The West Point Military Academy honored Fair Lawn native Chaplain Richard "Dick" Camp for his 23 years of spiritual leadership to the cadets at The Point on July 13. Camp’s family and extended family of West Point graduates, whose lives were touched and changed under Chaplain Camp’s personal guidance and care, attended.
Camp grew up in Fair Lawn and was active in Fair Lawn High School “Cutters” football and track, graduating in 1954. He attended Wheaton College en route to a career in the ministry. At that time, Camp's father was senior Pastor of the Van Riper Ellis Baptist Church in Fair Lawn where he served for 37 years.
The dinner was also the kickoff event for Chaplain Camp Christian Charities whose mission is to promote and enhance spiritual development in the lives of the cadet athletes. Chaplain Camp inspires athletes with biblical passages. He often quoted from 1 Timothy 4:8: “Train yourself for Godliness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual fitness has value in all things, having benefit in this life and the life to come.”
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is funding a spiritual presence and moments of reflection at all athletic and training sessions at West Point, regardless of religion, promoting healthy lifestyles and a caring citizenry.
Chaplain Camp retired from West Point in 1996 and was then engaged by the U.S. Forest Service to lead spiritual retreat events at National Parks throughout the United States. Camp has remained physically active over the years, and up until Parkinsons Disease entered his life four years ago, was listed tops on the list in the “over 70” category for track and field relay events. Dick and his wife retired to Florida some years ago where he now works with a personal trainer.