Photo cred: Caleb Wallace
Today we celebrate the completion of an important adventure in your life.
We acknowledge the mountain of effort you put forth to prevail over your studies. As you walk up to receive your diploma, let each step remind you of the very first time you walked and how you haven’t stopped exploring since. Keep going!
Enjoy today. Enjoy the warm spring breeze and the bird songs that become noticeable during pauses in the speaker’s commencement speech. Enjoy every day. Let this important moment mark the beginning of your next set of adventures. Feel the lightness of this new freedom and know, a tent, yes — a tent, will be the greatest gift you could ever receive in this moment.
With a tent, we offer you the promise of a healthy and active lifestyle. We help you commit to exploring the wild world around you — near and far. You have many more adventures ahead, adventures that will help you never lose that spark of wonder.
With this tent, we hope you will enjoy the land, see what it has to offer, see yourself on the landscape, and walk in unison with ecosystems around you. Learn to walk swiftly and quietly, without disturbing the wild creatures around you. Wash your face in a crystalline pond in the morning light, as it reflects the mountains above. Watch as your disturbance ripples out into the expanse of water beyond you. Take this interaction to heart — keep it as a symbol for the way our presence reverberates into the world around us.
With this tent, we hope you’ll sleep under the stars. Often. Feel the cool air get heavier at night. Know how to be silent and listen as your thoughts pass from your mind. Know how to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you from the mountain top. We promise, if you learn to enjoy both the peaks and valleys when you hike, you will be better equipped to enjoy the highs and lows in life. For the valleys are where you learn who you are, and the peaks are where you learn what you are made of. Let this tent be your shelter along the way. It will protect you wherever you go. Trust in it and trust in yourself, and it will allow you to go further than you have ever imagined.
As you migrate from home, let this tent be a symbol of your parents love. Let it remind you of the way they gently protected you — a thin covering that was enough to keep you dry, yet still let you breathe. Let it remind you of the delicate but lasting shield they have structured around you as you developed your own instincts, your own vision, your fortitude, and your curiosity.
Let this tent also inspire your development as you grow into your own person. Think of its pole configuration … the way its thin aluminum sections form a sound structural foundation — let them remind you to be light and not too rigid or overbuilt. With this tent, remind yourself to let your foundation be more fluid and open to new ideas and experiences. Let yourself bend a little to the wind when you face new storms in life and spring back quickly when they pass.
Let this tent inspire and remind you to cover your foundation with beauty … with style. Don’t be afraid to wear some bright color, and always glow in the warmth of peaceful sunlight like a transparent fly. Don’t grow too thick of a skin … know how to take a joke or listen to constructive criticism, and always let the raindrops bead up and run down your back.
Let this tent be there to protect you. You are on your own now and we want to ensure that you are prepared for everything. Even if things don’t work out, you will always have somewhere to go. When the world gets tough, there are lots of public lands out there and now you have a little home right in this stuff sack.
And maybe, before you settle into a new town or job, let this tent move you to consider an exploratory gap year. Take some time to live minimally and stay free of life’s responsibilities while you can. Fill your backpack and go! See the world and keep the spirit of the rucksack revolution alive. And sleep under the stars — often!
These are only some of the reasons that this tent is the greatest gift you will receive on your graduation day. More importantly, it is up to you to let this tent be the great gift that it is. Let it not sit in your closet to collect dust. Use it often. Think of it as a vessel meant to take you to unseen places in the world. Push its limits! Accidentally poke a hole in and repair it — keep going! When you see it in your room, let it remind you of where you came from and where, I hope, you will keep going.
From all of us at NEMO Equipment, we wish you great years ahead. May you never stop adventuring and chasing your goals.