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ALBG Sponsored Guide Exam - Test Prep Program

Disclaimer:  Neither the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides, Inc. nor individual Licensed Guides have any role in developing the National Park Service’s Guide Examination. Aside from recommending possible questions, the exam is entirely constructed by National Park Service personnel.  Accordingly, we have no advanced knowledge of what will and will not be on any particular exam. While taking any or all of these classes will certainly be of benefit to individuals planning on taking the next guide licensing exam – tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2012 – it is by no means a guarantee you will achieve a score sufficient to qualify you to move on in the licensing process.  The Licensed Battlefield Guide examination is highly competitive and only those with the very highest scores will move on.

2012 Guide Qualification Examination:  The Gettysburg National Military Park has announced that they will be offering a qualification exam for the purposes of developing a list of potential Battlefield Guides.  This is the first step in the guide licensing process.  This year the examination will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012.  In order to help prospective candidates prepare for the exam the following program of classes is offered.  ALBG first offered a Guide Prep series in conjunction with the Harrisburg Area Community College in the early 1990's.  Recently, HACC has closed most of its Continuing Education office under which this program was offered.  ALBG decided to continue the test-prep program on its own.

Location: Th programs will begin in mid-August and run through mid-November. All indoor classroom sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings at the G.A.R. Post Home on East Middle Street, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  They will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Sessions that have field programs associated with them will have the meeting site announced at the corresponding classroom session.  These field programs will last for two hours from 1p.m. to 3 p.m and will generall take place on the following Sunday.

Do I have to be in Gettysburg to register?  Yes. This is not an on-line program. Participants would have to be able to come to Gettysburg for Wednesday evening sessions and a few Sunday afternoon sessions. Though participants will be provided handout packets at most if not all sessions, these packets do not provide all of the material covered in a session. ALBG is currently working on an on-line version of the test-prep program but this will not be ready in 2012.

Cost:  The cost for each indoor session is $30 per person.  A session that has a corresponding outdoor companion program is $45 per person.   Each session may be purchased individually  by clicking the respective link below.

Discount:  If one were to purchase the entire test-prep program the cost for all 14 sessions would be $495.  If you would like to purchase the entire series at one time we offer a discounted price of $450 per participant (approximately $32 per session). 

For Information or to register:  Click the Session number for additional information. Click the "Register" column to register and pay using a credit card. 


Session #1$30 - Click to Register
Session #2$30 - Click to Register
Session #3$30 - Click to Register
Session #4$30 - Click to Register
Session #5$45 - Click to Register
Session #6$45 - Click to Register
Session #7$45 - Click to Register
Session #8$45 - Click to Register
Session #9$30 - Click to Register
Session #10$30 - Click to Register
Session #11$45 - Click to Register
Session #12$30 - Click to Register
Session #13$30 - Click to Register
Session #14$30 - Click to Register
To Register for the Entire Series$450 - Click to Register

8/15/2012 - Session 1: The History and Realities of Guiding

Instructor:  Fred Hawthorne, Test-prep program coordinator, LBG since 1982.

This session will explain how guiding at Gettysburg evolved in the years after the great Battle through the implementation of licensed guiding in the early part of the 20th Century.  It will look at the guiding tradition as it evolved under the auspices of the War Department and then the National Park Service.  The realities of guiding today will be discussed including the logistics of how guides get tours, the pitfalls of guiding and how much money can realistically be made.  This session will provide information the future guide-candidate needs to consider before deciding to pursue the guide-licensing process.

8/22/2012 - Session 2: Causes and Consequences of the American Civil War

Instructor: Dave Hamacher, Instructor - HACC, LBG since 2001.

The prospective battlefield guide is expected to have considerable knowledge, not just of the three days of the Battle but also the era both before and after the American Civil War. This session will review the many issues that led to the outbreak of the American Civil War, the key leaders involved and the many different solutions put forth to resolve the Nation’s difficulties.  The consequences of that War will also be examined in light of how it redefined and changed America.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 2

8/29/2012 - Session 3: Tactics, Weapons and Organization at Gettysburg

Instructor: Kavin Coughenour, Col. USA (Retired), LBG since 1995.

The prospective battlefield guide is expected to be able to answer a myriad of visitor’s questions ranging from how troops moved to how far a Napoleon cannon actually fired. This session is devoted to an overview of the basic military organization of all the branches of the American Civil War military service: infantry, artillery and cavalry. It will include a discussion of the common tactics used as illustrated by the Battle of Gettysburg as well as a detailing of general weapon types and capabilities in use by all the branches of service.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 3

9/5/2012 - Session 4: The American Civil War - An Overview

Instructor: Jim Martin, LBG since 1995.

There are always questions on a typical guide-exam dealing with other battles and campaigns – both on land and at sea. The Licensed Battlefield Guide is occasionally asked about these other actions. This session will concentrate on the military actions and campaigns through the entire American Civil War era – not just Gettysburg. We will look at all of the major campaigns – east and west as well as many of the non-Gettysburg personalities involved in those. 

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 4

9/12/2012 - Session 5: Battle of Gettysburg - the "Meeting Engagement: July 1"
9/16/2012 - Session 5a: Field Program

Instructor: Tony Nicastro, LBG since 1992.

The vast majority of the questions on a typical guide exam deal with the events surrounding the three days at Gettysburg. This session will be a comprehensive overview of the first day’s battle and its consequences. It will include the movements of the key units of both armies as well as major personalities involved.  An associated field program on Sunday will review the terrain over which the Battle was fought.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 5

9/19/2012 - Session 6: Battle of Gettysburg - "Longstreet's Assault on the Union Left: July 2"
9/23/2012 - Session 6a: Field Program


Instructor: Rich Kohr, LBG since 1995.

