The material on this page was provided as a service to potential guides candidates registering for the 2017 Guide Licensing Process. At this time NO date has been set by the National Park Service for the next process to begin.  It certainly will not be before late 2022. This page is kept active for informational purposes and most links are still valid


The Licensed Battlefield Guide Examination: December 2, 2017

Announcement:  Angela Atkinson, Supervisory Park Ranger / LBG Supervisor is pleased to announce that an examination will be held in Gettysburg on Saturday, December  2, 2017 as part of the multi-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 tiers (explained in the documents below) will ultimately be licensed as the needs of the Gettysburg National Park, the Gettysburg Foundation, and the Licensed Battlefield Guide Service dictates.  The 2017 exam will be given ONLY to those who can fulfill the requirements of a full time guide. No new examinations will be given until such time as all successful candidates are processed and licensed.  One should not be expected again for a period of several years and certainly not as regularly in the past.

On this page will be found links to all documents you will require in order to understand the licensing process and what will be expected of successful candidates.   Instructions on how to register for the upcoming December 2017 test are also linked below.  Please read and be familiar with all documents before registering.

  • Tier 1 – Written Examination:   Saturday, December 2, 2017.
  • Location:  Harrisburg Area Community College, Gettysburg Campus
  • Time:  9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (an hour and a half break will be offered for lunch)  Candidates will be asked to arrive at 8:15 A.M. in order to sign in, register, and be seated.
  • Cost: $250.00 (Checks and Money Orders only!  Payable to the Department of the Interior / National Park Service by submitting the appropriate invoice.  This invoice is provided via a link below.
  • Deadline to register:  Your application, consisting of the required invoice and check, must be postmarked no later than Friday, November 10, 2017. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED!

Examination Site:

The December 2, 2017 Licensed Battlefield Guide Examination will be held on the Gettysburg Campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College,  731 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Candidates will enter through the main lobby. Please be prompt. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.

HACC map


Do I really have what it takes to be a Licensed Battlefield Guide?

Successful LBG’s come from a wide-variety of professional backgrounds.  Some guide after having retired from a ‘regular’ job; others with a burning love of the American Civil War era come to guiding at a much younger age – often while still working.  Our present guide force ranges in age from their upper  20’s to near 90.  Our senior guides now began their guide careers in the mid-1960’s.  What is the skill-set required to be a successful Licensed Battlefield Guide?  When deciding whether sitting for the 2017 guide exam is for you consider the following document.


Official NPS Examination Announcement and Related Documents:

This document constitutes the National Park Service’s Official Announcement of the upcoming 2017 Examination.  It contains a complete explanation of the full-day, two-part, Tier 1 written exam process as well as instructions on how  to register and submit your fee payment.  Please read all of these documents carefully before applying. Print the official payment invoice and submit it along with a check in the amount of $250.00 (made payable to DOI / NPS)

NPS OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 2017 EXAM: Exam-Announcement_Becoming-an-LBG

EXAM FEE PAYMENT DOI / NPS INVOICE: Bill-of-Collection. (Link removed as no process has been scheduled!)

The Multi-Tiered Licensing Process:

Over the course of the past several years, the entire guide licensing process has undergone a thorough examination and overhaul. This resulted in the development of a multi-tiered licensing process of which the December 2nd exam is simply the first step.  There is no “passing” or “failing” of this written exam; simply scoring sufficiently high to qualify you to advance to Tier 2.  Other qualities beyond simple knowledge are required to obtain a license to guide and those are evaluated in subsequent tiers. Please read the following documents which explains the entire process in detail.



The Guiding Tradition at Gettysburg by LBG Fred Hawthorne

Prospective LBG’s must understand the unique tradition of guiding at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Indeed, the topic is fair game for questions on the Tier 1 written examination.  Since no comprehensive history of the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides is easily obtained, a brief synopsis of a century of guiding “The Guiding Tradition at Gettysburg” was written by Fred Hawthorne, LBG,  to help you in your individual exam preparations.

Brief LBG History


Resources for helping you prepare for the licensing process:

Most successful LBG’s have spent a lifetime of study before taking the Guide exam.  This does not mean a person new to the study of the Gettysburg Campaign has little chance but the more you have read the better off one will be.  A comprehensive  list of resources is provided for  self-guided, self-study preparation for the entire multi-tiered LBG Examination Process.  It can be accessed through the link below:


Still have questions?

The documents linked on this page were exhaustively designed to anticipate any questions.  Please make certain that you have thoroughly reviewed each and understand its contents.  In the event that questions may still arise please direct them to:    Angela Atkinson, Supervisory Park Ranger

Her contact information is contained in several places in the above documents.


Updated: February 20, 2021


In consideration of the services of The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides®, their officers,  agents, and members, and/or all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively  referred to as “ALBG”) I agree as follows: 

Although ALBG has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and experienced,  skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, ALBG has informed me this activity is not  without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique  character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique  character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or  in extreme cases, permanent injury, trauma and/ or death. ALBG does not want to frighten me or reduce my  enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to be aware of and to  expect and to be informed of the inherent risks as reasonably as possible. Most programs will be conducted on  the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park (“GNMP”). The following describes some, but not all, of  those risks.

  • Tripping, slipping and/or falling on uneven, slippery and/or brush and/or leaf-covered terrain
  • Exposure to severe weather, including but not limited to: Excessive cold, heat and/or humidity, sun,  heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening and/or high winds 
  • Exposure to stinging insects, poison ivy and/or poison oak 
  • Traffic on GNMP and public roadways adjacent and through GNMP, which may be heavy at times and  may include, but is not limited to: automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, horses, horse-drawn  vehicles, Segways and bicycles 

I am aware that outdoors programs entail risks of injury, trauma and/or death to any participant. I  understand the description of these inherent risks is as complete as is reasonably possible, and that other unknown  or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury, trauma and/or death. I agree to assume and accept full  responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and those inherent risks not specifically identified but may  also occur. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary; no one is forcing me to participate and I elect to  participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. 

I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than  other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant. I acknowledge that the staff of ALBG [and the  Staff of the Gettysburg National Military Park who are publicly available to all Visitors for information at no  charge] has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the  inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity. 

I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full  responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or  loss of personal property [including but not limited to automobiles, other vehicles, pets, etc.] and expenses as a  result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically  identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity. 

I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and  acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal  representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.

Close and choose agree to continue with registration.