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Etiquette camper: 'I'm more polite'

Posted May 5, 2008

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— It's that time of year when many parents start thinking about summer camps or track-out camps for children on year-round schedules.

Many camps feature sports or arts or computers, but one Cary business owner is teaching kids a different set of skills at her camp: etiquette.

On the weekends, Carmen Miller runs themed birthday parties for girls at “Pinky Toes Party Palace.” During the week, she runs behavior camps for girls and boys, ages 10 to 13.

Children are taught to keep their elbows off the table while eating, how to use the correct utensils and to pass bread and cut food properly, among other things.

“The point about etiquette is to make people more comfortable. I think the more knowledge you have, the more empowered you are,” Miller said.

The weeklong class teaches kids about confidence as well, she said. Kaileigh Grande said her mom wanted her to attend the camp to learn table manners.

“I kinda usually don’t use a fork,” Kaileigh said. “(My mom) likes that when I’m eating (now), I’m more polite.”

The gentlemen in the class also learn to pull out chairs for the young ladies.

“It’s kind of embarrassing the first time, because (the girls) practically think you like them,” said one camper.

Tuesday, on WRAL’s Morning News at 6, Reporter Kim Dean attends an infant massage class for moms and babies.

29 Comments

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  • TheAdmiral May 6, 2008

    If the parents are slobs and can't fathom manners - once the kid is done with the camp he is returned to the slobs of home where they go right back to where they started.

  • clariceperry May 6, 2008

    Yes, we all need to learn better etiquette, but the young man in the picture is NOT holding his fork properly. And to send a male to a place called "Pinky" anything is degrading.

  • emaleth May 5, 2008

    Amen to this camp. Kids these days just have no manners. Yes, they should learn it at home, but sometimes a little polish really helps. I get so sick of being addressed as "Hey" or "A!" instead of ma'am or miss, or kids calling me by my first name. Even a simple "excuse me" when walking past would be really nice. Here in the South, it is Mrs, or Miss LastName. My parents sent me to cotillion back in the day. I hated it then but I sure wish I had paid more attention nowadays.

  • kcfoxie May 5, 2008

    When did fellowship get cluttered with rules? Long live eating as you please, this country is a free one as I recall.

  • computer trainer May 5, 2008

    Now, folks want the SCHOOLS to teach etiquette, too? When in the world do we want them to teach Reading and Writing, and Arithmetic? The schools are the dumping ground. Don't want to teach the kids $&x? Let the schools. Come on folks. The schools did not give birth to them. Maybe some of these parents need to either pay someone to do it, OR get rid of the UNnecessary items in their lives and take care of their children.

  • Not a fan of roses May 5, 2008

    Does anyone remember the episode of the Cosby Show about etiquette? Rudy and Bud must have been about 4th or 5th graders on the show.

  • Shadow213 May 5, 2008

    A great idea! While I'd like to think that parents were capable of teaching their kids manners-- I've seen many parents who could also use this class. Even if someone doesnt "know better," I feel so embarrassed for them when they have awful manners in public. I disagree with Harvey...good manners are never out of style nor date back to Victorian times. In addition, those who learn to speak in appropriate english and can conduct themselves in a social setting (such as eating out) properly, will find that they will get much further in life.

  • something2say May 5, 2008

    To be honest, I teach my kids good manners but I think Elicid has a good point about the Etiquette. I don't know enough to feel like my kids would be prepared for say a formal event. My older sister was sent to an Etiquette camp way back in the day and she definitely benefitted!

    I do wish some of this was incorporated into school and extra curricular activities as well! The more children exposed to proper etiquette the better. Maybe some kids manners would improve too!!!! As Elicid said, it is noticed!

  • MaplesMom May 5, 2008

    As a child who grew up in Palm Beach, Florida- I was sent to "Charm School" to learn ediquett. My mother taught us manners and all that good stuff from birth, but I got a lot from charm school. My friends in college would tease me when I chastised them for "table Manners" in the cafeteria. It was all in good fun. But I learned valued lessons that I will have for life. I am in the minority, I know; however these skills that the kids are learning will help them in business and in life. I do wish they made it more affordable- as this would be an excellent class for MANY children these days.

  • Harvey May 5, 2008

    This is dumb. I mean parents should teach most of this themselves if they want their kids to learn it, but more importantly... WHY DOES IT MATTER? When did it matter what fork you use? When did it matter how you use a napkin for bloody sake? If women want me to pull the chair out for them, they need to start putting the seat up on the toilet when they are don. Do we really want to teach our kids to act like snotty socialites? How often would you even use these "skills"? This isn't the Victorian era. This is 2008. Maybe I'll start a camp to teach kids how to act like vikings. It would be about as useful.

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