Masonry is truly designed to be a family affair. The men, obviously, have their countless organizations, the women have a few, and, not to leave anyone out, there are those for the youth as well.
There are three youth organizations, with some offshoots of each for the younger kids, all with their own individual structure and opportunities. All three focus on leadership and community service.
Started in 1922 as a counterpart to DeMolay, Rainbow for Girls, or Rainbow, is open to all girls, aged 11 to 20/21. One of the major differences here is that members do not need to be related to a Master Mason to be able to join. This is very nice, because once a girl ages out of Rainbow, she is eligible for membership in Eastern Star, among other organizations. The age out rule is a little bit different- a girl is a member until she turns 20, unless she marries before the age of 20, and is often given the opportunity to continue membership until the age of 21.
Rainbow groups are reffered to as “assemblies”. There are many officers, as you might expect, the Worthy Advisor (a girl, not an adult), is considered the president of the organization, and plans meetings and activities for the group. There are of course, also state officers, referred to as “Grandofficer title“, usually the Grand Worthy Advisor attends all state conferences, including Grand Lodge. There is also a Supreme, international council. All state/international council officers are chosen by election. The ties to DeMolay can be seen very easily, as the seven core virtues are very similar to DeMolay’s, the difference being that in Rainbow they are taught as colors, and referred to as “bow stations”. The stations are as follows:
- Love (red) In all its forms
- Religion (orange) The Importance of religion in all its forms (based on 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
- Service (violet) Service to others which bind all the colors together
As with all Masonic youth organizations, there are adult advisors, a “Mother Advisor”, as well as an advisor board helps guide the girls. For the most part, however, the youth run the organization, the Worthy Advisor doing as she sees fit, with the Mother Advisor helping along the way (as is the case with all Masonic youth organizations). Due to the way that it is set up, there is also opportunity for adults that are interested to be involved.
Not associated with every chapter of Rainbow, there is often a small group of “Rainbow Pledges”, that are too young to join the organization. Pledges are usually 8-10, and can be involved in every fun activity, outing, and charity work, but usually are not involved in business meetings, or ritual work.
Started in the Big O in 1920, Job’s Daughters is a youth organization for girls 10 to 20. The big difference between Rainbow and Job’s is that in order to become a member of Job’s Daughters (referred to often as Jobies), you must be able to prove a relationship to a Master Mason. Quite often, however, girls that can fulfill this requirement will become members of both organizations. Obviously, due to the relationship requirement, all members are eligible for membership in OES and the like. Job’s has a similar age out rule as Rainbow, the difference being that some jurisdictions may allow girls to continue to be involved up until the age of 25.
Job’s Daughters groups are referred to as “bethels”. Again, there are many officer positions available through elections within the bethel, with the “Bethel Queen” acting as president. State officers work a little bit differently in Job’s (so correct me if I got this terribly wrong). There are two state officers that are youth, the Grand Bethel Honoured Queen, and Miss Jurisdiction Job’s Daughter (i.e. Miss Nebraska Job’s Daughter). The Grand Bethel Honoured Queen is chosen via a drawing, after fulfilling certain requirements, and Miss Jurisdiction (often referred to as Miss Congeniality), is chosen via a pageant. Both of these officers are considered equal co-leaders, and will attend state conferences together. Again, there are also international officers, the Supreme Bethel Honoured Queen, and Miss International Job’s Daughter, respectively.
Virtues taught to Jobies include a greater reverence for God and the Holy Scriptures (JD is a more Christian based organization than rainbow, but does not require members to be such), , loyalty to one’s country and that country’s flag; and respect for parents, guardians, and elders.
Again, there is a council of adults advising the girls, referred to as the Bethel Guardian Council.
Job’s Daughter to Be/JD2B
Similar to Rainbow Pledges, Jobies to Be get to do all the fun stuff while not attending the business meetings and ritual work. This program is open to 8 and 9 year olds.
There’s not much to be found about either of these groups. I do know that they are for girls ages 10 to 21, and both are only in New York state.
Yes, I am guilty of saving my favorite for last. Started in 1919 in Kansas City, The International Order of DeMolay is open to all boys aged 12 to 21, who profess a belief in a higher power, and strive to be a good person. It is the world’s largest youth fraternity, and the premier youth organization. It serves as a feeder program for masonry, as many of its members go on to become masons. A relationship to a Master Mason is not required.
Local DeMolay groups are called “chapters”. Again, numerous officer positions are available, the “Master Councilor” is elected, and acts as president for all meetings. Often (this also is true for Rainbow, not sure about Job’s), members will start at the bottom and work their way up, similar to the officer line in Blue lodge or an OES chapter. State officers vary from state to state, but will usually at least include a State (or Jurisdictional) Master Councilor, a State Senior Councilor (Vice President), and a State Junior Councilor (Vice, Vice President). There may be many more state officers in your state or jurisdiction, this is at the discretion of the executive officer (head of state advisory board).
In addition to this, each chapter may have a “Sweetheart”, who serves as a female ambassador to DeMolay, and is usually there to remind the boys how to act in front of girls politely. She is not an officer of the chapter, but will often go on outings with them. She is usually a member of a local Bethel or Assembly, but this is not a requirement. The only requirement is that she is between the ages of 14 and 21.
DeMolay has seven cardinal virtues, you can see the similarities between theirs and Rainbow’s:
- Filial love (love between a parent and child)
- Reverence for sacred things
Each chapter of DeMolay must be sponsored by a local masonic body (our Shrine sponsors the Big O chapter). Again, there is an adult board of advisors to lead the youth (just turned in my application), members of the advisory board are usually referred to as Dad Last Name.
DeMolay is a little bit different, in that for those that are too young to join DeMolay, there is actually a full on organization for. The Squiresof the Round Table is for DeMolay pledges, ages 10 to 12, their groups are called “Manors”, and they have elected officers, the “Master Squire” acting as president.
Once a DeMolay is 17, he is also eligible for a separate organization within DeMolay, called the Order of Knighthood, for boys 17 to 21. They too, have separate rituals and officers, but act to serve DeMolay. Their groups are called “priories”, and their president is referred to as “Illustrious Knight Commander”. The full name of the order is the Chivalric Knights of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay.
I highly encourage you to support your local masonic youth in any way that you can, whether it be donating money, time, or being an advisor. If you enjoy masonry and have children, I would encourage them to join any and all of the organizations available to them. All of these programs feed into masonry and its appendant bodies, and we would never hope to have the membership today that we do without their existence.