The Society of Midwest Contesters
The Society of Midwest Contesters

Society of Midwest Contesters (SMC) Outreach Program

14 August 2015 – by Bill, K3WA SMC Board Member

Society of Midwest Contesters (SMC) Outreach Program

Background:  Even as the popularity of radiosport grows in our hobby we continue to  see the graying of the contesting community.  We, along with many others, have spent countless hours lamenting the aging of the contesting community, how we can entice younger hams to join us, and what steps we should take to make that happen.

SMC members believe is it time to stop our laments, get proactive, and do something to turn this trend around.

Hams get into contesting for a variety of reasons.  Some have contesters in their family who inspire them to become a contester.  Others hear a contest on the air, get into contests to increase their WAS and/or DXCC counts.  Yet others hear about radiosport from their Elmers.  Even more participate in their local club’s Field Day activities and get bitten by the contesting bug.  The one thing they all have in common is a paucity of knowledge about contesting, how to optimize their stations, and how to effectively operate.  With that kind of help (or elmering) and a lot of encouragement we can help their entry into the contesting community and into SMC.

Goal:  Encourage more contest participation the SMC area of operations through a combination of individual mentoring, presenting an SMC Contest University at ham events such as W9DXCC, outreach to local ARRL affiliated amateur radio clubs, providing how-to videos, and participation in mentoring individual club operating events such as Field Day.


  • We are conducting our second SMC Contest University at W9DXCC in September 2015. We already have a good number of hams signed up for this event and anticipate it will grow from here.
  • All the other facets of our outreach program will take place at a local level and will operate under the guidance of a SMC member volunteer, one each in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin – a SMC Elmer Captain. He/she will recruit potential SMC Elmers from the SMC community.
  • Current SMC members will be able to request an Elmer be assigned to help him/her.
  • As we welcome new members into SMC the appropriate state Elmer Captain will contact the new member and welcome him/her to SMC and offer Elmer services.
  • State Elmer Captains will contact local clubs in their state and offer SMC Elmering services to their members.
  • State Elmer Captains will also contact local clubs to offer Elmering services and potential participation in their contest-like operating events such as field day. Develop a listing of SMC members who want to participate and help the club do better while stoking up interest levels in radiosport.
  • Develop videos for training on a variety of contesting oriented subjects including technical subjects.