Every good sword must do two things: it must bend, but it must not break.
As simple as that sounds in principle, every experienced swordsmith knows how complicated forging such a blade can be in practice. A sword that breaks does so either because it cannot bend far enough, or it cannot bend fast enough.
In contrast, a proper sword must contain a harmony of hardness, strength, flexibility, and balance. The stakes of forging such a blade are literally a life or death ordeal, for a warrior with a shattered sword is often a dead one.
To prevent such breakage, the master blacksmith undergoes a series of important steps to create an effective blade: forging, treating, and finishing. First, he forges the iron that will later become a sword. Using heat, he brings the raw material of iron deposits to a temperature that makes it malleable, and then hammers it into shape against an anvil—often folding the heated metal over and over again upon itself during the process to increase its hardness and counteract natural weaknesses. Second, he shapes & treats the forged iron through a series of processes known as normalizing, quenching, and tempering, all which involve a delicate dance of specifically timed heating and cooling of the blade to increase its strength, flexibility, and sharpness. Finally, he finishes the blade by sharpening, polishing, decorating, and assembling it.
(VIDEO: Click and watch this short video we filmed recently about Crucible Camp and how it helps forge our new students to "Never Give Up.")
As important as these later steps are, they ultimately depend on the caliber of the metal forged from the start. Quality determines capability.
This is exactly why at Iron Academy, our students spend their first week not in a classroom, but in a forge we call "Crucible Camp."
Through a series of activities including worship, the honor code, team-building, and adventure, our young men confront a fundamental Iron Academy question—"Am I my brother’s keeper?” As you hear in the video, the answer will always be “Yes!”
It is at Crucible Camp, prior to ever setting foot in the classroom, that the idea of brotherhood is forged. Our students learn we are three tribes, one family. We are forged together, strong, bending but never breaking. This unity—this oneness—is how we do school. Iron sharpening iron!
In short, as seen in this Crucible Camp video, our new students learn to "Never Give Up." To be men who never surrender; who fight for and never give up on their studies, their families, their neighbors, their fellow students, or their King. They learn to bend, but not break.
Today marks #GivingTuesday, an annual day of charitable giving dedicated to supporting those causes you care about most. At Iron Academy, we forge boys into godly young men who never give up on serving their neighbors and King Jesus. If you believe in Iron Academy's call to disciple boys into Christ-serving men, would you consider making a needed #GivingTuesday donation of $25, $50, $100, or more today?
Thanks to a generous donor, every gift you give starting #GivingTuesday until December 31st will be matched and have its impact doubled! Can you make a donation today to help us take advantage of the full $25,000 grant amount?
Together, we build men who never give up.