Why You Should Join Our Club

You do not need an amateur radio license to join our club. However, be warned that once the bug bites you, you will wonder why you waited so long to become a ham. And, once bitten, you will find that you have a lot of friends willing to help you grow within the hobby.

Our club has many members who are able and willing to help newcomers to our great hobby. We provide assistance to those looking to earn a license with individual mentoring and training classes. Members help new hams with recommendations/comments on radios and antennas. Some members are expert in antenna design and are more than willing to share what they know with the newbie. Some are computer wizards and can help with digital modes of radio communications. Still others will help with ham shack assembly or installation of transceivers in cars or trucks. Some are into building towers and installing rotors and antennas on them. Former officers are available to help show potential new officers the ropes.

New members are encouraged to avail themselves of the experience of older members. (And, often, the experience of younger members!)

Elmers

Elmering, or mentoring, has long been the backbone of Amateur Radio. While technology constantly evolves, the human interaction between hams will not be replaced and will always remain one of the hobby's strongest traditions. As licensed hams, we are all ambassadors of Amateur Radio, and we should always be looking at ways in which we can welcome newly- licensed hams and project a positive image that will attract others to ham radio.

Origin of the Term Elmer

The term Elmer - meaning someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams - first appeared in the ARRL's QST magazine in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB). Newkirk called them "the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio." While he probably was not trying to coin a term at the time, here's how Newkirk introduced "Elmer" in his column and, as it turned out, to the rest of the Amateur Radio world:

"Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell: 'Oh, I almost got a ticket, too, but Elmer, W9XYZ, moved away and I kind of lost interest.'"

Newkirk went on to say, "We need those Elmers. All the Elmers, including the ham who took the most time and trouble to give you a push toward your license, are the birds who keep this great game young and fresh." - Rick Lindquist, N1RL

As you can see, the term is not very old. Prior to the first use of Elmer as the one who guided and encouraged us, what were these folks called? We have received a lot of suggestions - teacher, mentor, tutor, guide, helper, sage? All are appropriate, but first and foremost, they are called friend.

From an article by the ARRL. ©ARRL


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