FLY LIKE AN EAGLE
Resident is first woman in family, district to attain Scouting’s highest honor
Jocelyn Strandskov was the fourth in her family to attain Scouting’s highest honor, but she was the first woman in her family to do it.
In fact, she was also the first in the Scouting district to which her hometown of Mt. Pleasant belongs. Strandskov officially earned the rank March 19 after completing her requirements in February, a little more than two years after officially joining the Boy Scouts.
It took her just over two years what has traditionally been a process that can take up to seven. In fact, she remembers the day she first ranked up.
She joined on Feb. 2, 2019. On Feb. 3, she attained the rank of Scout.
“It was Super Bowl Sunday,” she said. Everyone else was downstairs watching the game while she was upstairs embarking on her journey.
She still had to meet all the requirements of her male counterparts, most of whom start at age 11. Jocelyn was 16.
Some of her rapid success is attributed to the fact that the challenges kind of level with age, her father Mark Strandskov said. He said that Jocelyn attacked the challenges with what he called unique dedication and organization.
It helped that Scouting is a family tradition in the Strandskov family. Mark had served as Scoutmaster for Troop 604, chartered by the First United Methodist Church, 400 S. Main St., and took on Scoutmaster duties for the girl’s component of the troop after Jocelyn decided to go into Scouting.
There were also her three brothers, Eagle Scouts all of them. Her journey to Eagle Scout had a special connection to one of theirs.
One of the brothers’ Eagle project — a key requirement
to attaining Eagle Scout — was to build picnic tables for their church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, 320 S. Bradley. That was 10 years ago.
Jocelyn decided to refurbish the tables.
The Eagle Project is really about demonstrating leadership, Mark said. In fact, it kind of summarizes Scouting’s goals of fostering leadership skills.
Jocelyn led a crew of 17 volunteers through a little more than 190 hours of work sanding down the picnic tables, painting the church logo and mission statement on all of them, and then finishing them.
Not all volunteers put in the same numbers of hours, and Jocelyn herself spent between 50-60 hours.
A bit part of the project is the workbook, which is intended to provide meticulous plans for how a prospective Eagle will complete it.
The project helped her attain Eagle, but the highlight of her Scouting career was making friends along the way, Jocelyn said.
Jocelyn is currently an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 604G, the girl’s component of Troop 604, with approximately 10 scouts at peak, Mark said. The boy’s component is 604B, and at its peak it had approximately 40.
She just missed out on being part of Scouting’s inaugural class of female Eagle Scout, which included 31 women around the state who completed their requirements before the start of 2021.