About Camden

Forging Leaders and cultivating confidence since 1892

Camden Military Academy stands as a beacon of educational excellence in South Carolina. Since our founding in 1958, we’ve been dedicated to shaping young minds and fostering leadership skills, in boys from grades 7 to 12. Our college preparatory military boarding school environment is renowned for its emphasis on character development, self-discipline, and structure within a unique setting. Here, we intertwine academics, leadership training, athletics, and character building into a holistic educational approach. Camden Military Academy strives to instill not only academic prowess but develops the “whole man’ through leadership skills and ethical values that will ensure our students’ success in all of their future endeavors.

History Of Camden Military Academy

While the Camden Military Academy tradition dates back to 1892, operations on the current campus began with the 1958-59 school year.

The Academy combines the traditions of three institutions – Carlisle Military School, which operated in Bamberg, South Carolina, from 1892 to 1977; Camden Academy, which was located on the campus from 1949 to 1957; and Camden Military Academy. Camden Military Academy has operated as a non-profit, tax-exempt institution since 1974 and is governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees.


Carlisle Military School was established in 1892 as the Carlisle Fitting School of Wofford College. This military school was named in honor of Dr. James H. Carlisle, who was for many years the president of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1932, Carlisle was leased by Colonel and Mrs. James F. Risher and in 1938 was purchased by them. They, and later their son, Colonel William Risher, operated it as a military preparatory boarding school until it closed in May 1977.

Camden Academy To Camden Military Academy

Camden Military Academy in Camden, South Carolina was originally founded as Camden Academy in 1950 by a group of generous and far-sighted Camden citizens who felt that their town was an ideal setting for a private school. Colonel James F. Risher, the president of Carlisle Military School, purchased the facility in 1958, and the name was changed to Camden Military Academy. His son, Colonel Lanning P. Risher, was the military academy’s first headmaster, and he served in that position for 37 years. In 1974, Lanning Risher led the military school to a reorganization as a non-profit, tax-exempt institution.


Meet the people who keep Camden running. The teachers, coaches and administrative staff are a vital part of our school.

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