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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rainbow?

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (called IORG, or Rainbow) is a 501(c)3 non-profit service organization for girls between the ages of 10 and 20. Rev. W. Mark Sexson founded our order in McAlester, Oklahoma in April of 1922. Rev. W Mark Sexson sought to develop an organization where young women could build self-confidence, respect, 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.

Why is it called Rainbow?

In the book of Genesis, after the flood, God made a covenant with people that He would never again destroy the earth and placed a Rainbow in the heavens as a symbol of that covenant. The Reverend Mark Sexson, our Founder, believed that this symbol of God’s love was an appropriate symbol for the organization, so the rainbow and its colors provided the inspiration for both the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and for the lessons that are taught in the ceremonies of the Order through these colors of the rainbow.

What does Rainbow do?

We primarily work to raise money for worthy causes like the Ronald McDonald House and several others. All assemblies meet twice a month to hold meetings, to vote out money to pay bills, take sign-ups for upcoming activities and to practice our ritual and floor work. We also have fun activities, such as ice cream socials, going to local fairs, visits to amusement parks, sleepovers, and many others. We also travel all over the state and occasionally to other states visiting other rainbow girls within the organization.

What makes Rainbow different from other organizations?

Rainbow is a unique inclusive girl-run, philanthropic social organization, that is building the leaders of tomorrow. They are taught the skills needed to succeed, including communication, mentorship, confidence and self-esteem building, leadership, public speaking, project management, budget oversight, scholarship opportunities, and so much more.

Who are the members of Indiana Rainbow?

Members are between the ages of 10 and 20 years old and we welcome everyone, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin. Parents can be assured that the values we promote are positive and up lifting. The lessons encourage members to be strong in spirit and kind in heart, respectful toward nature and giving toward all humanity.

Are you associated with any church and/or religion?

The short answer is no, as we are a non-sectarian organization, requiring only a belief in a Supreme Being. While some of our ceremonies use Christian scripture, Rainbow is open to young women of all faiths. The Christian lessons are simply used to show basic values of love, kindness, and forgiveness, among other things. We have members with very diverse religions backgrounds, such as Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, to name a few.

Can my parents be involved?

Absolutely! We want all parents to enjoy Rainbow with their daughter(s). Parents and adults can be as involved in the assembly as they want to be. Many parents enjoy participating with their child(ren) and can attend any event they would like. Each assembly has an Advisory Board of adults that will help drive and chaperon, as needed.

Is there a uniform?

No. We do have a dress code policy that applies to members and adults, whether attending a local Assembly, Grand Assembly or Supreme Assembly, or when representing the organization elsewhere. The dress code specifies formal dresses for special meetings and semi-formal attire for other meetings or casual for fun events. We love the chance to dress up and discover the difference it makes when presenting themselves with grace and self-respect.

What are your lessons and values?

We have 10 lessons that we teach: Love, Religion, Nature, Immortality, Fidelity, Patriotism, Service, Faith, Hope and Charity. These 10 lessons teach us how to treat each other, our family, and our community.

Is Rainbow a secret organization?

In today’s world, parents are apprehensive about any activity that may be considered “secret.” But Rainbow is different. Here are a few facts to keep in mind:

  • Similar to a sorority that brings groups of women together, Rainbow does have some closed meetings that only members attend. However, parents, grandparents and/or legal guardians are always invited to attend all closed meetings.

  • Families are welcomed and encouraged to participate in many activities and, if they choose, can become involved with Advisory Boards.

No actions will ever be required of members that would be against their personal beliefs or the beliefs of their church or home. Further, members are never asked to make pledges or participate in activities that would be contrary to their moral values or make them feel uncomfortable.

What is the Ritual?

The formal meetings and open ceremonies can be found in a book called the Ritual. When a member holds an office in the Assembly, she learns her station’s lecture from this book. By presenting a memorized lecture, we learn about public speaking and leadership.

As a member, what will I gain through membership?

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 hold 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. Much like a sorority, youth group, sports team or Girl Scouts, you will learn valuable lessons and make lasting friendships. Oh, and we always like to have fun!

Does being involved with Rainbow cost money?

Yes, but not a lot! There are the yearly dues (which vary for each Assembly but are normally about $20), and there is a small fee when you submit your application (to cover supplies, paperwork, etc.) for Initiation. For some special ceremonies you have to wear formals, but they need not be either expensive or brand new. Many assemblies have a "dress closet" where there are hand-me-down formals that other girls in the Assembly have outgrown and have passed them on to others. Other things, like Rainbow Camp, Grand Assembly, or fun trips do cost money. Often, there are fundraisers that girls and their families participate in to help defray the cost.

Is Rainbow associated with the LGBTQ+ community?

No, we are not associated with the LGBTQ+ community, but are inclusive and accepting regardless of sexual orientation. When we were founded in 1922, IORG was named Rainbow, as a symbol of God’s promise.

How can I join?

Contact our Supreme Inspector, or you can locate the assembly nearest you and contact the Mother Advisor by using our locator. You will be invited to attend upcoming activities so you and your family can meet the other members and adults and be given an application for membership.

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