WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ELMER?
Say the word “Elmer” to a non-Ham and two thoughts spring to mind: glue for elementary craft projects and a bald-headed rabbit hunter who has trouble pronouncing his Rs (see Barber of Seville). In the Amateur Radio realm, Elmers hold a high place of esteem. The word means an experienced operator who takes a novice under his or her wing, providing personal guidance and answers to the thousands of questions that confront the newbie. It can also be used as a verb, as in, “Elmering an aspiring operator is a cherished tradition that goes back to the early days of the hobby.”
The word has relatively recent origins. It first appeared in a 1971 QST article by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD, in which he bemoans the all-too-familiar story of an eager student who falls off the Amateur Radio wagon once his mentor moves away. He wrote, “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.’”
LOOKING FOR AN ELMER OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE AN ELMER?
If you are a new ham and looking for an Elmer fill out the form below. Once we get your info, we’ll match you with an Elmer from our club. Want to be an Elmer to an upcoming ham, send us your information.