The Capital Guide Online - Oct II

In this issue...

  • A Message from the President 
  • Guild Spotlight Video: NMAAHC
  • ANC Update
  • Code of Ethics Revision
  • Important Dates: Business Meetings, Training & Education Events

A Message From the President

We had a wonderful business meeting at the CVC on Tuesday but it has been brought to my attention that quite a few members are experiencing difficulty logging in to the new Guild website. If you don’t know your user name or password, please contact me at:, or the Web Strategies Co-Chairs, David Turin ( and Karen Miller ( so that we can assist you with resetting your user name and password.

For those that were unable to attend the business meeting or were so enthralled by the presentations that you forgot to take notes, we are currently in the process of compiling a summary of the presentations and we will get those sent out and posted on to the Guild website very soon. Stay tuned to the CGO and the Guild websites for updates! Thanks for your patience as we make the transition to the new platform.

Thanks, Dianne

Dianne Wallace, J.D.


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Guild Spotlight Video: The NMAAHC

In today's video we spotlight the city's newest Smithsonian museum - the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We learned a few things at the Guild's recent familiarization tour, and we wanted to pass it along to you! Click on the image above to view the video on YouTube.


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ANC Update

The Guild's ANC Site Liaison, Jim Carr, recently provided the membership with a detailed summary of the cemetery's new security procedures following an October briefing. Here's a snapshot. 

While the cemetery is under orders to implement security screening, it is looking for input and cooperation from the Guild. The next meeting will take place sometime after Veterans’ Day, 11 November.

Three points, the first of which was that Arlington is planning to implement “deterrence”, as opposed to “a secure environment”.  Thus, the Cemetery will implement “small, incremental changes” with “flexibility” to meet peak times. Guards, for example, will have authority to expedite entrance for school groups.  The gradual, incremental steps will allow the Guild time to comment and make suggestions, as the new procedures are implemented.  The cemetery asks Guild members to be “Ambassadors:" to explain that the cemetery could be an access point to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall for example, and that it may be threatened.

There is a new pedestrian flow, which will be implemented before the magnetometers and bag screening take place.  A map is publicly available; one can click from the main page of the ANC website:  

This page describes the flow which will present logistical difficulties.  During the meeting, Guild members pointed out that as the visitors enter through the north doors (facing the pedestrian entrance and Memorial Drive), visitors wanting to use the rest rooms will have to turn left, and then may accidentally exit through the east doors, and thus will be required to go through security, again.  If they don’t do that, the small plaza on the west side will need to serve as the meeting point for all groups.  Guild members suggested that the grassy area could be expanded with pavers, but learned that that particular lawn is National Park Service land, under their purview.

Once off the motor coach, it was estimated that the cemetery will be able to screen 4,000 visitors per hour.  There are three ways to expedite screening:

1.  Have visitors leave bags on the motor coach.  Water, camera bags, pouches and umbrellas would not have to go through the bag lines.  Allowing guides on the motor coach before getting into line should smooth this process

2.  DASG (Department of the Army Security Guards) in black uniforms will have discretionary authority to expedite particular groups, especially obvious fifth and eighth graders.

3.  Accommodations can be made for groups with wreath layings. The cemetery has advised all groups with wreath layings about time and security procedures, and will continue to do so. The DASG guards will be instructed to allow the wreath layers particular access.

The screening areas will not open before the cemetery’s opening hours.

Honor Flight drivers will now be required to present an ID upon entry. They are not supposed to stop at the Visitors Center, but there have been groups where those able to visit sites, such as the Kennedy graves, were about to do so. Anything beyond the Changing of the Guard is discouraged.

The Tomb Guards cannot give talks without prior arrangement; especially now since they are at about 60% strength.  Talks can be arranged at  However, until the Tomb Guards are at full strength, Tomb talks are discouraged.

Mourners can access the cemetery by presenting a drivers license or Military ID at the entrance.  Individual pedestrians seeking entry through the "Iwo  Jima" (Ord & Weitzel) Gate will be required to present an I.D.

Code of Ethics Revision

The Board of Directors approved a revised Code of Ethics at its meeting on October 11, 2016. The new code goes into effect immediately and should therefore be reviewed by all members as soon as possible. Questions and comments may be directed to Dianne Wallace (President) or to John Days (Chair of the Administration and Professional Conduct Committee). Mr. Days said “This new Code is a revision rather than a total make over. Our intent was to take the Code we have had since 2008 and improve it.” 

The revised Code follows:


[Approved by the Guild Board October 11, 2016]

1. A professional guide follows the rules and regulations at all sites and in all facilities where he/she takes visitors.

2. A professional guide follows the policies of the company for whom the guide works. A guide does not accept nor solicit jobs from clients of the company that hired him/her without the consent of the company, nor should a guide attempt to divert to another person or company business from the company that hired him/her. All business related communication with the client should be made through the company. A professional guide understands that decisions regarding continued service with a repeat client is the responsibility of the tour company not the guide. 

