He always encouraged all of us through his faith and wisdom

Niki Schoggen | Contributor

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JUNE, 2018

If I could do one thing for my dad on Father’s Day, it would be to shower him with the accolades from other people of what he means to them. As we live in such uncertain times, I am blessed to still have my dad with me. For the 40 years I have been on this planet, I have watched him help others, counsel, laugh, work harder than anyone else I know, yet always take time to support and give to others.

My dad is pretty incredible. Not just because he is my dad, but because he has been a dad and mentor countless teens over the years. Although with the incredible work ethic he displayed every day of my life, he never omitted to share special moments throughout the day with me as a child. One of my earliest memories was when I was maybe 3 years old, I was playing in the warehouse located at 612 S. Main Street right here in downtown Memphis at ABC School & Office Supply. He was calling my name. When I ran to him, he took my hand and led me outside. He pointed to the sky and told me look up high. There were three of the most colorful hot air balloons flying over downtown. Of course I flooded with him with questions and he just held me told me all about hot air balloons. It was magical. With an incredible knack for winning radio contests, when the radio announcer would say, “What’s your name?” It was almost ALWAYS “Robert Camp.” No matter where my brother and I were, we would run to the closest speaker, jumping up and down, because daddy was winning a case of Dr. Pepper, concert tickets, or whatever the giveaway was!

That being said, as an adult looking back, the impromptu fishing trips, the games, going to work with him, playing practical jokes, etc are all great things to me personally, however the truly GREAT memories are when I would find him up late in the kitchen talking with other teenagers about their trials, when I would find him praying with a group of young men at a youth conference. When I would hear him on the phone talking through situations we find ourselves in and instructing them to look beyond this moment and to their future. No matter how bleak a situation appeared, he always encouraged all of us through his faith and wisdom. “There’s always a plan and God is always working.” “This too shall pass.” “In five years, will this even matter?” “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see. Not everything is as it appears.” “Always forgive.” “If you need me, call me.” “What can I do to help?” My personal favorite, “I’ll be right there.” Sure, teaching me to drive a motorcycle, how to work, how to sell, how to not say everything that comes to my mind (okay so I am still working on that one!), how to step back and punt when it looks like your “opponent” knows your plan and they are coming for you, are all good things. However, when I heard him sharing this wisdom with other teens, other adults, he became a hero in my eyes. Forever helping people, forever praying, forever working, I am confident that with his devotion to his relationship with Christ, his wife, his family, and his work, he has affected countless lives.

To know Robert Camp, is to know the true definition of sacrifice, unconditional love, acceptance, support, laughter, practical jokes, sarcasm, wisdom, intense work ethic, and integrity.

The best Father’s Day present I could ever give him would be to have people who know him respond to this note and tell him the impact that he has made on their lives. I don’t want to wait to his funeral to hear these great stories. I want HIM to hear it. If Robert Camp, a native Memphian, a graduate of Fairely High School, Youth Leader at Southaven First Assembly (now Cornerstone), worked at ABC School & Office Supply, Skinner’s School & Office Supply, Wisconsin Tissue Mills, Mayer Myers Paper company, Zep, Al’s Golfhaven, Sears Roebuck, SFAX Limousine (now owner) & Walls Limousine Service, has touched your life in any way, now is the time to reach out and honor this GREAT man. He continues to set a great example in my life and my children’s lives. He continues to give and serve. He is Robert Camp, greatest daddy in the world! I love you!

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