Each year the International Order of the Rainbow For Girls holds a biannual gathering of all jurisdictions worldwide, called Supreme Assembly. Here the members of Rainbow from across the globe gather to reconnect, honor the supreme officers, and have a week’s worth of fun. Wednesday marked the closing of the 2016, “Rainbow is a Rhapsody” Supreme Session. This was the 46th biannual session, which was hosted by the New England states, as the Supreme Worthy Advisor, Mrs. Cora-Ellen Moody, resides in Maine. The sessions were held in Providence, Rhode Island at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
The gathering was a weeklong affair. Events included a cavalcade of flags to represent each Rainbow jurisdiction, a picnic and ice cream socials, banquets, skits, tours of neighboring cities, initiation of seven new members, a memorial service, and the all coveted ritual competition.
Rainbow Girls from across the world travel to Supreme Assembly to test their stuff at the ritual competition. There are two main segments of competition, team and individual. Teams can compete in Ritualistic Opening and Closing or Bow Team. Individuals compete in levels based off of their age: Novice being 11-14, Intermediate being 15-17 and Advance being 18-21. Hundreds of girls and teams compete during the sessions, but there are only three awards given out for each section of competition. The judging for the ritual competition is extremely difficult. I spoke with some of the judges from this year’s competition about the judging process. Girls are not only judged on saying their lecture word-perfect, but also on their diction, tone, volume, eye contact, poise, confidence, attire, and so much more. One judge spoke about the difficulty in their job and stated that, “when all of these teams are saying these parts word-perfect and have amazing ritual, what else can you judge them on?”
Despite these strict judging guidelines and fierce competition, Massachusetts Rainbow came home victorious for yet another session, bringing wins in both team and individual competitions. This was only the second time Massachusetts sent a Ritual Team to compete in the Bow Team competition; and this was the second session in a row Massachusetts came home with the Second Place win, while Oklahoma Rainbow toke home the first place title.
The Massachusetts Bow Team was made up ten girls from across the state. Some of these girls had competed on the Bow Team in the 2014, Baltimore session; but many were brand new to Ritual Team and Supreme Ritual Competition in general. These girls showed impeccable teamwork, drive, and dedication, as they only had a few practices together as a team.
In the individual segment, Massachusetts had a large number of girls competing as well. For the first time ever, a Massachusetts Rainbow Girl, Brianna Burke, took home the first place title for the advanced category. This is an amazing feat, as this category requires competitors to recite all seven bow lectures, which roughly equates to almost ten pages of memorization, let alone all the other judging guidelines previously discussed. One of the judges I spoke with talked about the level Burke had to compete at in order to win first place. They said that many girls said their ritual completely word-perfect with great diction and poise, and did not even place in the top three. This just speaks to the level Burke truly had to perform at in order to take home this win.
Supreme 2016 was a very successful session for Massachusetts Rainbow. Being able to be one of the hosting states was incredible enough, and the Ritual Competition wins were just icing on the cake. With two, second place wins under their belts; will the Massachusetts Ritual Team have what it takes to take home the first place win at the next Supreme Session in 2018? Many of us believe so. I guess we’ll just have to wait two more years until Hampton, Virginia to see.