Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part IV

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Recognition of Elmership

This is one the first of the keys of developing teaching & mentoring resources in your local amateur radio community – Publicly recognize those who are effective & willing Elmers.

I know some have bristle at the use of “Elmer” as the amateur radio enthusiast’s label for “a good mentor.”  Our club used to have a member who really disliked calling the club meeting room the “Club Shack” too.  Feel free to adopt whatever names are comfortable and effective for you and your amateur radio community, but recognize that just like “Ham” in Ham Radio, these names have a place in the jargon & history of our shared hobby.

So for tradition’s sake I’ll use “Elmer.”

Your Elmers should know they are special.  Continued public recognition of their contributions should be regular, repeated and widely shared.

That doesn’t mean you praise some guy who back in the 1980’s helped someone out – that is ancient history.

It does mean that the guy who is working with a handful of homeschool kids on getting licensed, the guy who just helped another person get their PSK software and station on the air, the person who just took time to show a few of us how to put on cable connectors – – these people should be praised!

Use words of “thank you,” quiet congratulations to them on a personal level, club certificates and awards.  Include them in press releases, make sure their students tell them “thank you” and give them credit.

Repeated public praise of the successful and willing Elmer will nurture that Elmer and inspire others to join the Elmer ranks.


So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?



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