The summer of 1982 was the last time off before I graduated college.  The degrees I was working towards was Broadcast Video Engineering with a minor in Bible.  My first minor was Philosophy.  I chose philosophy since I had recently attended L’Abri in Switzerland the semester before I began my time at John Brown University in 1980, so philosophy was front and center in my line of thought. After about a semester or two of philosophy, I changed it to Bible.  I saw more value in learning more about God’s Word instead of man’s interpretations of why things were.  Just before the end of the Spring semester in 1982, my counselor said that I needed to serve some hours in a Christian related events to graduate. 

When I got home that late Spring, I saw that we had a busy summer ahead in the shipyards since we were in the process of rebuilding the tugboat ‘Mary’.  She had caught fire a few months before and everything was burned to the main deck.  I asked our youth minister at church what I could do to fulfill my requirement to graduate but I did not have all summer to work on it. He suggested that I apply to be a leader at Super Summer, which is a week long event for church youth from across the state of Texas. 

I filled out the application and received a letter soon after saying that I was accepted as a leader.  I had to dedicate a week and half to work as a leader.  The first half week was orientation then selection of who and where to lead.  That summer, the big event took place on the Baylor University campus in Waco, Texas.  Super Summer took place the following week after orientation. 

Time came for our selection of who to lead.  I went through the interview process.  I was told that I would probably get jr. high school boys since that was always the last requested group.  As a first-year leader I did not have the opportunity to choose who my group would be, so I had to take what was offered.  During the interview I was asked if I had any background in sports.  I responded that I was on my high school golf team as well as an avid tennis player.  I was also on the tennis team when I attended Jr. College in Alvin, Texas for one semester.  There must have been a hundred other questions, but this was the only one about sports.   When the assignments were given out I was given High School Girls Tennis coach.  My youth minister was dumbfounded!  He fully expected I would get the jr. high boys. 

Super Summer week began, and I got to meet the 10 high school girls who I would be responsible for.  For a 24-year-old guy, being responsible for these high school girls was a dream job.   The funny thing about this is I had always been shy around girls.  Here I was expected to be their leader.  When we all got into our routine for the week, I took my job seriously and became sort of a big brother.  I watched over them as a mentor and protector.   I not only had to teach them tennis and help build their skills I also had to lead them in bible study each day.  This was a whole new experience for me and forced me outside of my comfort zone.

When we all entered the cafeteria as a group, guys wanted me to introduce them to some of the girls.  I refused to do that; I was acting like a big brother to these young ladies.   One time as I sat among these young ladies at a table, I saw my youth minister, who was with his group of young guys, looking over at me.  I think he was jealous that I fell into being these ladies’ leader that week.

When the week was over we all exchanged our addresses and promised to stay in touch.  I got letters right away, but they dwindled as time went on.  One or two of them continued to write for a while longer, but eventually those stopped.

I got back to work that summer in the shipyards working long days in the heat.  On my last day of work before going back to college, I got to watch the Mary, newly rebuilt, leave the dock for a job for the first time.   She had a short job of bringing a barge from the ship channel in Galveston Bay back to the shipyards.

I had fulfilled my responsibility for the minor degree and graduated in the Spring of 1983.