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What does the world need students today to be thinking about and acting on for it's future survival and well being?

A website dedicated to nurturing the connections between those who created,
attended, worked at and supported Baker River School during it's 5 years, from 1978-1983.

Find us on Facebook, too!

Read the new book about BRS

"Up the Hill to Baker River School"
by Betsy Smith Bergquist

Support this site

About this site

I've created this website to help anyone who was in any way associated with Baker River School to connect with one another. Please feel free to send me information about yourself and I will post it under the BRS People Link. I will only post information that people send me themselves or that is already posted on the web, so let other BRS friends know about the site and have them email or mail me their info. If you wish to have your email posted I will post it with some javascript programming to prevent "harvesting" by spammers. If you want to be in the BRS database but not listed on the site or you just want to contact someone, that's fine too.

If you have other ideas or are interested in helping setup or maintain this site, please let me know, and please contribute to help with hosting costs. Please let other BRS friends know about this site and encourage them to be in touch. We are developing a database for a possible future reunion and for helping people keep in touch.

If you would like to help support this site, please visit the Facebook page and click on Message to contact Will (McNaughten) Loving

BRS Audio Downloads (MP3 files)
To play, just click. To download, right-click (Win) or Control-click (Mac) and choose "Download linked file" making sure to save to the Desktop. In many cases double-clicking the downloaded file will cause it to play in iTunes or other audio application. If not, just drag the file to your iTunes Library window.

The Baker River School Closing Meeting, May 1983 (23.8Mb; 1 hour 26 min) The recording is not the best because of the recording device (same as below) and the position it was in during the meeting but there is some fun stuff on it, especially Bruce's special song written just for the occasion, mentioning virtually everyone there (at about 46:00).

The Lui Collins concert at Wentworth Town Hall, May 13, 1983 (25.3Mb; 1 hour 28 min) Sound quality is surprisingly good given the quality of the recording machine (a mono Radio Shack machine). I sent a copy of this to Lui last year and she was thrilled to hear songs she had forgotten and others she had been trying to remember the words for.

Reunion 2007 Recordings:

Tammy Marengo - 3 Songs
Aug 25, 2007(16.8Mb; 14:35)
Tammy plays three songs with Intro from Bruce

Peter Fisher - No-Cal Cookie & Putting on a Glove
Aug 25, 2007(16.8Mb; 14:35)
Peter demonstrates how to eat a cookie for a zero net calorie gain, and the proper way to don a latex glove (see pictures).


Fall 1982 - All School Photo


Baker River Blog

30 May 2018

Albert Bruce Bergquist
7 October 1933 — 30 March 2018
Many additional photos and tributes can be found on Bruce's Facebook page.

Bruce Bergquist

30 May 2018

I came across a pristine copy of the 1982-83 Baker River School Catalogue & Course Guide while cleaning out my mother's house. I've created the PDF below of the entire publication because it is such a powerful statement of the educational philosophy that created BRS.

25 August 2014

This will likely be the last post on this site. Due to extremely low traffic and other connection options such as Facebook, we're taking this site offline when the hosting service expires on September 14, 2014. I may post the site elsewhere as a sub-section of another site but for now I've uploaded all the "Year" and Reunion photos to the Facebook group page. I encourage you to join that group to keep in touch with other BRS folks. ~Will Loving
(Update 30 May 2018 - Thanks to generous donations towards renewing tthe domain name, this site continues as a resource for BRS former students and staff.)

30 August 2010

Thanks to Betsy True and Bruce and Betsy for their gifts supporting this site!

24 August 2010

Thanks to Wil Catlin for his gift supporting this site!

23 August 2010

Thanks to Margie Geurs for her gift supporting the site. In honor of Margie, I have posted the BRS Granola recipe as I have it from the last year when I managed the kitchen. I seem to have several memories of Margie being one of the primary concocters of large amounts of this staple and my recipe card indicates that Margie may have been the originator. Note that unless you are feeding 40 people, you might want to reduce the recipe a bit... See more BRS recipes including Logan Bread, Yogurt, Applesauce, Zucchini Oat Loaf and Herbed Fish.

BRS Granola (from kitchen notes, June 2, 1983)

In large roasting pans mix together:

  • 16 cups rolled oats
  • 10 cups shredded coconut
  • 6 cups peanuts
  • 4 cups sesame seeds (toast in oil first)
  • 4 cups wheat germ
  • 6 cups sunflower seeds
  • 3 cups bran flakes
  • 1 cup soy grits

In large frying pan, heat:

  • 1- 1/2 cup oil
  • 1-1/2 cup honey
  • 5 teaspoons vanila

Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and mix. Bake at 300° for one hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Watch so it doesn't burn. Take out and add 4c raisins (or chopped dates, apricots, etc.)

(Editor's note: The more experienced cook in me now would probably skip the soy grits, reduce the coconut a little, and increase the liquid some...)

