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Contact: Scott Babinowich, (601)636-0583
Vicksburg, MS: Do you have a passion for history? Do you want to share your passion with visitors and enrich their understanding of the Civil War? Vicksburg National Military Park is actively recruiting members of the community to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide to help the National Park Service meet the increasing demand for battlefield tours.
Vicksburg National Military Park is one of only 2 National Park Service sites that are authorized to offer a licensed guide program. Each year, Licensed Battlefield Guides contact over 15,000 visitors and provide opportunities for visitors to expand their knowledge of Vicksburg and explore the significance of the Civil War siege of Vicksburg. The National Park Service has authorized the Licensed Battlefield Guides to charge for their tours, which range in price from 50 to 100 dollars. A guide is required to conduct at least one tour every 45 days during the busy summer season to keep their license.
“We are working hard to promote a Licensed Battlefield Guide tour as the premier visitor experience at the Military Park,” said superintendent Bill Justice. “In order to do that, we need a larger guide force that is capable of meeting the increased demand. This training seminar is a great resource for anybody who is interested in becoming a Licensed Battlefield Guide.”
Licensed Battlefield guides are required to have an extensive, in-depth knowledge of the Civil War, the siege of Vicksburg, and Mississippi history. To aid new guides in obtaining the necessary knowledge, a training seminar will be offered this spring. The training seminar will consist of 9 evening lectures at the park visitor center from March 14th through April 12th. Each evening lecture will last approximately 2 hours, beginning at 5:30pm. It is not required that potential guides attend each seminar, however complete attendance is highly encouraged. The detailed schedule is attached, and available on the park website at www.nps.gov/vick.
Substantial self-study is required by any potential guide, no matter their background or familiarity with the Vicksburg area. Suggested reading lists and training manuals will be provided. Following the training seminar, prospective guides will be offered the opportunity to schedule a credentialing exam. The exam consists of a written test, essay responses, and a practical exam in the form of a 2 hour tour presented to either park staff or an existing Licensed Battlefield Guide. Once credentialed, new guides will be placed in rotation for public tours.
Interested individuals should contact Scott Babinowich, Chief of Interpretation, by March1 to discuss their interest and sign up for the training seminar.
Training Schedule: All seminars held in the Park Visitor Center, beginning at 5:30pm.
Wednesday, March 14th: Welcome and Orientation
Monday March 19th: Secession and War, War in the West
Wednesday March 21: Vicksburg the Fortress City
Monday March 26: The Brown Water Navy
Wednesday March 28: Grant in Mississippi, and Campaign Battles
Wednesday April 24: Siege of Vicksburg
Thursday April 5: Occupation and Reconstruction
Tuesday April 10: Weapons and Tactics
Thursday April 12: The Park today, Natural Resources, and Civilian Experience