ARRL Nebraska Section Introduces “Elmer Squad”

This is from the 3/31/11 issue of the ARRL Letter. Looks like a great idea to me…..Dan

The Nebraska Elmer Squad made its first official appearance earlier this month at the ARRL Nebraska State Convention in Lincoln. Darwin Piatt, W9HZC, and Darrel Swenson, K0AWB, were on hand to answer questions about the Squad’s mission and plans. According to ARRL Nebraska Section Manager Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ, the Squad is gathering a list of volunteer Elmers throughout the state who are willing to assist not only new Amateur Radio operators, but current operators who need some technical assistance.

“Mentoring of new or prospective hams will be an ongoing part of the mission,” Zygielbaum told the ARRL. “The intent is to have Elmers participate in their local area radio clubs and give presentations on various subjects relating to Amateur Radio.” Nearly a dozen hams signed up at the State Convention to be a part of the Elmer Squad.

Piatt and Swenson said that they believe that people should remember that Amateur Radio is a hobby — and it should be fun. Both men are QRP operators and builders; part of their enjoyment comes from passing on the fun of building to others.

The Elmer Squad will be traveling around Nebraska this summer and fall, giving presentations and signing up more Elmers. In addition, Piatt and Swenson are working on a Nebraska Elmer Squad website. Zygielbaum said that this will provide a central contact point to match Elmers with those who would like assistance. Once the site is up and running, the URL will be posted on the ARRL Nebraska Section website.

“Our motto is ‘Hey, this is a hobby — it is supposed to be fun!'” Zygielbaum explained. “We’re looking for good people to help us keep it that way.”


  1. Great idea!

    I confess I’ve never heard of an ARRL State Convention. Is that pretty common?

    • Dan KB6NU says:

      Some sections regularly hold conventions. Here in Michigan, we used to hold them every other year, but organizing these events is a lot of work, so few clubs are willing to take on the responsibility of doing it. Also, with gas prices being what they are, attendance at section conventions has been falling. The result is that fewer and fewer section conventions are taking place.

  2. I’ve just found the website for our own section here in MN. Thanks for the nudge.

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