[AMRadio] The ARRL, Elmers, and Mentors

BSugarberg bsugarberg at core.com
Tue Dec 18 18:35:48 EST 2007

> I just wish that dumb-sounding term "elmer" would go away for good.
 > Don k4kyv
> =========================
> The term is part of our history. Why Kalifornicate our heritage? 


Actually, the term "elmer" is something relatively new, and only recently
has it come into any kind of common use.   It was first used in a March
1971 QST article by Dave Newkirk:

"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 

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."

What the ARRL thinks of the term "elmer" today:

 From the ARRL Web Site:

"Hams Helping Hams - ARRL Mentor Program"

"Welcome to the ARRL Mentor page. This page is going to be the central hub 
for all things that deal with mentoring or Elmers and clubs. We have already 
posted an initial set of resources to make navigating the site easier for 
everyone and especially the new ham."

"There has been a bit of question as to why we are using the term mentor as 
opposed to the traditional term Elmer. Ham radio does have its share of 
tradition and lore, and to a lot of folks it seems that we are breaking from 
tradition and discarding the affectionate term Elmer. Not so. Most folks 
outside of Amateur Radio do not recognize what an Elmer is, but they do know 
what a mentor is. And because this program is geared toward the new ham we 
don't want to confuse anyone."

73, Bruce WA8TNC

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