The Rev. Dr. Richard P. Camp, Jr. was Chaplain at West Point from 1972 - 1996. Preceded by Rev. Jim Ford who became Chaplain to the House of Representatives, CH Camp came at the end of mandatory chapel, calmed the storm after the corps-wide cheating scandal and ushered in the first class of women in 1976. He led the reunion service for the Iran hostages when they reunited with their families after 444 days of captivity in 1981. He spearheaded the building of the Jewish Chapel at the Academy, along with his close friend, Rabbi Soltes. He was a constant pillar of strength for cadets, faculty, staff, post families and cadet families. He wrote the first pregnancy policy, developed policy and programs for ethical development and the building of spiritual muscle in all cadets.
He is the longest serving USMA Chaplain.
A life-long athlete, Chaplain Camp was recruited from his Fairlawn, NJ high school by Vince Lombardi to play football at West Point. Instead he decided to play for Wheaton College in Illinois where his father had gone. He was recruited by the Chicago Bears but decided to attend seminary at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. He continued his athletic pursuits playing semi professional football. In his 50's, he ran track and field, competing in the Masters Track and Field circuit. He doesn't just preach about physical and spiritual muscle - he lives it.
Chaplain Camp called the Cadet Chapel a "rally point", sitting high above the academy, watching over the Corps, pointing to Christ.
He would often quote Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Our call to you, friends, each time you return to West Point, take a moment to remember the words of the Cadet Prayer and "live above the common level of life."