14 August 2010

"Up the Hill to Baker River School" by Betsy Smith Bergquist

Betsy's long awaited book is now available through your local bookstore or online. I've just finished reading it and was very much re-inspired by Betsy's story and by all that we did together as part of BRS. It also helped to fill lots of details that I never knew or had only heard in passing. Betsy has used pseudonyms for nearly all the students at the school but you will certainly recognize yourselves in some of the stories.


31 March 2010

2010 BRS Reunion Announced

Dear BRSers,

The ad hoc reunion planning group (Kendra, Nancy, Michele, and us) have settled upon and made a deposit to reserve Nurture through Nature retreat center in Denmark Maine, Friday Aug 21 to Sunday Aug 23. It’s a neat place. Swimming nearby, comfortable meeting space, flexible tent sites, private, relaxed all around. Travel by car ranges from 1.5 hours from Portland to about 4 hours from the Pioneer Valley. We have hit it off with the owner Jen, who gets what BRS is/was all about. She can accommodate up to about 30 people (that’s 30 total adults and/or children).

You can either stay under cover in one of the buildings or else tent. With our cost of either $1150 (don’t exercise our option to rent the adjacent residence described in the attachment) or $1700 (rent the residence as well as the rest of the place), we have decided that to meet food and incidental expenses plus pay the rental that we need to charge $110 (this price includes food)for the weekend per adult and $55 for the weekend for 12 and under.

These prices may be subject to some adjustment based on the number and composition of attendees (age groups). If we do rent the adjacent residence which would accommodate 3 couples, we would probably charge more for that space. So you see there are some variables here.  And if you can’t afford the $110, please let us know. We don’t want anyone to not be able to come because of money.

If you want to stay in a nearby motel, (see Google Maps), you will still need to pay the food charge ($45 for adults, $25 for 12 and under). The arrangements are such that sleeping privacy in the buildings will be limited, if that is an issue. When we get a sense of who is coming we will try to match everyone’s needs and preferences with what is available.

We already have the commitment of 10 people (Beeg and Perla Harris; Nancy and Phoebe Jessup; Michele, Joe and Rachel Fava; Kendra Axon; and the two of us. So there are 20 places left. To hold a place you will need to make a $25 per person deposit, first come, first served. The earlier we know, the better. We don’t want to have to set a cutoff date, but that may be necessary at some point.

To register: Send a check made payable to Betsy Bergquist for $25 per person to 1010 Deerhaven Terrace, Stewartsville, NJ 08886.

Before you send your deposit (or when you send it) please call either of us at 908-387-8270 if you want or need an update on housing options and especially if the availability may affect your decision. We really want to make this work for everyone, but it may take some tinkering.

So talk this up and get connected with any and all you want to have in attendance. We have sent this with an open address list so you may contact anyone else on the list to talk this up.

We’re looking forward to a great time.


Betsy and Bruce

11 September 2008- 10:48 pm EDT

Rebecca has updated her note and picture on the People page.

9 September 2008- 7:50 am EDT

We just received a note from Jessica Reines which is now posted on the People page, and special thanks to Macy Coffey for his donation in support of the SmugMug picture pages!

5 September 2008- 11:22 am EDT

Motherhood vs VP - I've posted Betsy's recent thoughts on motherhood and the Vice Presidency here.

16 June 2008- 8:46 am EDT

2008 BRS Reunion Cancelled
The reunion in August has been officially cancelled. After last year's very successful gathering, there just was not enough interest or organizational energy to make it happen. Most of the suggestions seem to be to think about having a reunion every 2-3 years.

Thanks to Bruce Harris for another generous contribution to the BRS website which paid for two more years of website hosting.

21 April 2008- 10:30 am EDT

Letter from Betsy - "Thinking of You"
Many of you may have received this by email, but I'm posted for all to read.

Dear friends - I’m thinking about all of you especially today, because this afternoon, I took the time to view the DVD Will made for us of our reunion last August. There you all are laughing with each other, reminiscing, sharing and talking opening in “morning meeting” (Saturday morning of reunion) about your lives and what has taken place for each of you on your journey post BRS. For some the journey has not been easy, for others, good mixed in with the bad. You all have your stories... (more)

19 January 2008- 2:10 pm EST

Pictures of Doug Fontein and family are now posted on the People page, and special thanks to Wil Catlin for his donation in support of this website!

9 January 2008- 1:08 pm EST

BRS Reunion 2008: August 22-24, 2008 (Cancelled)
The reunion will once again be at Woolman Hill Conference Center, Deerfield, MA. Please help get things going by pre-registering and sending a deposit to Georgia (see form). If you would like to help think about and plan the reunion. Please join the
BRSTalk list at Yahoo.

Facebook Group for Baker River School
I've started a Facebook Group for Baker River School for anyone who likes to use Facebook. I've also requested a Facebook "Network" for BRS which is the normal way that schools and organizations are listed.

17 October 2007- 2:27pm EDT

Peter Birckhead has joined us from North Carolina with pictures of his family.

