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Wilderness Expedition Press Coverage Records

Identifier: 1996-02

Collection Scope

The collection consists entirely of clippings collected by the Cranbrook Public Relations Office which had been supplied to Cranbrook by Burrell’s Press Clipping Service and Michigan Press Reading Service. Collection material represents the geographical range of press coverage of this event.


  • 1993



Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.


The Wilderness Expedition began in 1970 as an annual ten day survival training, backpacking, and camping trip for sophomore students at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School. The expedition began as a U.S. entity of the Outward-Bound program (1934) through the support of then Cranbrook School Social Studies teachers John P. Morris and Christopher C. Norris. The key objective of the expedition is to provide a monitored risk-taking small-group wilderness experience for students in a teaching atmosphere which allows and encourages personal growth. In 1993, the Wilderness Expedition trip was abruptly interrupted and ended by an unexpected blizzard which struck The Great Smokey Mountains on March 15. From a base camp in Cherokee, North Carolina, thirteen parties of hikers had been scattered throughout The Great Smokey Mountains National Forest. One hundred and seventeen Cranbrook faculty and students were trapped by the blizzard. While some parties were able to eventually hike out to safety, others had to be air lifted out of camp by the National Guard. By March 19th, all Cranbrook faculty and students were accounted for, although one faculty member and one student sustained serious frostbite injuries. A post trip review was undertaken through sponsorship by the Heartland Region of the Association for Experimental Education. Recommendations for additional preparation, training, and a re-evaluation of expedition locations were developed. Independently, Cranbrook Educational Community took the events as an opportunity to re-evaluate and adjust their procedures and policies concerning medical preparedness and release, as well as legal liability and waiver.


1.7 Linear Feet (4 MS)

Language of Materials



The Wilderness Expedition which began in 1970, was designed as a yearly outdoor excursion for sophomore students at the Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School. In 1993, a blizzard struck the Great Smokey Mountains National Forrest leaving one-hundred and seventeen Cranbrook faculty and students trapped for nearly four days. The collection comprises of clippings from over 80 national newspapers covering the event.


The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by publication, and then chronologically.


Transferred from Cranbrook Public Relations Office.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid created by Belinda Krencicki, June 2017.

Guide to the Wilderness Expedition Press Coverage Records
Original finding aid written by Belinda Krencicki.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Resource record created by Nichole L. Manlove.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository