Scout helps renovate a tradition

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2003

MONA, Iowa -- When parishioners park their cars for the first drive-in service of the year at Mona Lutheran Church Sunday evening, they'll notice a few changes.

The outdoor worship building has bright, white siding. The door into the building has trim and a new handle. New plants and rock adorn the base of the structure and a pulley system opens the two front doors to reveal the stage.

And it's all thanks to a 16-year-old Lyle Boy Scout who wants to earn his Eagle Scout ranking.

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Nick Ehret, a member of Troop 120, proposed revamping the building for his Eagle Scout project. The building, which is actually a chicken coop on a foundation, has been used for drive-in services since 1972. Attendance at services was down last year and the church considered discontinuing the program.

They decided to give it another go this summer. Then Ehret and his family and friends volunteered to help.

"We think it's just a wonderful thing that's happening for us," said Lydia Mittag, pastor at Mona Lutheran and Six Mile Grove Lutheran.

The Trinity Parish Council, made up of Six Mile Grove and Mona, approved the renovations and donated money for the materials to make the improvements.

Ehret and 10 of his friends and family began working on the project Monday and continued Tuesday. Everything but the pulley system, new rock and improvements to the speaker system was completed in those two days. Ehret said Wednesday the project will be completed by Sunday.

"It will feel nice to know you helped keep something alive that's been around for awhile," said Ehret, a member of Six Mile Grove Lutheran. He plans to attend the drive-in service Sunday.

After this project, Ehret has only two more merit badges that need to be finalized to qualify for Eagle Scout ranking. In all, he will have earned 24 merit badges, three over the required 21.

"I like working on different things," Ehret said. "It doesn't matter what I'm doing."

Several of his cousins have earned their Eagle Scout rank. His father, Timm Ehret, is his troop's scoutmaster and his 14-year-old brother Jacob is also in Boy Scouts.

Ehret plans to receive his Eagle Scout honor the same time as his cousin, Chase Douglas, who will be a senior at Lyle High School this fall.

Once Ehret makes Eagle Scout, he will be a junior assistant scoutmaster. Ehret will be a junior at Lyle High School this fall and although he's not sure what profession he'll pursue, he thinks the Eagle Scout ranking will help in the future.

"It looks good on a resume is what my parents told me," Ehret said.

In the immediate future, parishioners at Mona Lutheran and Six Mile Grove Lutheran will be able to enjoy his handiwork at evening drive-in services throughout the summer.

Services start at 7:30 p.m. on Sundays until Aug. 17, but the service will not be held July 6. Musical ministry groups throughout the area are featured each Sunday. Inclement weather moves the services inside. This Sunday features Foundation Quartet out of Apple Valley, Minn.

"It's really exciting to reconnect with people," Mittag said of starting the drive-ins again.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at