Blacksmithing is the ancient art of having mastery over metal.
This is one of the more popular skills at Rockmont. Skills here at camp are a quintessential part of being at camp, and they are activities the campers get to choose to learn and gain new experiences from.
My favorite skill has always been blacksmithing, ever since I was a camper. The first time I ever tried blacksmithing was at Rockmont, and I still remember running over to the Ship, working with one anvil, and making a rose and spatula. Now, I have my own blacksmithing shop.
This skill inspires growth and creativity for all who dare to enter the forge. It provides a hands-on experience to learn and practice the age-old art of forging metal. The campers use hammers, tongs and anvils to transform 1018 Mild Steel into artistic creations.
This is when a young man’s energy comes alive.
Being able to let them choose how their piece is going to look inspires the underused creative side of their active minds. Working with metal at 1,800 degrees and forming it into something of your own desire gives a feeling of power and accomplishment.
The smile on a camper’s face after they have quenched (the process of gently cooling the metal) and they hear the sizzle of their piece returning to room temperature once they have finished is priceless.
Using your hands to create a tangible object is an experience that has been lost over the years. Getting out of your comfort zone and putting hard work and sweat into a creation that you can be proud of is an unforgettable experience, and it’s what camp is all about here at Rockmont.
Bobby Hagan Brooks
Hickory Tribal Director