Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:
Encouragement to Find an Elmer
This is so basic, yet we see new licensees andnew interested candidates left without hardly a word of guidance.
The saying goes “Hindsight is 20-20″ which explains why such a simple idea as searching out an Elmer seems self-evident from an estabished ham’s viewpoint.
Whether our local club plants the idea to find an Elmer during Hamcrams, as a follow up with new members, or even as a handout with suggestions, it is important to plant the seed of the idea.
My life has given me exceptional opportunities as the person mentored by exceptional mentors, including in amateur radio. The most influencial radio amateur was not a local club member, or someone who wanted to be leader of this group or that group, rather it was meeting someone who “just does it” at a high level and who could speak from experience that helped me move forward in the hobby.
I developed a self-drive – self-encoouragement – to find an Elmer, as I was already clear what I would like to do, and I wanted to avoid making too many mistakes that could be avoided by a bit of guidance.
Working with a new ham friend at distance I was pleased when he made the effort to search out a small group of positive effective elmer types locally to his QTH with whom he could get input on what works well where they live.
Repeating & telling the stories of seccessful Student-Elmer relationships is helpful. If “Elmer” bugs you as a label, use “Mentor.”
Put some meat on those stories. The hams who prattled on about how this SK or that SK was such a wonderful Elmer to them, never explaining what made that experience wonderful were just telling stories about themselves. Useless prattle.
Thos who described how they and their Elmer interacted, and how it helped them in the hobby generalize the experience into a shareable form. They are talking about the special mentorship and encourangement of a good student-Elmer situation.
Do what is needed to plant the idea of finding the mentorship of an Elmer in your fellow ham.
So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?