2019 Strawberry Princess: Svea Bruslind

This year’s Strawberry Festival court personifies the festival’s theme, “Strawberry Adventure.” From overnight kayak trips to a wintery trip to Mount Rushmore, the court is filled with adventures that help define who they are and who they will become.

Svea Bruslind, 17, finds adventure behind the lens of a camera.

She loves photography, and doesn’t mind getting into precarious situations for a good shot. She also knows how to milk a goat.

As a member of Lucky Livestock 4-H club for nine years, Svea knows all about market hogs and dairy goats. She helps her neighbor milk goats when needed, and her mother uses the milk to make ricotta cheese and soap.

Svea is also a member of Clever Clovers 4-H club, where she sharpens her ability to perform impromptu speeches and take award-winning photographs.

Though she’s only been doing photography for four years, she has won several awards, including a medallion for her shot of a water lily and judge’s choice for a close up of a frog.

Her passion for the hobby hasn’t stopped her from doing things that probably make her mother a little nervous.

“A lot of the adventurous stuff I’ve done I don’t actually think of as adventurous, but I’m sure my mom does because she’s the one that’s always behind me screaming, ‘Svea, don’t you dare!’”

From getting up close to a moose, to having her brother hold her over a bridge, Svea has little fear if it means getting a great shot. But that’s not her idea of being very adventurous.

“I think the most adventurous thing for me, which was actually probably the safest thing I’ve done, was the ropes course at OSU,” she said.

She also enjoys zip lining through “her forest” at home, and has been to 28 states, Canada, and several countries in Europe.

On her bucket list is the hope to join a six-month research mission trip to study animals in the Arctic Circle, and take advantage of other adventures in freezing temperatures.

“I want to go sub-zero temperature swimming with narwhals, penguins and leopard seals. And I want to get photos of polar bears,” she said.

“In my wildest daydreams, I want to climb Mount Everest.”

Svea plays soccer, and is in the National Honor Society and LINK,  and is one of the class valedictorians.

She has a twin brother, Kelton, of whom she jokes, “He got the height, but I got the looks.”

With such an appreciation for wildlife, Svea plans on double majoring in botany and zoology at Oregon State University in order to pursue a career in wildlife and plant conservation and research.

“We’ll see where it takes me. It might take me somewhere completely different, but I know I want to work in wildlife and I know I want to work in conservation.”

She also wants to minor in photography in order to incorporate her skills into conservation efforts.

Svea appreciates Lebanon’s willingness to change while also being able to hold on to traditions that define the community, such as the Strawberry Festival and carnival, she said.

“I love the fact that we’re going to hold on to those traditions, but we’re going to update them and modify them so that way they appeal to the newer generation.”