3. A professional guide accepts each tour as a serious commitment and cancels only when he or she is physically unable to perform the work; under such circumstances, he or she shall provide as much advance notice to the client as possible.

4. A professional guide does not solicit gratuities.

5. A professional guide does not initiate or encourage patronage of souvenir shops or other retail establishments for the purpose of obtaining commissions for themselves or their coach operators.

6. A professional guide does not abuse complimentary meal privileges offered by food establishments.

7. A professional guide cooperates with other tour groups and maintains ethical and professional conduct at all times, cultivating a positive relationship with all colleagues.

8. A professional guide respects the research and intellectual property, copyrighted or otherwise, of other guides by not recording, quoting without permission, plagiarizing, or taking as one’s own, another guide’s commentary or individual presentation technique.

9. A professional guide provides a skilled presentation of knowledge, interprets and highlights surroundings, informs, and maintains objectivity and enthusiasm in an engaging manner.

10. A professional guide is prepared for each tour when the itinerary is furnished in advance.

11. A professional guide is responsible for reporting on time and for meeting appointments and schedules within the guide’s control.

12. A professional guide is sensitive to the interests and values of the tour group and does not share his/her personal views on controversial subjects such as lifestyle, religion, and politics.

13. A professional guide maintains a wide range of knowledge of the city, including its history, architecture, cultural and political life, and local folklore. A professional guide keeps current on new exhibits, seasonal events, and other changes throughout the city. A professional guide does not give commentary using unsupported facts.

14. A professional guide is knowledgeable about the routes for all tours. This includes familiarity with the traffic laws as well as the idiosyncrasies of Washington traffic. A professional guide works in harmony with coach operators and when requested, informs the operator of the route in a calm, polite, and timely fashion.

15. A professional guide maintains good personal hygiene and uses proper judgment in dressing appropriately for all tours.

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Important Upcoming Dates - Business Meetings, Education & Training 


Date:   Wednesday, November 16, 2016  

Location:   U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum 

Room:   Rubenstein Auditorium 

Time:   9:30 – 10:00AM -- Registration/Networking 

10:00 - Noon Business Meeting 

Speakers:   Wily Jones, Deputy Director, Museum Services (Topic:  New Ticketing System) 

Paul Ollig, NPS Chief of Interpretation and Education (Topic: Long-Range Plans for the 

National Mall)

Note:  The Guild does not conduct Business Meetings in the month of December.  

The January 2017 Annual Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for January 10. Location TBD.

Jackie Frend (2nd VP)


When: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Where: Ketchum Hall - VFW Building, US Capitol Historical Society HQ, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

Is this your first Job Fair with the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC? Have you ever attended a speed dating event? If you said no to both of these questions, this is the workshop for you! We will go over...

  • The different tour operators (and knowing which ones you're talking to.
  • What is a DMC?
  • What is the difference between a Tour Escort and a Tour Guide.
  • What are the affiliates looking for in you?

...and much more. This event is open to ALL members but priority will be given to new guides. The limit is 25 people. If you're interested in attending, contact Tracy Hale at


We have two Education events coming up this week--at Union Market and the National Archives. Today,10/25, join us for a special tour of the history of Union Market in the rapidly changing NoMa neighborhood. From its roots as Centre Market, a fresh food venue born over 200 years ago, to its current incarnation as an authentic market of culture and commerce, it has been a great unifier for people from a variety of backgrounds. Partake of the culturally rich sights, sounds and tastes as the tour concludes at lunchtime and diverse food options are available. On Thursday, 10/27, go behind the scenes at the National Archives and learn about educational opportunities available for groups, which can help you take your tours beyond just viewing the Charters of Freedom. Educational specialists and archivists will give us a glimpse of what it is like to work in the Archives and go over the various programs offered to groups of all ages.

More events are in store for November. On Wednesday, 11/2, you can experience the Library of Congress through our very own Guild member docents! We'll rotate through six stations where our esteemed guides will provide background on the Great Hall, the Book Room, the Reading Rooms, the Jefferson Collection, and the maps, mosaics, and murals throughout the building. We will also meet with Susan Mordan-White, who will discuss group visitation at the Library. Then, on Thursday, 11/17, join the staff of Mount Vernon for their annual update to the Guild, covering new programs, events, and policies. Afterward, plan on visiting the outstanding new exhibition, "Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon," as well as the Estate and Mill/Distillery. Entry to the estate and mill/distillery is always complimentary with the Guild name badge.

  • Special Look Tour at the History of Union Market - Tuesday, 10/25, 11:00 a.m.
  • Behind the Scenes at the National Archives - Thursday, 10/27, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Library of Congress Insider Tour - Wednesday, 11/2, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Mount Vernon Update - Thursday, 11/17, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • More details on the Guild website!

Happy learning and touring,

Annemarie Johnson and Amy Mierley

Co-chairs, Education Committee

Useful Links

View the online version of our quarterly Capital Guide Magazine and past issues of Capital Guide Newsletter here.


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Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC
PO Box 242
Washington, DC 20044