Vicksburg National Military Park sets training for licensed guides

Published 5:47 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Vicksburg National Military Park is recruiting candidates to become Licensed Battlefield Guides.

The National Park Service, the Vicksburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Association and the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign are partnering to provide training for individuals wishing to become certified as Licensed Battlefield Guides.

Licensed Battlefield Guides are not Federal or park employees, but are licensed through the park under special congressional legislation to provide guided tours in the park. Fees received by the guides for these tours are set by the park and vary depending upon the size of the tour group and the duration of the tour.

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To become Licensed Battlefield Guides, applicants must pass a thorough written examination on the Civil War and, in particular, the campaigns and Siege of Vicksburg.

Those who pass the written exam must also pass an oral exam where they bring a park ranger/guide out on an actual tour of the park, to qualify for their license.

Additional training and mentoring on how to develop and conduct tours will be provided to help potential guides prepare for the oral exam on completion of the written exam.

A series of seminars will be held over the next several months beginning March 1 to help prepare candidates for the exams. Tuesday seminars will be open to the public and free of charge and two Saturday programs/tours will be reserved for potential candidates.

Potential candidates are not required to attend the seminars but they are intended to help potential candidates study for the exams. Additional study materials including a training manual and a reading list will be provided. Exams will be scheduled with candidates.

The seminars will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday in March and the first and second Tuesday in April and the second and third Saturday in April from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at 2414 Grove St.

For more information contact: Brendan Wilson at the park at 601-642-688 or  brendan_wilson@nps.gov, or Rick Martin, Vicksburg Battlefield Guide Association at rpmcol@yahoo.com.

For more information on the Licensed Battlefield Guide program, visit https://www.nps.gov/vick/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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