Online exams to become camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, whitewater rafting, canoeing or kayaking, and rock- or ice-climbing guides
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced exam schedules for individuals seeking to become licensed guides. DEC is offering exams for guiding in camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, whitewater rafting, canoeing or kayaking, and rock- or ice-climbing.
“Licensed guides play a crucial role in safely introducing New Yorkers to the many natural treasures around them,” Seggos said. “I encourage outdoor enthusiasts who want to pass on their knowledge to others to take the exam and grow their environmental stewardship.”
A guide must be at least 18 years of age. Guides offer services for hire, directing, instructing or aiding others in a variety of recreational activities. DEC’s special licenses unit administers licensing of outdoor guides. Applicants are not required to be New York state residents to receive a license.
To provide enhanced access to examinations, DEC is offering licensed guide examinations online in 2023. Dates and registration details are below:
√ Feb. 3 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by Feb. 1
√ March 11 - In-person examinations will be offered at the New York State Outdoor Guides Association winter rendezvous meeting; registration must be received by March 4
√ March 31 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by March 29
√ May 12 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by May 10
√ June 23 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by June 21
√ July 7 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by July 5
√ Sept. 15 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by Sept. 13
√ Oct. 13 – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by Oct. 11.
To register, directions are available on DEC’s 2023 licensed guide exams registration website. Applicants will receive an email acknowledging registration and an additional one-time link for use to access the website on the date of the exam. Upon successful completion of the exam(s), applicants will receive information on applying for the appropriate guide license, including an application form. Do not send applications or fees prior to passing the examination(s).
An outline of exam content, a study guide, and additional information can be found on the DEC licensed guide program website. The Fieldbook, a reference book published by the Boy Scouts of America, is also recommended and can be found at a local library or bookstore. A list of current New York state licensed guides is available online.
For questions or assistance, contact the special licenses unit at NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; phone: 518-402-8985, fax: 518-402-8925; email: [email protected].