From the Vault: The 1980’s and 1990’s
From the Vault: The 1980’s and 1990’s

From the Vault: The 1980’s and 1990’s

Dunrovin’s in-ground pool. Through the years, it has been emptied and used for various purposes, from gardening to storage.


The 1970’s saw Dunrovin Retreat Center hosting youth retreats for Catholic schools from the Twin Cities area in a brand new facility. Retreats included prayer, scripture, reflection, and an escape from the demands of the quickly changing world. Dunrovin provided spiritual guidance and personal growth to the young students who made the short trip to the idyllic site on the St. Croix River.

After the 1970’s, Dunrovin Retreat Center slowly began to focus on hosting family retreats instead of retreats only for high school students. This change was largely due to schools relying on their own internal resources to hold their retreats on campus rather than make the trip out to Marine-on-the-St. Croix. To respond to this shift in clientele, Dunrovin held family retreats that focused on three main things (according to Dunrovin records):

“1. Affirming the good in existing families

2. Reconciling personal hurt

3. Making a commitment to growing stronger”

Following this trend, in the 1990’s Dunrovin created a special retreat program called “Christian Family Living Weekends.” These retreats encouraged good communication among families, with formats designed for both two-parent and single parent families. Activities concentrated on building relationships between family members, but the retreats were not only focused on strengthening earthly bonds. These retreats also involved growing spiritually and connecting to God; “Christian Family Living Weekends” even incorporated fun activities like creating a skit based off of scripture.

During this time, Dunrovin also looked to provide services to the community and make good use of its facilities and resources. At one point, the Retreat Center paired with the Stillwater School District so that the school could rent and use Dunrovin’s swimming pool for youth swimming lessons. Although Dunrovin no longer hosted quite as many youth retreats as it once did, it still supported its original mission and helped children learn valuable life skills.

As the years passed and Dunrovin became more practiced in holding retreats, it began to provide more opportunities for the community to grow and thrive. When the demand for youth retreats declined, Dunrovin responded by filling a different gap in society; the family. As the community searched for stronger familial ties and a way to connect with God, Dunrovin stepped forward and provided its services to educate and facilitate growth within families. No matter the decade or demographic, Dunrovin Retreat Center has ensured that its mission is fulfilled and that the surrounding community can benefit.

Read about Dunrovin’s first few years at From the Vault: Dunrovin in the 1970’s.