Freemason Youth Groups
Beginning just after World War I, interest grew in providing youth groups for the children of Freemasons. In a short period of time, the Freemasons created their own youth programs.
DeMolay International for boys
In 1919, Frank S. Land, a Mason, offered the local Scottish Rite temple building to a group of boys who wanted to create an after-school club in Kansas City, Missouri. The boys named their club DeMolay for Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the original Knights Templar, who had been imprisoned, falsely accused of heresy, tortured, and finally burned alive in 1314.
DeMolay confers initiation and knighthood on boys, followed by awards of merit, such as Legion of Honor, Chevalier, Blue Honor awards, and Merit Medals. Its members hold office and conduct the ritual and business of the chapter, teaching boys leadership skills, financial responsibility, civic awareness, and public speaking. Like Masonry, it requires belief in a Supreme Being, but not in any specific religion. Today, membership is open to boys between the ages of 12 and 21.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
William Mark Sexson, a Christian minister and active member of a Masonic lodge, started the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls in Oklahoma in 1922. Although its teachings are based on Christian writings, the order is open to children of all religions. It doesn’t seek to convert children to Christianity; the Christian lessons are simply used to show basic values that are integral to many religions.
The Rainbow ritual is based on the story from Genesis of Noah and the Great Flood. After the waters receded, God made a promise that He would never again destroy the Earth. As a sign of that promise, He placed a rainbow in the heavens. The rainbow and its colors are the basis for the teachings of the Order:
Red stands for love
Orange for religion
Yellow for nature
Green for immortality
Blue for fidelity
Indigo for patriotism
Violet for service
Membership is open to girls between the ages of 11 and 20. A girl is recommended by another member, by a member of a Masonic lodge, or by a member of the Order of the Eastern Star or the Order of the Amaranth. Being related to a Freemason isn’t a requirement for membership. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend meetings and activities. Rainbow Girls conduct all business and plan all activities for their local assembly, giving many girls their first taste of responsibility. Service to the community is stressed.
Job’s Daughters International
Mrs. Ethel T. Wead Mick founded the International Order of Job’s Daughters in 1920. The purpose of the order was to band together young girls with a Masonic relationship for character building through moral and spiritual development, teaching a greater reverence for God and the Bible, patriotism, and respect for parents.
Job’s Daughters must be between the ages of 11 and 20, and each member must be a direct descendant of a Master Mason. Again, like most Masonic groups, a belief in a Supreme Being is required. Although the ritual is based on biblical accounts, membership is open to girls of all religions. The local chapters are called bethels. Meetings are formal and help to teach poise, respect, and confidence. Officers of the bethel wear traditional Greek robes, symbols of democracy and equality. Girls are elected as officers of each bethel.