Grand Assembly of Massachusetts
  Susan A. Torrey, Supreme Inspector

Massachusetts Grand Assembly

What Is Rainbow and Who Are They?

The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a non-profit 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.

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.

Former members of the order include: Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Former Miss California and Actress Lee Merriweather, Actress Lily Tomlin and Actress Dawn Wells. Maine’s Senator Olympia Snow had this to say about the order:

“I am proud to be a Rainbow Girl. This group instilled in me the values of service, honesty, and leadership, among others. I have carried these ideals with me throughout the years. Being a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls reflects well on a young women's character and integrity and will benefit today's Rainbow Girls throughout their lifetime”

Rainbow is a nonprofit organization that strives to give girls the tools, training, and encouragement to let their individual spirits shine bright. By providing members with a safe, fun, caring environment where responsible, older girls can interact and mentor younger girls through family involvement.

Rainbow Girls are Busy!

By participating in fun events and activities, keeping up with new friends, and traveling to different cities and states, members experience the excitement of what a productive life has to offer.

Rainbow Girls Love a Challenge!

From volunteering for different charities, to working to improve their public speaking, to mastering the lessons of Rainbow, members tackle lots of challenging hurdles but ultimately walk away with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Rainbow Girls are Ready for Life!

Whether they dream of becoming a successful veterinarian, a talented musician, or a loving mother, Rainbow Girls learn that they can accomplish anything and that they can make a difference.

When and Why Did Rainbow Begin?

In 1922, Rainbow was created for young women whose fathers were members of the Masonic Lodge, and their friends. Although a Christian minister named W. Mark Sexson founded the organization, today the leaders of Rainbow Girls respect and welcome all girls from every religion. Their main focus is more on the spiritual principles of being a kind and caring person. While the Rainbow practices and programs continue to evolve, the basic teachings of faith, hope, and charity remain a cornerstone of this dynamic girl’s youth group.

Today, there are more than 850 assemblies across the world that have bi-monthly meetings. This is how the members learn standard meeting protocol and parliamentary procedure.

Adults are always present to provide support, guidance, and help interpret the rules. Members also learn to memorize meaningful lectures and to be prepared for extemporaneous speeches. Some meetings conclude with a presentation or unique entertainment.

In addition, members and advisors work on different service projects throughout the year.

Since November of 1951, world headquarters for the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has been located in McAlester, Oklahoma. This magnificent building was constructed for Rainbow Girls and funded by Rainbow Girls. It represents what can be accomplished when girls are empowered with knowledge, enlightened by travel, and energized by their own inner spirit.

Global Network – Think of It as a Global Sorority

Rainbow is a diverse, multicultural organization with assemblies located throughout the United States. International Rainbow groups can also be found in Aruba, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Philippines.


The brilliant colors of the rainbow reflect what members learn. Move your mouse cursor over the colors of the rainbow to learn more!

The foundation behind every lesson  supports 3 basic teachings:

  1. Faith in a supreme being and in others.
  2. Having hope in all that you do.
  3. Charity toward others.

Service-Minded Kids Succeed in School and in Life

There is something eternally special about a girl who gives back to her community. This is one of the basic teachings of Rainbow. Likewise, K-12 schools and colleges believe in nurturing service-minded generations and now require many students to volunteer on an ongoing basis, or complete a specific number of hours of community service.

According to a report by Independent Sector and Youth Service America, people who begin volunteering at a young age are twice as likely to volunteer as adults. Girls who get a head start by joining Rainbow will definitely gain an advantage. According to the federal Corporation for National and Community Service*, students who report doing better in school are more likely to be volunteers. Research also shows that students who volunteer tend to be more well-rounded, productive people and are more engaged in their community. This means that groups like Rainbow play a vital role in the academic futures of young people.

There’s a reason why more than 500 colleges submitted applications to the newly formed President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll – a federal effort to honor universities that have provided the most outstanding community service. Today, an estimated 15.5 million youth (or 55% of kids ages 12-18) participate in volunteer activities and Rainbow is proud to be a part of that.  Click here to read full report.

High School and College

With college entrance requirements becoming more and more competitive, students need to fit a more diverse profile. Getting good grades and scoring high on the SAT are not the only things colleges review. They want to see students who take the initiative to be involved in their community and invest their spare time in volunteering. Walking a neighbor’s dog their senior year in high school does not qualify! Students should start early. That’s why joining Rainbow is a smart investment in a girl’s future. In 2001, almost 83% of high school seniors said they volunteered before college.

Join Rainbow today for a better tomorrow because…

  • Many high schools are requiring community service before graduation.
  • Most colleges and universities look for high school students who have taken active roles in volunteering.
  • Volunteering presents an awesome way for girls to experience different areas of work, making it less complicated when choosing a career path.
  • Rainbow community service projects allow girls to network and meet with professionals for solid career guidance.