What is Rainbow Girls?

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a Service Organization dedicated to teenage girls between the ages of 10 and 20.  Rainbow teaches the importance of the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being and the value of the great truths in the Holy Bible.  Our Organization emphasizes the importance of a moral character and encourages girls to achieve their goals.  Leadership, a dedication to cooperation, commitment and community service are developed as girls work in Rainbow.

If given the opportunity to rise to the position of Worthy Advisor of her local Assembly, a girl will be able to make plans for her Assembly during her six-month term of office which may include service projects, social events and fundraisers.

How did the International Order of the Rainbow Girls begin?

Our Order was founded by Rev. W. Mark Sexson in 1922.  He was an ordained minister who became a Master Mason in Bloomfield, Indiana in 1902.  In 1913, while he was the Secretary of the McAlester Scottish Rite Bodies in Oklahoma, he was made a 33rd degree Mason.  Among many other honors, he was also the Most Worshipful Grand Master in Oklahoma.  During his travels with these Fraternal Organizations, he realized that there was not a similar Organization available for girls.  Thus, he wrote the first Ritual and gave it the name of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  The first degrees were exemplified on a class of 171 girls on April 6, 1922 by the regular officers of South McAlester Chapter #149, Order of the Eastern Star, in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma.

Today, Rainbow Assemblies can be found in 45 states and 7 countries including Australia, Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Italy, Aruba, and Bolivia.

What do Rainbow Girls do?

Rainbow Girls enjoy a wide variety of fun activities such as sleepovers, parties, bowling, camping, and dances and there are many opportunities to provide service to others. Lifelong friendships are common as the girls meet people across our state and in other Jurisdictions.

Each year, special community projects are chosen by the Grand Worthy Advisor, the Girl who is selected to serve as the state president for a year.  Rainbow Girls in the local Assemblies participate in these projects for the entire year.

Service projects are also planned by the Worthy Advisor, the leader of each local Assembly.  The girls participate in these projects during the Worthy Advisor’s term.  Rainbow Girls work with a lot of different charities and community agencies such as nursing homes, the Ronald McDonald House, the American Lung Association, Shriners Hospitals, the National Down Syndrome Society and the American Cancer Society.

Merit bars and badges are earned for their participation with their Assembly and for the service they offer others.  These awards are usually presented to the girls at the Installation of Officers which occurs every six months.

What kind of leadership skills does a Rainbow Girl learn?

Members who are willing to accept the responsibility may serve as an Officer.  Most Girls work toward becoming the Worthy Advisor.  A Girl is elected to a six month term of office, during which she guides the Assembly with the help of the Mother Advisor.  She presides over meetings, plans service projects, and serves as a mentor to the younger Girls in the Assembly.

During the summer, a leadership retreat is held for all girls at our camp in Sewanee, Tennessee, MontMilner Rainbow Camp.

How often are the meetings?

There are generally two meetings each month.  In addition, Rainbow Girls have the opportunity to visit other Assemblies in her area, participate in city-wide events, and attend statewide meetings and events

Who Can Attend a Rainbow meeting?

Rainbow Girls in good standing, as well as members of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, White Shrine, or Amaranth, Majority members of Rainbow, parents (legal guardians), and grandparents of active Rainbow Girls are eligible to attend meetings.

Are there any Scholarship Opportunities?

Scholarships are available to Rainbow Girls in Tennessee for scholastic excellence, financial need, and Rainbow Service.  Annually, the Adda Dinsmore Scholarships are awarded to Girls demonstrating excellence and commitment in Rainbow.  An interest-free Loan Fund is also available for college expenses.  Other youth scholarships are given each year by Tennessee Masons, Eastern Star, and Amaranth Orders as well as other Masonic bodies.

This web site acknowledges allegiance to the Supreme Assembly, International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, whose seat is in McAlester, Oklahoma, of which late Rev. W. Mark Sexson was the founder, Mrs. Joanie Jacka is Supreme Worthy Advisor and to the Grand Jurisdiction of Tennessee of which Mrs. Judy Fortenberry is Supreme Inspector.