January 29, 2014

The Barter Fest Mission

Filed under: Barter Fest — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 9:32 pm
*The mission of Barter Fest is to foster self reliance and grow community interdependence on a regional scale.  Inspired by the founding mothers & fathers of rural Minnesota who built thriving communities with access to little or no paper currency, this event presents an opportunity to celebrate life’s bounty and a chance to share, trade and connect with one another.* 
Barter Fest is gonna HAPPEN September 20th, 2014, so save the date dears! 

September 14, 2013

Barter Fest September 21st, 2013!

Filed under: Barter Fest — Tags: , , , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 7:28 am


Dear Friends,

Here we are again at the Autumn Equinox, one of two days per year when the hours of light and dark are equal, OH and the TIME FOR another BARTER FEST!  Can’t think of a better way for us to get together to share and celebrate the fruits of our labor.  Why go through all the work to have a barter fest?  Honestly for me hosting a festival like this is a great excuse to get old friends together, while creating an opportunity to make new ones!  After the first year in 2010, we couldn’t believe the incredible energy that radiated from this place after the event.  In a way, Barter Fest has become a power plant of positive energy that resonates through out the year.  It is SO empowering to come together with a group of independent humans to celebrate all that we have to offer each other!

Barter Fest was inspired by the founding fathers and mothers of Hewitt.  Like most communities in Minnesota, there was a lack of paper currency floating around when the first pioneers arrived.  These were hard working, unique, creative people that landed here and I can definitely see why they chose to set up camp in this beautiful place.  The early settlers traded their hard work, talents and know how, while building solid communities of interdependent relationships.  Barter Fest aims to rekindle this community resilience, but on a regional scale.

So what’s happening this year?  For the fourth year in a row, Barter Fest will kick off with the 10billionbeats.com global peace drumming.   This hour long drumming will take place in the downtown Hewitt park, Friday September 20th from 7 – 8 pm.  If you show up early on Friday you will have a chance to find the best camping spot, get settled in and if you’re willing:  WE CAN ALWAYS USE  your HELP!  This year does promise to be a bit different.  Rather than schedule wonderful performers like prior years: https://soundcloud.com/abandoned-scout-camp, we decided to try an open mic performance format for 2013.  Many attendees to Barter Fest are writers, musicians and other gifted folk, so we thought why not trade songs, talents and stories?  Who’s gonna get something for a song?!

The bartering will begin at 10 am on Saturday and the celebration spills over into the night.  Once again, this event is sponsored by the City of Hewitt and Hewitt Lions club and as always the Lions will be peddling their “Ranger” burgers and fresh cut fries.  If you have frequented Barter Fest before, you will know to dress warm= I’m talking about long underwear warm!  Traditionally, for whatever reason, the festival has fallen on a clear, but brisk autumn day.  Is it really free, what’s the catch?  Yes, Barter Fest is free to attend, free to park, free to barter and free to camp (REALLY, there’s no catch).  The camp sites are not sponsored by the City or festival, but have been offered up by neighbors to the Abandoned Scout Camp and down by the river, so just ask around if your looking for a place to pitch a tent.  Can I sell my goods at Barter Fest?  Yes, all that we ask is that you are open to bartering your goods, but of course YOU may DECIDE to trade for paper.  How do I barter? No two barters are ever alike.  Bartering presents a creative opportunity with every transaction.  Often bartering will involve more than just two individuals.  It’s best not to limit your imagination by being told how to barter.  I recommend just giving it a try!  Hope to see you in Hewitt!


Peaceful wishes,



P.S. the Hewitt Museum will be open from 12 to 4 pm during Barter Fest:  http://hewitthistoricalsociety.weebly.com 

August 22, 2013

Barter Fest 2013…less than a month away! Gonna make it?

Filed under: Barter Fest — Tags: , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 2:57 am

September 22, 2012

Barter Fest 2012!

Filed under: Barter Fest,Camping,Music — Tags: , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 4:57 am

Dearest Campers,

Barter Fest 2012 has arrived!  Set on the Autumn Equinox, this year promises to be remembered.  Once again the weather is cool so don’t forget to dress warm.  In Minnesota, it’s never to early to break out the long underwear!  Always sexier to undress than dress!  So, get here and lets celebrate this experience that is Barter Fest, together!

Much love,


September 10, 2012

Count down to Barter Fest…

Filed under: Barter Fest,Camping,Music — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 9:36 pm

August 22, 2012

Barter Fest September 22nd, 2012!

Dearest campers,

This year’s Barter Festival is quickly approaching!  Once again we will kick off the event Friday night at 6:45pm in the park across from A.S.C. with the 10 billion beats drumming:



Come early Friday night, find the choicest camping spot and participate in a world wide peace drumming!  How the heck do I get to Barter Fest you ask?  Here’s a link to the map:


Stay tuned for the music schedule and more information coming soon!

Yours truly,

Ralph E. Cook


June 11, 2012

Hey, it’s been awhile!

