Cranbrook’s Crazy Clubs

Most high schools have a lot of clubs in order to foster the interests of their students. Since opening in 1927, Cranbrook School for Boys has had its fair share of extracurricular activities. There has been a Biology Club, a Pre-Med Club, and a club for the boys that had earned their Varsity letter (called the “C” Club). But, there have also been some clubs that were not so traditional.

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, was quite popular at one time. The boys at Cranbrook started their own Radio Club with the help of Science teacher William Schultz, Jr.

Boys sit around a ham radio.

Radio Club members listening to the radio, July 1935. You can see the station’s call sign on the wall: W8LME. Photograph by Harvey Croze. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

Then there was the Model Club, which was for boys who enjoyed making models, judging from the picture, mostly of airplanes.

A group of boys standing behind a table of model airplanes

The Model Club, 1952. From left: Faculty Advisor Richard Gregg, David Higbie, Don Young, David Morris, President Richard Gielow, Adams McHenry, Don Hart, Pete Dawkins, Dahmen Brown, Jerry Phillips. Photograph by Harvey Croze. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

A Drama Club is not an unusual thing to have at a school, but Cranbrook’s club has an interesting name: Ergasterion Club. Ergasterion is the Greek name for the workshop of craftsman.

Group of boys sitting on a stage.

The Ergasterion “Erg” Club is Cranbrook School’s dramatic society, April 1960. First row, left to right: Louis Beer, Templin Licklider, Jr.; second row: Rick Strong, Bill MacLachlan, Henry Weil, Mike Hilder, Phil Weisenbarger, Richard Foster; third row: Gregg Carr, Boris Nicoloff, Bill Thompson, George Roth, Mitchell Grayson. Photograph by Harvey Croze. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

I guess a Rifle Club is not that unusual either, but their yearbook photo was just too great not to share!

A group of boys posing with rifles on a hill

Cranbrook Rifle Club, November 1968. Photograph by Harvey Croze. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

In the great state of Michigan, we have a lot of lakes. That is what must have inspired the creation of the SCUBA Club.

Group of boys in SCUBA gear standing in a fountain. of

Cranbrook School SCUBA Club, 1968. From left Thomas O’Hara 69′, Robert O’Hara 70′, Edward Soudeck (language instructor), Thomas Strickland 70′, Marlin Atkinson 70′, Donald Rosiello 70′, and Richard Genthe 70′. Photograph by Harvey Croze. Courtesy Cranbrook Archives.

Today, Cranbrook Schools (co-ed since 1984) continues to have a wide variety of extracurriculars; just ask the members of “The Beyond Earth Club (Space Club)” or the Namtenga Club.

– Leslie Mio, Associate Registrar

3 thoughts on “Cranbrook’s Crazy Clubs

  1. Cranbrook also had a Smoking Club in the 50’s. It was located in the basement of one of the dorms, near the Rifle Club indoors Shooting Range. I believe that you had to be over 16 and have parental consent. Most people don’t believe that these clubs existed. The day student members of the Rifle Club were even allowed to bring their guns to school on the Cranbrook School Buses, which were painted dark blue, in the days before the State mandated yellow.
    Cranbrook also had some unusual sports besides Soccer. There was Cross Country, Winter Track, Tennis, Golf and Wrestling. Many of these sports were not played in Michigan Schools, but were played in Parochial Schools, Prep School Leagues and Canadian Schools.

    Liked by 1 person

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