Elmers’ Corner

This page is for everyone, especially new Hams, those who would like to be Hams, and anyone interested in the Amateur Radio Hobby.

What’s an Elmer?

An Elmer is a person who nurtures, mentors, coaches or provides personal assistance to ham radio operators. Introduced by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB) the term “Elmer” first appeared in the March 1971 issue of QST. Newkirk called them, “the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio”.

As you can see, the term is not very old. Prior to the first use of Elmer, what were these folks called? Many have suggested teacher, mentor, tutor, guide, helper and sage? All are appropriate, but first and foremost they are called friend.

Need Elmer Help?

Send your Elmer questions to: elmers@soara.org. Don’t be discouraged if the Elmers don’t respond quickly. Remember, this is a volunteer email distribution. Hopefully, the response you receive is something helpful and worthwhile.

ARRL Elmer Award

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has a program to acknowledge and reward Elmers for their service. No money is involved and there is no competition. However, if you’d like to acknowledge someone who has helped you in your journey through Amateur Radio, please feel free to submit their name using the following: ARRL Elmer Award form.

How To Become An Elmer?

The only requirement to be a SOARA Elmer is your willingness to help fellow hams with your experience and knowledge. It’s no disgrace to say I don’t know. Help with what you do know.

  1. If you would like to add your name to the list, just send an email to: membership@soara.org. Indicate your desire to become an Elmer and tell us which areas of expertise you are most comfortable sharing. Be sure to include your name and call sign so our Membership Director can make you a special green Elmer badge.
  2. Then add yourself to the Elmer email list. Just click here and follow the instructions.
  3. That’s it! Thank you for helping other hams and making our club great.

SOARA Elmer Saturdays

SOARA Elmer Saturday’s is a great learning event. We typically cover one primary topic per event. However, many folks break out into other conversations about numerous topics. Be sure to attend these events. For more information, go to the SOARA Elmer Saturday page.