Filed under: Barter Fest,Gardening,Music,Recording — Tags: , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 7:49 pm

Dear Campers,

Yeah, it’s been awhile!  Hope you are taking advantage of the wonderful Summer so far.  This evening we finished planting the garden here at the Abandoned Scout Camp.  This ends the 3+ month process of starting seedlings in doors and in the cold frame and then finally transplanting outside.  It appears that this year’s crop could be better than ever.  It amazes me how the gardens keep multiplying year after year.  Someday we hope to lose the yard completly and only have gardens!  (Smokey would not care too much for this.)  Well we have been busy, I promise.  Music making is in the air and in the hall.  Leon Boots spent this past weekend at camp laying down more tracks for their upcoming album to be released on A.S.C.  You can listen in to this and other projects at:


Our attention has also turned to this year’s Barter Fest September 22nd, 2012.  You will find Leon Boots, The Juggernauts and many more acts to be announced over the next few months at this year’s Barter Fest.  This one is not to be missed!  For real.

Love always,

Ralph E. Cook

September 23, 2011

Barter Fest 2011…one to remember!

Dear Everyone,

We would like to extend a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all who attended, performed, and bartered at this year’s Barter Fest. The feelings of mutual respect, friendship and caring for one another was indescribable. Thank you to the organizers and participants of the 10 Billion beats global intention drumming…your/our intentions still radiate out from this place. Many thanks to those who traveled far and wide to join us. To the performers, thank you for sharing inspiration. You will forever be found in the ultimate jukebox. To all of you who asked to help and made it happen…it wouldn’t have happened without you. To the City of Hewitt, who allowed such an event to take place in the heart of the village, thank you. Thank you to the Hewitt’s Lions Club, STEP, the 5 Wings Arts Council, TEconcertservices.com and Sound Central. We are so grateful to Everyone of YOU. YOU made it what it was.

Tons of Love,

The Abandoned Scout Camp

September 14, 2011

Kick off Barter Fest with 10 Billion Beats!

Filed under: Barter Fest — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 9:21 am

Kick off Barter Fest with us and 10 billion beats this friday night at 7pm!

Pale Blue Dot – Animation from Ehdubya on Vimeo.


September 10, 2011

Barter Fest Music Schedule

Here is the line up for this year’s Barter Fest:

12:00-12:30                Dorthy Fix

12:40-1:10                  Scott Wegner

1:20-1:50                    Buffalo Skin

1:55-2:00                    Michael Mitchel

2:10-2:55                    Pickers & Grinners

3:05-3:50                     Juggernauts

4:00-4:45                    Wooded Hearts

4:50-5:35                    Brenda Weiler

5:45-6:15                    Colleen Myhre

6:15-7:00                    The Brothers Burn Mountain

7:00-7:45                    Skytree

7:55-8:40                    Amanda Standalone

8:50-9:35                    Party Store Minnows

9:45-10:30                  Leon Boots

10:30-11:15                The Push

11:15-????                    Guy Jean & DJ Nola

August 30, 2011

Barter Fest oh, oh here she comes!

August 21, 2011

While you wait for Barter Fest September 17th, 2011…

Check out Squib at Last year’s event:

Check out Dorthy Fix performing at last year’s event:

Check out Leon Boots performing last year:

July 20, 2011

Dorthy Fix at Lamar Music Festival!

Dear Campers,

Dorthy Fix will perform at this year’s Lamar Music Festival August 6th, 2011!   You can check out the festival line up here. Also, preparations for this year’s  Barter Fest  September 17th, 2011 have begun.  Those interested in helping out this year please contact camp administrator Ralph E. Cook for guidance.

All our best,


June 9, 2011

The Brothers Burn Mountain at Barter Fest!

Filed under: Barter Fest,Music — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 7:02 pm

The Brothers Burn Mountain, with friend Josie stopped by camp for a visit yesterday.   These boys are serious campers, we were glad to have their company.   Jesse and Ryan will be performing at Barter Fest this year Septmeber 17th, 2011.  Check them out:


Watch form more news from Barter Fest coming soon….

October 17, 2010

What happened at Barter Fest?

Filed under: Barter Fest,Music — Tags: , , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 9:12 am




September 30, 2010

What happened at Barter Fest?

Filed under: Barter Fest,Music,Music Archive — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 6:11 am

September 20, 2010

Holy Crap, Barter Fest Rocked!

Filed under: Barter Fest,Dorthy Fix — Tags: , , — Ralph E. Cook @ 7:02 pm

Dear Campers,

Thank you to everyone who helped with, performed, bartered, documented, drummed, attended and prayed for Barter Fest.   The event couldn’t have gone any smoother.  The positive energy still radiates from the front steps of the hall.  Check out these stills that Shane Lattie has shared from the event:

Dorthy Fix with Bob Zin photo by Shane Lattie


While we never considered this to be an annual event, the love & support that we have received has inspired thoughts of the possibility.  I guess it will be left up to the stars.  Watch for more footage from this years event in the coming days, weeks and months.

Peace, can you feel it?


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