Volume LVIIIFebruary 2011Number 1

Some Things Old, Some Things New
by Mrs. Helen Snedden, Supreme Deputy for PA

PA Rainbow is starting to grow again!
Left to right: Job's Daughters Miss Congeniality Leah Riedel; DeMolay State Master Councilor W. Thomas Moyer; and Rainbow Grand Hope Angela Lennox, after they gave blood at Autumn Day 2010.

As Majority members and former adult workers have returned to PA Rainbow, they are seeing some improvements and differences in the current Rainbow Assemblies.

Sponsors of Rainbow Assemblies can now be Masonic Lodges, Eastern Star Chapters, Amaranth Courts or White Shrines of Jerusalem. Assemblies must have at least one sponsor, but can have more. The purpose of the sponsors is to show support to the girls and to attend meetings and events when possible. All advisory board members must now complete an Adult Worker Profile, which checks driving records and criminal background.

The term of office for all Worthy Advisors is now six months. Installations are in March and September and still open for family and friends. Parents, grandparents and legal guardians are now able to receive a "parentcard" and are encouraged to attend ALL Rainbow meetings.

The Grand Worthy Advisor still selects a charity she wants to support through the sale of state pins and special projects. In addition, at Grand Assembly 2010, the girls selected a charity that will be an ongoing state project, year after year. PA Rainbow will be providing money and items to the My Stuff Bags Foundation (http://mystuffbags.org/). Its mission is to provide powerful advocacy on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children. Bags are filled with things they need, things to cuddle, things to hold on to and things to call their own as they get settled in new surroundings. One of the ways we are getting funds is by collecting pull-tabs (soda/pop cans, soup cans, pet food cans, etc). The officer known as Grand Charity leads this charitable outreach, and she has creative ideas to add money and items to this worthy cause.

In a relaxation of a formerly very strict dress code, Rainbow Girls can now travel, arrive and leave from meetings in khakis or slacks. The girls can change into their white gowns for formal meetings or remain in their Rainbow casual clothes for their non-formal activities and events.

The new state dress code is khakis with a blue polo shirt. It has the Rainbow logo embroidered on it with "Pennsylvania Rainbow" embroidered in white. Look for them around the state!

Supreme Assembly has changed parts of our ritual. Some of the words have changed and the word "secret" has been removed. We now have new rituals with blue covers. If you have a green or white ritual book, it is outdated and not being used.

PA Rainbow has increased the number of Assemblies with a Pledge Group. There are 16 groups of girls, ages 6 to 10. The pledges meet once a month for about an hour. They perform a short ritual, do a craft project and have a snack before heading home. There is a pledge sister who presides, much like a worthy advisor, for a six-month term.

PA Rainbow is happy that we have events where we work with Job's Daughters and DeMolay. We love being part of a Masonic family!

To find an Assembly near you and for the latest and greatest information, please check out www.PArainbowgirls.org

The Lasting Impact of LifeSkills
LifeSkills Conference graduates are sometimes available to share their experiences with lodge members, as this group recently did with Lodge No. 135, Roxborough. Contact PMYF Executive Director Bro. Tom Labagh to make arrangements for a program via email or (717) 367-1536.

LifeSkills is an active, creative, experientially based week of learning and relationship building with other young people and a talented staff of professionals and volunteers. Through a variety of hands-on sessions and tasks, participants reinforce the foundational principles of LifeSkills. This active and exciting conference challenges attendees to develop leadership, respect, relational skills and personal responsibility through a variety of creative approaches and various media.

In the summer of 2008, Strayer Middle School of Quakertown began sending students to the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation's LifeSkills Conference after its staff went through a series of staff development trainings on social and emotional learning and recognized the need to build authentic leadership opportunities for the students.

Bro. Thom Stecher, Director of the LifeSkills Conference, explained to Mrs. Lapinski, the middle school principal, how it would be a perfect fit into her plans to develop student leadership from within. LifeSkills became an excellent training model for the Strayer Strong program and it has truly made a difference.

The students who attend LifeSkills each summer have worked really hard in the following school year to spread the message of respect, responsibility and healthy relationships to their peers. First, they gained confidence in their own lives to live out the Full Value Contract, which means being safe physically and emotionally, agreeing to value behaviors which support the group, giving and receiving honest feedback, letting go of negative feelings and stale issues and always moving forward. Then, they began to understand what healthy relationships look like and feel like.

The LifeSkills Conference has been an incredibly powerful educational leadership program for the young people at Strayer Middle School. The conference fulfills its promises-it transforms lives, one child at a time.

Now is the time for your lodge to reach out and find a young person in your community to sponsor for the LifeSkills Conference. See details at www.pmyf.org or ask your Lodge Secretary for a LifeSkills Conference flyer.

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