SAR Youth Exchange Program. To find the SAR Youth Exchange Program Facebook group, please log onto Facebook search for "National Sons of the American Revolution Franco-American Youth Exchange,” and ask to join. This is a “closed” group, meaning that the group administrator must either approve requests for new members to join or invite new members. The administrator reserves the right to remove any postings which are inappropriate or inconsistent with the goals and objectives of SAR.
Those individuals interested in participating in the SAR's exchange program should download, complete, and submit the Reciprocal Youth Exchange Program application form. For more detailed information on the SAR Youth Exchange Program, please contact John L. Dodd or Mark C. Anthony in the United States or Jean-Michel Saint Girons or Josselin Lucas in France.