This session will be a comprehensive overview of Lee’s assault on the left flank of the Union army the afternoon of July 2nd. It will include the movements of the key units of both armies: elements of James Longstreet’s Confederate First Corps and Dan Sickles Union Third Corps as well as supporting units involved in the action. An associated field program on Sunday will continue the discussion on the actual terrain over which the Battle was fought from Little Round Top through the center of the Cemetery Ridge line and points in between.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 6

9/26/2012 - Session 7: Battle of Gettysburg - "Culp’s and Cemetery Hills: July 2 & 3"
9/30/2012 - Session 7a: Field Program

Instructor: Charlie Fennell, Instructor HACC, LBG since 1986.

Often taking second place to events occurring on the southern part of the Battlefield, the defense of Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill were equally important to the final outcome of the Battle. This session will be a comprehensive overview of the fighting on the Federal right flank. It will cover both the July 2nd attack on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill by elements of Richard Ewell’s Confederate Second Corps as well as the Union counterattack and heavy fighting on the morning of July 3rd on Culp’s Hill. Affiliated actions on Power’s and Wolf’s Hill will be considered. An associated field program on Sunday will continue the discussion with a look at the actual terrain involved.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 7

10/3/2012 - Session 8: Battle of Gettysburg - "Afternoon Fighting of July 3"
10/7/2012 - Session 8a: Field Program

Instructor: Jim Hessler , Author, LBG since 2003.

The fighting on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg will be the focus of Session eight. The great Confederate infantry assault on the afternoon of July 3rd that has come to be known as Pickett’s Charge will be examined and we will also look at the cavalry fighting both east and south of Gettysburg later that afternoon.  An associated field program on Sunday will continue the session on the actual terrain.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 8

10/10/2012 - Session 9: The Gettysburg Campaign (excluding battle) June 3 to August 1, 1863

Instructor: Jim Pangburn ,  LBG since 2000

The successful guide-candidate is also expected to have a strong background on the movements of the armies both to and from the Battlefield. Even though much of this may never be used on a typical Battlefield tour, a Guide is expected to be knowledgeable on the Campaign as a whole. This session looks at the movements of both armies in the weeks preceding the Battle. This will include looks at campaign actions such as Brandy Station and Hanover as well as clashes at Aldie and Middleburg. As the armies departed, actions at Fairfield and Monterrey down through Maryland to Falling Water will be fair game this night.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 9

10/17/2012 - Session 10: The Aftermath of the Battle & the Soldiers' National Cemetery

Instructor: Roy Frampton, Author, LBG since 1968.

Visitors frequently question how the dead were dealt with in the aftermath of the great Battle.  They often do not think of how the wounded were removed from the field. Many are interested in Lincoln’s visit five months later. This session will examine the cleanup of the area immediately following the Battle, including the treatment and transportation of the thousands of wounded men.  We will look at the problem of the dead and dying, their burial on the Battlefield and the subsequent development and dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, including the 26-hours of President Lincoln’s visit in November.  We will also discuss the exhumation and reburial of the Southern battle dead after the war.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 10

10/24/2012 - Session 11: Town of Gettysburg: Before, During and After the Battle.
10/28/2012 - Session 11a: Field Program

Instructor: Joanne Lewis, Gettysburg Town Guides, LBG since 2004.

The Battle of Gettysburg gets its name from the county seat of Adams County and the prospective guide is expected to have a good working knowledge of the town itself. This session will develop the growth of Gettysburg from a small crossroads community to county seat and major American Battlefield to today’s home town of a national treasure.  It will look at the personalities involved as well as the historic structures that remain for the town’s earliest days.  A portion of the program will be devoted to how the citizens of the town coped during the time the armies surrounded them. An associated field program on Sunday is planned to help the participant become familiar with key landmarks of the community.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 11

10/31/2012 - Session 12: The Homefront in the American Civil War

Instructor: Joe Mieczkowski , LBG since 2007.

A good understanding of the Civil War era necessary to be an effective Battlefield Guide includes knowledge of many different issues. This session will examine how the American Civil War was waged on the homefront including the many and varied roles of women and blacks in the war effort. The raising and feeding of large armies, the treatment of the wounded and prisoners and the draft laws were all as important as the movement of the armies in the field.  

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 12

11/7/2012 - Session 13: The Development of the Gettysburg National Military Park

Instructor: Bob Prosperi , Retired NPS, LBG since 1993.

What we know today as the Gettysburg National Military Park did not simply spring into existence.  It is the product of a century and a half of development, all of which a prospective battlefield guide is expected to have a good working knowledge. This session will examine the development of the Gettysburg Battlefield from 1863 through the present with a look at the many individuals and groups responsible for preserving, developing and marking the Park. Emphasis will be placed on the how the monumentation of the Battlefield came about with information on the building and significance of many of the key memorial structures on the field today.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 13

11/14/2012 - Session 14: Roundtable Review with Licensed Battlefield Guides.

Instructors:  Veteran Licensed Battlefield Guides

With the guide exam just a few short weeks away this session is designed to give everyone a chance to question the experts – those who have gone through the process already!  A panel of Guides will be on hand and they will give their recollection of the test taking experience as well as hints and tips on test preparation.  Sample questions will be thrown out to the group at large as points of discussion and information and then the floor will be open to questions of any and all types concerning guiding, the battle, background knowledge and anything else for which you may desire an answer.

CLICK TO REGISTER SESSION 14

CLICK TO REGISTER FOR ENTIRE TEST-PREP PROGRAM

All indoor classroom sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings at the G.A.R. Post Home on East Middle Street, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  They will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Sessions that have field programs associated with them will have the meeting site announced at the corresponding classroom session.  These field programs will last for two hours from 1p.m. to 3 p.m. 

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