News & Press: Capital Guide Online

Capital Guide Online April 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017  
Posted by: Jackie Frend


In this issue...April, 2017

  • A Message from the President
  • New Affiliate, New Friend
  • Know 'On-the-Go'
  • Tips To Be A Better Guide
  • Take a Hike on the Peace Trail
  • Huzzahs for Volunteers
  • A Note from the Editor

Treasure the Moments

It’s so exciting to begin a new tour season, especially for those of us who are lucky enough to work with students. It always brings a smile to my face when students walk into the Great Hall in the Library of Congress and as they look up, their immediate response is “Wow.” It is sobering when they stop at the Vietnam Wall and are overwhelmed by all the names. Take time to reflect on your role as a tour guide and your responsibility to ensure their tour of DC is memorable. Don’t forget to have fun with the students who have never stepped on an escalator, ridden the subway, walked through a revolving door, seen a panda, firefly, or snow. In your haste to make sure you cover everything contained in your itinerary, remember to slow down, connect with your group and celebrate those special moments. How lucky are we to experience these first moments in a student’s life! Let’s take the time to make their memories special.

Jackie Frend, Guild President

New Affiliate, New Friend

New Affiliate:
Allied PRA Washington, DC
Danielle Holstrom, Event Manager

Allied PRA is a destination management company that creates local destination experiences for meetings, incentives and events that move hearts, minds and businesses forward to deliver unforgettable moments.

New Friend:

Laura W. Murphy & Associates
Washington, DC

The company consults with Airbnb to advise on economic development, travel alliances and diversity issues. The company will be hosting participants of a fellowship program from Harvard University. Ms. Murphy plans to request tours provided by Guild guides for these participants when they visit. Ms. Murphy was the Director of Tourism for the District of Columbia under Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon and was Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union.


Know 'On-the-Go'

A new official Twitter page for the Guild is working and ready for our members to use. The handle is @DCTourGuild. It will be useful for sharing information from such relevant sources as the Smithsonian, National Archives, and other organizations actively involved in social media.
We are asking our guides to helpcreate online conversations with members of our audience such as other guides, affiliates, tourists, teachers, students, etc.The effort is being headed by Kaitlin Calogera ( who welcomes all volunteers interested in joining this project.


When needing to make changes in a printed itinerary, one of the best aids is knowing which Smithsonian museums have extended hours on any particular day.Many Guild guides have the following website bookmarked in their smart phones:


The 2017 Site Update is posted on the Guild website under the drop-down menu “For Members.” Its comprehensiveness is thanks to Susan Nestleroth and a large team of Site Liaison volunteers who keep tabs on changes at important sites. We now have a new Site Liaison Coordinator - Debra Wiley - who has volunteered to keep tabs on ensuring all our sites have liaisons. Many thanks to all involved with keeping our Guild Members updated on the numerous sites in and around DC!


Tips to Be a Better Guide

The tour season has started and soon the area will be buzzing with student groups, families and individual visitors. As a Guild member who will (hopefully) be proudly wearing your Guild badge, remember that you represent what the Guild embodies — professionalism! To help you remember some of the ways to distinguish a professional, the following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts.

Do dress appropriately for the group you will be guiding.
Do remember that every group deserves a guide who is courteous, enthusiastic, and accurate with information.
Do remember to avoid political discussions while guiding.
Do remember that you and the motor coach operator are a team!
Do remember that when you’re on a multi-coach tour, you work as a team so that each participant to has the same experience. Don’t go off on your own!

Do not block sidewalks or entrances.
Do not give commentary to a group within a memorial. Talk outside and allow the group to experience the memorial on their own. Tell them what features to look for.
Do not add personal political comments to any commentary
Do not ever be rude to your motor coach operator.
Do not embarrass your group leader or other guides
Do not cancel a contract because you get a better offer. It’s unethical.

Heidi Watson, Training Committee


Take a Hike on the Peace Trail

The weather didn't cooperate for our planned business meeting at USIP,the U.S. Institute of Peace.However, information about the Peace Trail on the National Mall is available onlineat .To download the PDF document use the direct link at PDF. It’s also available by going to the For Members/ Guides section of the Guild’s website, under the heading "Customize Your Commentary: Peace Trail on the National Mall."

The Peace Trail highlights over a dozen sites located at the northwest corner of the National Mall. The 18-page, color brochure reflects upon leaders, institutions, and moments from the perspective of America’s belief in and pursuit of peace -- focusing on the themes of partnerships, reconciliation, and democracy. The self-guided walking tour is a product of USIP in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC.

Maribeth Oaks, Government & Tourism co-chair

Huzzahs for Volunteers

Our highlight this month is CMG Steve Kline, who will serve as chair of the Nominating Committee that will select the slate of officers to serve two years starting January 2018. Steve will be looking for volunteers who are Guild Certified Guides to serve on the committee. Members who are interested in serving on the Nominating Committee, becoming a board officer, or who have someone to nominate are encouraged to contact Steve at

As we head into the busy tour season, we have several Guild members who have become volunteers, without actually volunteering. They are our “Unsung Volunteers” on GuildGuides and DCGuides – Sam Parsons (aka George Parsons), Deb Greenbush, Craig Steinberg, and Craig Howell – who keep us up-to-date on spur-of-the-moment closings, emergencies, and activities in and around DC. We would not be as informed or as cohesive a Guild without their updates and reminders. And, we’ve come to depend on them. Keep up the great work!

Jackie Friend, GuildPresident

A Note from the Editor

You will see that theCapital Guide Online has a new look this month, and that is thanks to James Pooley of Your Membership, the software that supports Guild activities.We may be experimenting further on format and type of content, and we'd like to hear from you on what you like and don't like. Jot a note to Better yet, we're grateful for offers of help in writing, editing, and photography. Contributors get Guild points-- and lots of thanks!

Shirley Timashev, Editor

Board Member and Committee Contact Information

Jackie Frend (President)

Sandra Moore (1st Vice President)

Mary Beth Lane (2nd Vice President)

Bill Adams (Treasurer)

Bette Runck (Secretary)

Maria Covell (Affiliate Rep)

Russ Norfleet (Guild Guide Rep)

John Days (Administration & Ethics)

Tracy Hale (Training)

Heidi Watson (Training)

Aaron Killian (Communications)

Corky Rainey (Membership)

Bill Harris (Membership)

Shannon Mikush (Certified Master Guide)

Jim Carr (Certified Master Guide)

Ellen Malasky (Gov’t & Tourism)

Maribeth Oakes (Gov’t & Tourism)

Amy Mierley (Education)

David Turin (Web Strategies)

Karen Miller (Web Strategies)

Joe Steinbock (Past President)

Tammy Belden (Guild Administrator)

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Useful Links

View past issues of Capital Guide Onlinehere.

                        Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC