Every Antietam Battlefield Guide brings their own unique perspective and interpretation style to every tour they lead. Their backgrounds, interests, and hobbies often play a major role in what makes their particular battlefield tour one of a kind. This can certainly be said of our newest Battlefield Guide (though he is no stranger to Antietam visitors), Mannie Gentile. One of Mannie’s passions is, and has been since a very early age, the world of toy soldiers. He often uses his creativity, and armies of tin and plastic soldiers, to colorfully share the story of the Battle of Antietam with the young and young at heart. Click on the photograph above to read a recent post about the Union assault on Burnside Bridge, on his blog “Toy Soldiers Forever”.
It’s hard to believe it has been a year already. The Antietam Battlefield Guides hope to see you all out on the Battlefield this weekend enjoying another year of great National Park Service commemorative programs. For a complete schedule of Anniversary events, check out Antietam National Battlefield’s weekend schedule by clicking the image above.
On Saturday, April 23, 2013, three Antietam Battlefield Guides sat for the first ever Harpers Ferry guide test for the 1862 Maryland Campaign certification. In a move to establish a credible guide program, National Park Historian Dennis Frye developed a process and written test especially designed to attract qualified personnel to guide visitors desiring private tours. Antietam Guides Jim Rosebrock, Justin Mayhue, and Gary Rohrer successfully completed the 2 ½ hour test which consisted of 16 essay questions.
The threesome finished the test within minutes of the time limit. Justin observed that “there were often several questions within a question, which made it more like 40 essay questions.” Essay booklets were provided and nearly filled by the applicants. Gary remembered having writer’s cramps from writing so much in response. Gary took the test to further expand his versatility. “I wanted to be able to give the entire 1862 Maryland Campaign tour and passing this test makes that possible.” Jim Rosebrock welcomed the opportunity to become certified by Harpers Ferry. “Formal National Park Service certification really adds credibility to our program and allows Gary, Justin and I to provide historically accurately interpretation of another major Maryland Campaign battlefield. I encourage other Antietam guides to pursue this certification in the future.”
Dennis Frye said “we are very excited to have [Jim], Gary, and Justin certified Harpers Ferry Battlefield Guides.” He continued by offering “congratulations on passing the test, and for making history at Harpers Ferry as the park’s first certified guides.”
The three guides may be booked by either WMIA or the Harpers Ferry Historical Association.