DEC 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.
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:
- March 31, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by March 29, 2023;
- May 12, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by May 10, 2023;
- June 23, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by June 21, 2023;
- July 7, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by July 5, 2023;
- Sept. 15, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by Sept. 13, 2023; and
- Oct. 13, 2023 - 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Registration must be received by Oct. 11, 2023.
Directions on how to register are available on DEC's 2023 Licensed Guide Exams Registration webpage. 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. Please 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 webpage. 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.