17 September 2007- 11:17 am EDT

Lots of news today:

  • BRS Reunion 2008: We are "penciled in" at Woolman Hill for the weekend of August 22-24, 2008, so mark you calendars!
  • The DVD of Saturday morning, mentioned in the email is currently on hold pending clarification about whether it should be made available and to whom. My apologies for not checking with people or realizing that some people might not wish to have it made available...
  • I've also posted a short video of Peter Fisher demonstrating how to eat a "no calorie cookie". Thanks to Nancy Jessup for being quick with her camera! Enjoy!


14 September 2007- 11:39am EDT

We have a new posting from Mike Jackson about his life since BRS. Thanks Mike!

7 September 2007- 10:41 pm EDT

I've just uploaded three Audio files from the Reunion in MP3 format so you can play them in iTunes or your favorite audio player. They include a set of songs from Tammy Marengo, a sing-a-long time with Sam Bergquist and Peter Fisher explaining how to burn as many calories eating a cookie as it contains.

The BRS SmugMug photo galleries are filling up with pictures from the Reunion. Macy has been working on editing the galleries and adding titles and comments, but you are welcome to add comments too. SmugMug has the full resolution images of all the pictures we've received as well as of the scans of all the photos shown here on this site from Years 1-5 and past reunions. You can order high-quality prints or download the images and print your own.

Planning for the 2008 Reunion has already begun. We are presuming to hold it in the same location around the same time. Dates have not yet been confirmed but we'll let you know soon! If you are interested in helping plan, please join the BRSTalk Google Group and express your interest or contact one of the people who worked on it this year. If you need an invitation to join the Google Group, just go to the BRSTalk home page and request one.

27 August 2007- 4:13 pm

Thanks to Bruce "Beeg" Harris for his very generous contribution towards support of the website. At Macy's suggestion we are subscribing to smugmug.com for their excellent picture hosting which allows for upload of high resolution versions of photos as well as the purchase of prints. We slowly adding and arranging picturees as we go. Feel free to add and edit captions to the photos that are arleady there. Go to http://brs.smugmug.com.

27 August 2007- 4:13 pm

I've started to add pictures from the Reunion to the BRS People Page along with new listings including Aldona Shumway, Betsy True and Anne True. I'll do a full posting of all my Reunion pictures soon, but I encourage anyone who has pictures from the Reunion to send them to me. I'd like to have the full size original images if at all possible (not scaled down) and those tend to be fairly large, so my suggestion is that you either burn them to a CD and mail them (see address at left) or if you know how, put them into a folder and Zip them. Then use YouSendIt.com a very reliable service that allows you to send attachments up to 100Mb for free. If you need to know what email address to use, send me a line.

26 August 2007- 4:56 pm

The BRS 2007 Reunion is over but it is abundantly clear that the spirit lives on and is being carried forward in people's lives. There is much to tell and show and I'm hoping to post pictures, audio, and eventually some video clips soon. Please check back in the next day or two!

Thanks to Marty Sartwell, Mike Jackson and Michelle (Gold) Fava for their recent contributions to support this website!

23 August 2007- 9:50 pm

The Reunion begins tomorrow with people coming in from all over including some last minute entries. It's not too late to come if you want to just let us know so we can plan bedding. I'll post pictures as soon a I can.

Many new entries on the People page including: Mike Jackson, Tamelyn Smith, Ene Osteraas, Carol Holmes, John Gans

9 June 2007- 1:18pm

Added picture and weblink for Chet Keefe and added revised text for Georgia's entry.

Reunion planning is moving ahead: we had a fun and productive conference call last night with Betsy, Bruce, Wil C, Will L, Georgia, Rebecca and Macy to make plans. A flyer will soon be sent out to everyone we have an address for and the website and registration page will be updated soon with additional info.

16 May 2007- 7:20pm

New update from Kendra Axon and the first "Year 2" picture from Wil Catlin. Thanks to Kendra for her financial support of this website!

9 May 2007- 2:37pm

New updates from Michele Gold Fava and Chris Maynard (as reported by Bruce)

30 October 2006 - 9:39 pm

Just posted: a nice update and some great pictures from Maria Van Liew and a picture of Peter Fisher and "Oreo" from Nancy Jessup.

2 October 2006 - 11:21am

Ash Eames has sent us a note from Wentworth and we have some new pictures from Henley (KT) Eames to go with her update. And, Google has now indexed the site, so anyone doing a search should find it easily!

21 September 2006 - 11:48am

We now have a Google Group discussion area. If I already had your email, you should have received an invitation. If not, just go to the BRSTalk home page and request one.

17 September 2006 - 2:53pm

Macy Coffey has sent us a note from Moscow, Russia where he is currently living.

14 September 2006 - 2:23pm

BakerRiverSchool.org is now live! To help pay the annual fees for domain registration and hosting, please click the button below and contribute via PayPal or credit/debit card. Thanks to Nancy Jessup, Wil Catlin, Macy Coffey, Sam Bergquist and Maria Van Liew for their financial support!

13 September 2006 - 11:09pm

  • Nancy Jessup, Marty Sartwell, Beeg Harris and others have sent in many new pictures!
  • There is new page for Post-BRS gatherings and reunions.
  • There is a new entry on the BRS People page from KT/Henley Eames.
View down the Hill from Chris and Sally's house
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