Any Licensed Battlefield Guides here?

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infomanpa

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
1,726
Location
Pennsylvania
After the test, there's an interview process and I haven't been able to break through to the next round. At least, so far anyways.

Ryan
...and here all along I thought that the test was the hardest part of the process! But I have to ask.....why would you take the test a second time if you already passed?
 

rpkennedy

Major
Member of the Month
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May 18, 2011
Messages
9,897
Location
Carlisle, PA
...and here all along I thought that the test was the hardest part of the process! But I have to ask.....why would you take the test a second time if you already passed?
You have to take it each time in order to move to the interview process. I began the process twice and passed the test both times but just couldn't crack the top spots.

Ryan
 
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rpkennedy

Major
Member of the Month
Joined
May 18, 2011
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9,897
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Carlisle, PA
Just to give everyone an idea how difficult the whole thing is, the first time I took the test, about 160 people started the exam and about 130 finished (the others left half-way through during the break). They took the top 35 to go on to the interview process. After the interviews, it was whittled down to less than a dozen. And that doesn't mention how difficult the test itself was in the first place.

Ryan
 
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General Casey

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
885
Location
Massachusetts
The Civil War Monitor magazine for their Gettysburg 150th issue did a profile on the LBG test. It was an interesting read. Apparently the test was reformatted a number of years ago to make it harder to pass so that only the top 5 or 6 test takers move onto the interview process. Apparently a stat was quoted that said the 5th ranked taker got 97 percent of the question right while the 6th got 96 percent correct but couldn't move onto the interview process.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
159
Location
York, Pennsylvania
I took the LBG test in December 2017 shortly after retirement from my career and passed the written exam (197 people took the test). Then, I passed the first interviews with teams of LBGs and park rangers and moved on to the three-day "charm school," along with 18 others split into two sessions. I was in the first session in the spring of 2018 with 8 others but after the third day was eliminated (too professorial, I was told). It was a great, but humbling experience. I will not try again. That failure to qualify as an LBG sparked me to launch my own consultant business for the global pulp and paper industry after retiring instead of guiding. That proved to be a far more lucrative option, so I am quite happy. I also have plenty of time to write more books (22 of them so far over the past 15 years).
 

redbob

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
6,942
Location
Hoover, Alabama
When my wife and I used a LBG for a tour of the battlefield, he drove, I was in the passenger seat and my wife was in the back. As we drove along, the LBG spoke directly to me and not to my wife. I could see her clouding up (never a good sign) so I casually mentioned to the LBG that of his two clients, one was a firefighter along for the ride and one was an Army Officer gathering information on a paper that she was to write for Command and General Staff School. I also casually mentioned that it wasn't the firefighter that was going to pay him or tip him, so he pulled over, put me in the back seat, my wife in the front and then I was just along for the ride.:bye:
 
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Mint Julep

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
541
I was planning on taking the LBG test and started the studying process during my summer at grad school. After a short time, I did the math; I came to realize that even if I got through the whole process, the best it would serve me is a place at the bottom of my resume. Sorry, it just wasn't worth the time and effort for me.
 

hoosier

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
4,160
Location
Dillsburg, PA
I was driving on Route 15 this evening and came to a stop light just north of Dillsburg.

The car in front of me had a license plate that said "GTTYSBRG," with a frame that identified the owner as a Licensed Battlefield Guide.

What really surprised me was that it was a New York license plate.

If the owner of the license plate is a member of CivilWarTalk, I hope you will identify yourself and tell us how a New York resident came to be an LBG at Gettysburg.
 
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E_just_E

Captain
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Sep 3, 2014
Messages
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Location
Center Valley, PA
Just to give everyone an idea how difficult the whole thing is, the first time I took the test, about 160 people started the exam and about 130 finished (the others left half-way through during the break). They took the top 35 to go on to the interview process. After the interviews, it was whittled down to less than a dozen. And that doesn't mention how difficult the test itself was in the first place.

Ryan
And then there is the initiation ceremony where you have to kneel in front of a portrait of the "Colonel", put your right hand on a copy of his book and swear solemnly "I shan't no betray you, the first of us, our patriarch, old Jack Badger", and learn the secret handshake :smile:
 

E_just_E

Captain
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Retired Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
6,180
Location
Center Valley, PA
I took the LBG test in December 2017 shortly after retirement from my career and passed the written exam (197 people took the test). Then, I passed the first interviews with teams of LBGs and park rangers and moved on to the three-day "charm school," along with 18 others split into two sessions. I was in the first session in the spring of 2018 with 8 others but after the third day was eliminated (too professorial, I was told). It was a great, but humbling experience. I will not try again. That failure to qualify as an LBG sparked me to launch my own consultant business for the global pulp and paper industry after retiring instead of guiding. That proved to be a far more lucrative option, so I am quite happy. I also have plenty of time to write more books (22 of them so far over the past 15 years).
Knowing the body of your work on Gettysburg (and beyond), this speaks tons about the nature of the ALBG and its sad state...
 
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pamc153PA

Major
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Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
7,466
Location
Pennsylvania
I took the test for the first time in December 2017, the same time as Ryan and Scott. Despite being a student of the battle for 20 years, and studying intensely and minutely for about 2 years after they announced when the next test would be given, and attending all of the “classes” offered by various LBGs (every Saturday, all day, from a July through November), I came in about halfway in the rankings. They took the top 24 scoring people, I believe. It was by far the most difficult test I’ve ever taken, and I have two masters and a teaching certification, plus 30 years as a teacher! Three hours of fill in the blanks, then lunch, then another 3 hours of essays. Pretty much everything and anything you could ask about the battle, other battles, politics, artillery, arms, specific units, areas of the battlefield. We were not given any idea of what there might be on the test, and each time an LGB class began, they’d say the disclaimer that they couldn’t guarantee anything would help us pass the test.

Based on what I’ve heard from people who took the test in the past, it has gotten more difficult over the last few years—it used to be multiple choice, for example. I’ve have more than one LBG I know tell me that if they had to take the test, and go through the multi-step process as it is now, they’d never become a guide. According to a couple guides in the know, the NPS and those in charge of the guide program wanted to eliminate people just taking the test to see how well they’d do, not to actually become guides, hence the $400 fee and the difficulty level.

I’m not bitter, and in fact, since I’d never taken the test before, I looked at it as my practice test, so to speak, even though I studied my *** off. I plan to try again the next time they offer it. But you have to go into it knowing that there is no guarantee you won’t be cut at any other steps after the test—as Scott mentioned. There are others who should have made it IMHO, but were cut at a later step; one of the women who took it the time before the 2017 test made it all the way through her “oral,” her tour test. You get two chances to give your tour to an LBG and a ranger—she failed both chances and had to start all over again with the test the next time. (She made it this time, and is a terrific LBG!) Since you have no study guide except “Everything!” if you focus on the wrong stuff, you’re in trouble. All I could think of was, “You know, if I gave my 8th graders a test without any idea of what they needed to study, or just a blanket ‘Study everything,’ their parents would raise hell,” but as an adult who loves the battle, I’ll suck it up and take it again. I learned a heck of a lot, and met some terrific and knowledgeable people, and so that made it worth the agony.
 

Mint Julep

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
541
To be honest, it sounds like a money making scam. You pay $400 for the test and other expenses along the way, and you have to work a given number of tours per year. I'm sure the Association of LBG gets a yearly cut, after taxes you're working for free.
 
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