Every Weekend a Family Reunion
Every Weekend a Family Reunion

Every Weekend a Family Reunion

a My Dunrovin Story, by Denise Muske

I began working in Dunrovin Guest Services as a newly married woman during the fall of 2008; and in spring 2010, I was invited to move to Dunrovin with my husband, Bill, our chickens and our dog, Bailey. I loved the diversity of guests I got to work with and serve. The cooks did an amazing job at accommodating most food allergies and preferences, and the housekeeping and maintenance staff were the hidden humble heroes that made the place safe and sparkly.

Since groups return yearly, my husband teased that every weekend was like a family reunion for me. My new “best friends” for that weekend would show up, introduce me to any new folks in their group, and we’d have a marvelous time catching up on their past year in snippets of conversation during their meal or recreation time. Our dog, frequently invited to play fetch, gained 10 pounds every summer from scrounging around. 

Denise skiing (in the middle)

The seasons at Dunrovin brought such richness! The winter brought out cross country skiing, sledding, and animal footprints for identifying. The spring ushered in animal babies – baby foxes, geese and ducks. My favorite by far were the baby toads hatching out of the pond – millions of them. Often they’d end up in the retreat center front office! Summer was filled with youth camps, canoeing, the rope swing, and crazy camp songs.  Crisp colors in the fall accompanied the smell of bonfires and sounds of drumming ceremonies.

Our extended family enjoyed celebrating holidays and birthdays at the Retreat Center – even a surprise 70th for my husband’s parents!  Imagine having an industrial kitchen with 2 ovens, 8 burners, and a super efficient dish sanitizer that does a load every 5 minutes! That freed up a lot of time for chatting, game playing, and going for walks in the woods to burn off those extra calories.

I am blessed by the time spent working and living at Dunrovin – My faith was deepened and enriched. I enjoyed quiet prayer times in the chapel, Eucharistic adoration, confession, Masses, praise and worship, faith-based teachings and presentations, and conversations with guests who shared many insights. 

Denise Muske worked as the Guest Service Coordinator for Dunrovin from 2008 until 2016. Her husband, Bill Muske, worked in development from 2010 until 2016, after which their family moved to West St. Paul. Denise and Bill enjoy their tween-age son and a new “Bailey.”