What is Rainbow?
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a nonprofit service organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. Rev. W. Mark Sexson founded our order in McAlester, Oklahoma in April of 1922. He sought to develop an organization where young women could build self confidence and leadership skills, all while serving their community. The organization promotes community service, as well as love and service to their schools, their homes and to each other.
Our order prepares the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, called Rainbow for short, teaches leadership skills and public speaking. It builds self-respect, confidence, poise, patriotism, fidelity, integrity and character, all while providing a fun and safe environment for girls to meet other girls their age and to build friendships that will last a lifetime.
Rainbow also teaches girls to be a part of a team, to successfully communicate with each other and to trust members. We want our girls to have positive role models and mentors, so that younger girls can continue to influence the new members of the assembly, as they grow older.
Rainbow has seven central lessons, symbolized by the seven colors of the rainbow. Those lessons are: Love (red) In all its forms – family, friends, country, Religion (orange) The Importance of religion in all its forms (love and forgiveness), Nature (yellow) Its Importance in your daily life, Immortality (green) The understanding of death is a part of life, Fidelity (blue) Emphasis on being honest and reliable, Patriotism (indigo) Encouraging citizenship to your country, and Service (violet) Service to others which bind all the colors together.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has an active membership across the world. Our organization has 275,000 members in 45 states and in 9 foreign countries: Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Aruba, Japan, the Philippines, Canada and Germany. Since our order began in 1922, more than one million girls have been initiated into our order and we have more than one million majority members (girls over the age of 20 who are no longer considered active members) have gone through our order and still participate as adults.
Some former Rainbow Girls you might recognize are Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, comedians Ruth Buzzi, Lily Tomlin, actress Lee Meriweather, and former Miss America Jane Jaroe and Chantelle Smith.
Rainbow Membership applications are readily available. Any active Rainbow Girl, Master Mason, Eastern Star, Amaranth, or majority member can obtain an application for membership for you.