VNMP offering battlefield guide class Tuesday

Published 11:30 am Monday, February 17, 2014

Vicksburg National Military Park is mustering up a new crop of licensed battlefield guides, and training begins Tuesday.

A welcome and orientation will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the park Visitor Center, ranger Tim Kavanaugh said.

Classes continue from 6:30 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday through April 1, and conclude with two Saturday programs and tours set for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 5 and April 12.

All the programs are free and open to the public.

“You do not have to be a licensed battlefield guide candidate to attend the programs,” Kavanaugh said.

Participants who want to become licensed guides must pass a written exam on the Civil War and the Siege of Vicksburg. Those who pass the written exam, must also pass an oral exam, during which they bring a park ranger on an actual tour of the park to qualify for their license, Kavanaugh said.

To help prepare candidates for exams, VNMP has prepared bibliographies and research material in addition to the weekly seminars.

Battlefield guides are not federal or park employees, but they are licensed though the park under special Congressional legislation as contractors to the park and the National Park Service.

Fees received by guides for tours of the park  and City of Vicksburg vary depending upon the size of a tour group and duration of the tour.

For more information about Vicksburg National Military Park, visit www.nps.gov/vick or www.facebook.com/vicksburgnmp.nps or call the park at 601-636-0583.