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