The Student Has Become the Teacher (Sort Of)
- Category: EmComm/Disaster Relief
- Written by Blake Raab (N4BWR)
I wrote an article a few years ago about how I passed the ARRL's EC-001 course. EC-001 is the American Radio Relay League's Intro to Emergency Communication course. It's an amazing course, covering everything from having the right attitude, to various agencies' communications systems, to net operations, and more. If I had paid the fee and just got the text of the course material, it probably would have been worth it. As it turns out, this course comes with a mentor who interacts with you directly on each of the assignments that you submit at the end of each topic. That made the course absolutely worth it. My mentor replied to each of my assignments with clarification, more suggestions, and personal anecdotes, and he also answered any questions that I had.
Fast forward to the past week. I noticed that the ARRL posted an article saying that they urgently need mentors for this course. Since I meet the requirements, see the immeasurable value of the mentor aspect in this course, and have made it a goal to get people interested in growing in amateur radio, I applied. I also had to get the approval of the Section Manager. He wholeheartedly did so. (Thank you for that!) I am now slated to be the mentor for three six-week courses in 2019. I am very seriously and excitedly looking forward to this. I have saved all of the emails from my mentor and my submitted assignments, so I will have those to draw upon. I want to make this something that each of the students will walk away from thinking that they would have paid more for it and, more importantly, something that prepares them and gets them excited for what their involvement in ARES might bring.
If you are even slightly considering getting more involved in ARES than just checking into the net, I very strongly encourage you to visit the ARRL Online Course Catalog, find Introduction to Emergency Communication (EC-001), and sign up (if you meet the prerequisites). You won't regret it. If you sign up next year, you might even have me as a mentor. I'm already assigned through the end of the year.