What is the A.L.B.G.?
A few days after the armies left the smoldering battlefield of Gettysburg in July, 1863, local residents began to guide curiosity seekers and grieving family members through the sites associated with the recent conflict. Over the last decades of the 19th century many individuals took up guiding as veterans and visitors from around the world arrived at what was fast developing as the premier battlefield park commemorating the American Civil War. Shortly after the Federal Government instituted a testing process to regulate the quality of the existing battlefield guides in the summer of 1915, these newly licensed guides met to establish an organization providing a common voice in promoting guide services and improving the quality of the visitor’s experience. The A.L.B.G. is now incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania as a 501 (C) (6) non-profit organization with the mission of improving the quality of the battlefield guide and promoting the benefits of a licensed guided tour of this and other battlefields of the American Civil War. Today, more than one hundred Association guides conduct thousands of visitors around Gettysburg and other battlefields of the Civil War each year. There are many other internet based, self-proclaimed “battlefield guides” out there with more popping up every year. Even in Gettysburg, there are tour companies purporting to have onboard guides – in reality simply untrained drivers. If your guide of the Gettysburg battlefield does not wear the official uniform or does not wear the official guide patch depicted on every page of this website then he/she is NOT a sanctioned battlefield guide. Bus / Van drivers at NO time are permitted to provide tours of the field. Be wary of anyone not wearing the official uniform. Choose the oldest, most experienced and the ONLY guides tested, licensed by the federal government AND legally authorized to conduct tours of the Gettysburg National Military Park!! Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter 1, Part 25, Section 25.2, Subsection (a): “No person shall be permitted to offer his services or to act as a guide unless licensed for that purpose by the superintendent…”
The Licensed Battlefield Guide Examination: December 5, 2015
Announcement: Angela Atkinson, Supervisory Park Ranger / LBG Supervisor is pleased to announce that an examination will be held in Gettysburg on Saturday, December 5, 2015 as part of the four-tiered process of licensing individuals to guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park. At this time we do not know how many individuals taking this exam will ultimately receive a guide license. Candidates who successfully complete all four tiers will ultimately be licensed as the needs of the Gettysburg National Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, and the Licensed Battlefield Guide Service dictates. Visit the 2015 Exam Page for all documents and registration information.
The L.B.G. Academy
The Academy continues through the fall and is an excellent way to prepare for the December Guide Exam – the first step in the licensing process. Our classes began August 8 and will continue every Saturday through November 21. Each class is a self-contained topic. Though the actual battle-related classes have already taken place upcoming topics such as “Human Interest Stories,” “The town of Gettysburg,” and the “Development of the Gettysburg National Military Park will be invaluable in assisting in test preparation. The last two sessions will provide valuable information to all who plan to take the December exam. Plan to register today. Click the link for details.
The Gettysburg Licensed Guides are saddened today by the loss of two legendary guides on August 20. Nora Frances Saum – who served as the National Park Guide Supervisor in the late 1960’s and 1970’s before becoming a guide herself passed away at the age of 90. James “Skip” Wensyel, a 1952 graduate of the USMA became a guide upon his retirement from a variety of careers and was a true gentleman, admired by all. Additional details on the Memoriam page as they become available.
Welcome Newest LBG!
We welcome our newest colleague, Mr. Chris Army, who successfully completed his qualification examination September 1, 2015. In this, our centennial year, Chris has become the 578th individual to earn a Federal Guide License since the testing process was implemented October 17, 1915.
ALBG 2016 Seminars Open For Registration!
The 2016 Spring and Fall seminars are now open and ready for registration. In April, we will examine the Union Sharpshooters at Gettysburg. In September we will look at Cemetery Hill, the critical high ground of the battle. Both seminars are described in detail via the links below. New this year will be a special discount offered to anyone who registers for both seminars – a savings of $50 on both!