How Do I Know If Rainbow is Right for My Daughter?
As parents, we don’t always know what’s best for our children. But if there were a way to fast-forward time, to see if the choices we made for our young daughter turned out to make a difference in her life as an adult, wouldn’t that be a remarkable tool?
While we can’t predict the future, we can learn from the past. The testimony of one former Rainbow Girl should help. Joan Smith is now a successful owner of a research and marketing firm. She was a member of Rainbow Girls for many years and has fond memories of the friends she made and the fun they experienced. More importantly, Joan applauds Rainbow for teaching her specific lessons that have carried her through life.
Rainbow Did a Lot for Me
by Joan Smith
In retrospect, I never would have realized as a 13- or 14-year-old girl that the things I did as a Rainbow Girl would be the keys to being successful as an adult. I couldn’t have. At the time, all I knew was it was fun! There was a real sense of belonging, which was important to me because I didn’t have any sisters, so my Rainbow friends were who I talked to about makeup and boys. And I had a lot of friends who were members. Together we genuinely enjoyed traveling to other Assemblies, meeting other girls, and organizing fund-raisers. We put on countless rummage sales and car washes.
But as I look back now, I realize that it gave me a strong sense of self-esteem. It was the first time in my young life that I had a responsibility for something bigger than making my bed. Being a Rainbow Girl made me feel important. We were rewarded for doing good work and were very proud when appointed to a higher position. I was the Worthy Advisor in 1967 and in 1969 became the Grand Officer at the state level.
In addition to learning about commitment and responsibility, there were three lessons that I still think about to this day. I learned how to use my memory. Rainbow Girls have to memorize rituals, and I remember my mother being astounded at what I could memorize. Having to think that way is very useful, especially today for presentations that I make and for being able to sell myself or sell a product. This is an important tactile lesson.
This brings me to mastering public speaking. I remember having to make quite a few speeches to groups large and small. I learned how to project my voice and how to be graceful under pressure. To this day I recall these practices, and it has definitely made a difference for me.
Perhaps the most important lesson I walked away with was how to develop a presence. Whether in front of a crowd or one on one or in a group, you have to carry yourself with confidence. This is the single most valuable thing and has carried me through life.
If any parent were to ask me if their daughter should join Rainbow, I’d say absolutely! It’s safe, it’s developmental, and it’s fun.
Joan Smith was a Rainbow Girl for Cleveland Heights Assembly #11. She is currently the owner of Smith-Dahmer Associates, located in southwest Michigan.