The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls promotes self-esteem and leadership skills among its members. Girls learn valuable public speaking skills, parliamentary procedures, and acceptance of each individual member's strengths and differences.
Members have the opportunity to run for leadership positions on the local level, making them responsible for the planning and executing of the programs and activities for their assembly, and for conducting business meetings. Girls also have the chance to advance to leadership positions on a statewide level.
Other principles of the order include, but are not limited to: Patriotism to country, Love of home, Loyalty to family and friends, Teamwork, and Service to Others. top
No! The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
is a youth service organization for young women.
Many websites state the International Order of Rainbow for Girls is anti-Christian. One requirement for joining the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is that you believe in a Supreme Being. We encourage girls to be active in the church of their choice, but we do not preach religion. top
No! The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a youth service organization for young women. Much like the Girl Scouts, Rainbow Girls wear a uniform; for formal functions, girls are required to wear white or colored gowns, and for casual functions, girls are required to wear a khaki skirt with a white shirt (no writing) and blue blazer or a nice dress.
Rainbow Girls take an oath to respect our parents, become involved in the church of our choice, be a true friend, be patriotic, and be of service to others. We have a member handshake, just like the Scouts. We receive and wear merit bars and jewelry, like Scouts, or like many Sorority or Fraternity members.
Parents & legal guardians are allowed and highly encouraged to attend stated meetings; there are no secrets their daughters must keep from them. We have a Ritual, which is the name of our book of ceremonies and meeting procedures. top
No! The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls was founded in 1922. Our Official Banner was originally a flag with the seven colors of the Rainbow. The Rainbow flag, which consisted of only six colors, that has recently become associated with gay and lesbian organizations was not created until much later, around the 1970's. Because of this, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls changed the Order’s Rainbow Banner to a white flag with the official Rainbow emblem in the center. top
Our Ritual is the book of ceremonies, based on lessons of right living and thinking, and was written by ordained minister, Rev. W. Mark Sexson. The same ritual is used for the opening and closing of business meetings, and the initiation of new members by every Rainbow girl in every Rainbow. top
The activities of a Rainbow assembly are as varied as its members, and only limited by their imaginations. With the direction and assistance of the advisory board, the girls plan and hold a variety of different projects and activities. Fun activities may include dances, swim parties, picnics, or trips to amusement parks; Fundraisers may be bake sales, car washes, pancake breakfasts, or candy sales; and Charity/Community Service projects may consist of bowl-a-thons, placing flags at graves on Veterans Day, visiting at local hospitals and nursing facilities, and collecting toys for children and can tabs for the Shriner's Hospitals. Girls are encouraged to suggest new ideas, and participation by parents in any of our activities is always welcome. top
Typically, most assemblies in New Hampshire have two regular meetings per month, every two weeks on an established day, time and location, to plan their activities and perform the official opening and closing ceremonies of the ritual. In addition to those meetings are other local assembly events the girls have planned to hold during that month, which may include a variety of fun, fundraising, or charity/community service activities as described earlier.
There are also opportunities for the girls to travel to other assemblies in the state for their meetings or activities, and to attend and participate in various state-level functions and events. With the assistance of the advisory board, the girls decide on the planned meetings and activities of their own assembly, trying to schedule times not in conflict with other planned state Rainbow or community or school events.
In New Hampshire, all members are required to attend at least one School
of Instruction, their assemblies Official Visitation, and Rainbow Sunday
(the Sunday closest April 6, the anniversary of the first initiation
of Rainbow Girls) at a place of worship. It is important to stress that
the benefits the girls gain through membership will depend on their level
of involvement and commitment to the programs. top
Each Rainbow assembly is supervised by an advisory board comprised of 7 to 15 dedicated adult volunteers who oversee the girls and guide them in the proper planning of their business meetings and activities, provide stability, set examples, and help interpret rules. These adults donate much of their time and money to developing our future leaders, and they may be members of Eastern Star, Amaranth, Master Masons, or majority Rainbow girls (over the age of 21). The advisors also act as the "record-keepers" and administrators of the paperwork that is required to keep the assembly operating.
Parents, grandparents, and legal guardians of active girls are also welcome and encouraged to attend meetings and activities, and may even join the advisory board. Family members may also volunteer for special projects or functions based on their time availability and areas of expertise. Of course, the most important role any parent or family member can play is as a member of the support network who the girls can rely on, and who will be a constant source of advice, encouragement, and sometimes even a voice of conscience to motivate the girls to be all that they can be.
All Advisory Board members are required to complete a background check form in order to work with the Rainbow Girls. top
Some of the most obvious but intangible benefits of membership are her opportunities to make new friends, travel, learn new things, and become a responsible citizen and leader.
There are other, more concrete rewards offered to the girls in response to acts of service they perform. Members earn merit bars for a variety of participation, special awards for membership recruitment, opportunities to advance to state offices, competitions in ritual as well as other special programs held at Grand Assembly, and scholarships from not only Rainbow, but from many other Masonic-affiliated organizations as well. This is particularly important in a highly competitive area where students may be awarded scholarships or accepted into schools or programs based on not only their academic credentials, but also their involvement in other community and civic organizations. top