By Sally Sayre
Some of the trademarks of Shehaqua have an interesting background that many new members of Shehaqua Family are not familiar with. Even some veterans may not remember where things originated. The compass rose logo that was featured for many years on our T-shirts and is still present on our website, our mugs, and other places was created in 2000 by Steve Martin. He and his wife, Lydia, and their daughters were members of our very first camp in 1995 and continued to attend for several years until the family moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland. Lydia grew up in Allentown and they were members of our local small group before small groups were a recognized part of our church structure. Steve was working as a graphic artist at Majestic which designs and manufactures team uniforms for major league sports.
David Cantrell, another talented artist, designed our very first T-shirt, one that we are reprising for this anniversary year. It was worn proudly at the Robin Hill campgrounds in 1997. In 1998 Steve designed one of my most favorite shirts which has child-like lettering and a map design on the back with the words “Loving and Serving the World”. We gave T-shirts that year to the rangers at Shehaqua (our first year there) who were very pleased to receive them since they had been admiring those worn at camp.
The next year, 1999, we copied a design from a Camp Sunrise shirt (circa 1994) that says “Be True.” Then, in 2000, a pivotal year for a couple of other reasons as well, Steve again was our T-shirt designer. I remember when Rob and I went over to the Martin’s house to see Steve’s design. We really liked the design itself, but we were even more impressed with Steve’s inspiration to create something that resonated with, not only our theology, but also the fact that our camp was in Pennsylvania (PA Family Camp was our name at the time).
The compass rose, of course, represents the four cardinal directions and resonates with the fact that our movement can be found in all directions around the globe. It also resembles the PA Dutch hex sign that is a big part of the character of this area. And, the star is related also to the Moravian star or “Star of Bethlehem,” a symbol that is ubiquitous in this part of PA whether folks are Moravian church members or not. It’s the centerpiece of many Christmas light displays. The Moravians are a pre-Reformation Christian sect that founded Bethlehem, PA in 1741. I don’t remember if this was part of Steve’s idea or not, but I find that the symbol also reminds me of the wheel used to steer a ship—a fitting image for “Sailing with Our Father.”
The relationship of the compass design to our Divine Principle is evident as it points to a four-position foundation—a symbol of God dwelling in a family where true love is realized first between husband and wife, parents and children, and amongst siblings. Eventually this love is experienced throughout the community. This expresses the heart of what our family camp and all our year-round programs are about.
In 2001, another artist (we have been so blessed to have these talented brothers in our midst), Rod Cameron, created the blue “JOY” design that is still a very popular shirt. Then in 2002 we decided to go back to our compass logo and just change the colors each year. This was the year we also added “The Family, God’s School of Love” surrounding the design on the back. (I have been stopped so many times while wearing shirts with those words by people who admire the motto.)
When Steve first designed the compass rose, there was a problem because he had used three colors for the design, but we really didn’t want to pay for more than 2 inks silk-screened onto the T-shirt. Lee Anderson, the local guy who was making our shirts came up with a simple solution. I can remember Lee’s excitement when he came over to show us his idea. He had the T-shirt color show through as the third color! I had admired the shirts that Camp Sunrise was doing at the time where each year the design was the same, but the T-shirt color was different. I hoped our new logo could be used the same way, and for many years it worked quite well! Frankly, as there was always so much to do and decide on in the months and weeks before camp, it became sometimes a very quick, almost last-minute, decision what color to have for the T-shirts and songbooks—eventually also mugs.
So, when you don your old compass-rose T-shirts or see me wearing my favorites from the past, allow yourself a moment to reflect on the meaning you now know it has.
To take a look at all our past t-shirts, visit this gallery.