The local radio club is where the newcomer begins the journey of discovery and the seasoned veteran keeps informed of the latest technology. Regardless of where we are on our ham radio journey our local radio club is where we find our friends. The term "Elmer" means someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams. The term first appeared in QST in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB). Newkirk called them "the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio."
Stockton-Delta Amateur Radio Club, the Manteca Amateur Radio Club and the Lodi Amateur Radio Club want to help teach new hams how to get started and offer this "personal guidance".
These sessions are an opportunity for the new ham to learn how to purchase and / or program their first radio, to discover some of the many opportunities there are in Amateur Radio to "find your world" and give the new ham just the chance to ask questions and get on the air.
Elmering sessions are scheduled a few weeks after or HamCram sessions so that new hams, who recently got their license can come back and learn the basics of the hobby from patient mentors called "Elmers".
The class is structured with a 30 minute "classroom session-overview" of Emergency Communications and Amateur Radio, followed by break-out sessions of various topics. After lunch, Elmers will answer questions 1-on-1 and get on the air with portable operating stations provided by the Stckton Fire Depasartment. Sessions may include topis such as "Getting on the Air / Hamspeak", Building Simple Antennas, Introduction to CW, Programming HTs and other radios, Mobile Installations, Echo-link, Digital Modes, and Contesting. Attendees may select those sessions which are of most interest to them.