Could Your Teen Use a Charm Lesson? Let the Ritz-Carlton Take Over

By Melanie Nayer

It’s rare to run into a charming teen these days. If they aren’t texting, typing or blinded by the latest gadget du jour, they are likely fighting the powers that be. Of course, this really is no different than how we were as teenagers. Sure, times have changed slightly. Cell phones didn’t exist when we were teens, the closest thing we got to computers and video games was via a joystick and a donkey jumping over barrels. Gone are the days of cotillions and maypoles – welcome to the 21st century teen: she’s savvier than you, smarter than you and it’s likely she’ll wear you down before you can say ‘Justin Beiber.’

But what if you could charm your teen into a South Beach vacation that made her more pleasant to be around? That’s the premise behind The Ritz-Carlton’s new Charm Camp concept – a day-long introduction to all things polite, appropriate and, well, charming.

The Ritz-Carlton is synonymous with excellence, loyalty, and perfection, so it seems only fitting the hotel is teaching teens how to exude the same behaviors. But, there’s more to this camp than perfect posture and tea party etiquette. Intrigued (and, if you asked my mother, also possibly in need a few refreshers), I went to South Beach to take in a day of Charm Camp at the Ritz-Carlton.

South Beach, Miami, isn’t the first place you’d think to hold anything resembling old-school etiquette. Just driving down Collins Avenue transports one to a world that would make your grandmother cringe. Tiny bikinis, half-naked men with feather headdresses and endless umbrella-clad cocktails line South Beach, offering an entirely new definition of “charming” to newcomers. But the gals at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach know that times have changed – as have our teens – and they created a program that not only appeals to their social side, it helps them relate to their parents.