CWL arrived in Gettysburg Thursday 12.04.08 in the late afternoon for the Saturday test. Bivouacking in the Travelodge on Steinwehr, CWL took meals at The Avenue Diner. Twelve hundred flashcards, a three hour hike, one Guinness draft and 42 hours later, the test was wrapped up. In 2006, the test took CWL the full three hours; in 2008 2.5 hours. Maybe I know more than I did the first time through in 2006but maybe not enough in 2008 to get that 92% which would probably advance me to the oral exam. The 2006 score was 82%. This year I am hoping to get close to within a couple of points 90%.
In 2006, CWL probably identified two of the 21 monument pictures; this year 12 to 14 are probably right. It's tough; they are black and white photographs, with most of the text digitally chiseled off the monument, then photocopied. Pick from a list of possible answers; the list contains 4 more answers than monuments. So was it the 2nd or the 6th New Jersey monument? The 9th or the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves monument. (It was the 9th's monument; I am a reenactor in Co. A, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves.) In 2006, CWL aced the map and the portraits; ditto in 2008. Did well on the true and false, multiple choice and okay on the completion without a work bank.
About 250 people asked the Gettysburg NPS for materials to be mailed to them. Of those Close to 145 sent in the $50 registration fee and 135 showed up today to take the test. Less than 20 of the top scorers will be asked to attend a two and a half day seminar regarding the contents and style of tour giving. These then will be listed for the 2 hour oral exam in which they present their tour of the battlefield. In 2006, 21 people were eligible to take the oral exam, and only 10 of those passed the exam . Therefore, of the 250 people who requested information to take the test this year, possibly 10 will become Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides before the December, 2010 examination.
In the top picture, NPS test creator and administrator Clyde Bell displays the 25+/- page test. In the middle picture (left) CWL is sitting in the aisle seat of the fourth table on the left, a furrowed brow resting on his left hand. In the bottom picture CWL is at the fourth table, in the black long sleeve tee shirt. To CWL's right and in the blue sweatshirt is police officer and firearms instructor Thaddeus Comer, whom used CWL's flashcards which were shared on the internet.
Image and Numbers Source: Gettysburg Daily.com, December 6th, 2008.