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 have come together 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 forst 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 run concurrent with our HamCram testing sessions so that new hams, who got their license at a previous session can come back and learn the basics of the hobby from patient Elmers in each club.
The class is structured with a 40 minute "classroom session-overview" of Emergency Communications and Amateur Radio, followed by 2 break-out sessions of various topics in the morning, break for lunch and then 2 50-minute sessions in the afternoon. 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.
An HF station will also be set-up and operating with time available during the lunch break and after 3PM during the HamCram test session.