Mentoring Begins with the Local Club
At the national association for Amateur Radio we have always felt that the local radio club is where the learning takes place. 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.”
As you can see, the term is not very old. Prior to the first use of Elmer as the one who guided and encouraged us, what were these folks called? We have received a lot of suggestions; teacher, mentor, tutor, guide, helper, sage? All are appropriate but my guess would be that first and foremost they were called friend.
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise. <Wikipedia>