Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guide License, Part I

For the past two years, I've been trying to check "Get Maine Guide License" off my list.  It's one of those things that's just slipped under the rug for one reason or another, but I finally took the first steps, and the process is in motion.  I dropped the application and testing fee in the mail this morning.

Now the fun begins.  I'll have six months to a year to prepare for the oral and written exams.  The oral test, from what I understand, includes Map and Compass, the Lost Person scenario, and questions on client care and general outdoors stuff.  The written test goes into rules and regulations, wildlife identification, and topics specialized to your license class.  I may take a specialized Guide License course closer to the test date, but I'll start with just studying on my own.

I hope to do pretty well on the map and compass portion of the oral exam since I've taken courses on orienteering, underwater navigation, and coastal/ocean navigation over the past several years.  I did pick up a couple of map and compass books as a refresher; they'll make good additions to the RRC library.

The lost person scenario does worry me, just because it's not something I've ever formally studied.  I downloaded the State's "You Alone in the Maine Woods" lost hunter guide and found it to be fairly common-sense.  I also purchased the NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue coursebook, but after reading it, I don't know how much help it was.  (The book had some good information, but I swear they told me to eat properly and get enough sleep at least once per chapter.)  I'm considering taking a SAR fundamentals course between now and the test, but I'll have to see how much time I have.

I also picked up the AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, which I really enjoyed, and I've registered for a Wilderness First Responder course in March.  Regardless of my being a registered guide or not, I think WFR is a good idea.  More on that in later posts.

So anyway, wish me luck on studying!  I'll let you know how it goes.

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