DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Woman’s Club, a historical nonprofit devoted to empowering women, is hosting a group of Girl Scouts Saturday, April 15 to help them earn one of their badges.

“We have what we call our Miss Manners program. We also call it our Business Etiquette Skills 101,” says Kim Villalva, Vice President of the Dayton Woman’s Club.

The Dayton Woman’s Club at 225 N. Ludlow St. has held the program for several years, partnering with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

“They not only get to learn the rich history of the Dayton area, but also all the different ways that the women of Dayton have served their community to make it a better place, which really ties into our girl scout mission,” states Carol Serrone, the Director of Development for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio who also grew up as a girl scout. “I was in girl scouts for a long time. My mom was my leader, so I feel like service has been kind of in my DNA. So, I love that I’m back at girl scouts now and helping girls have that courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.” 

Expecting the ballroom to be packed Saturday with roughly 50 girl scouts and their troop leaders, the four-hour course is a hands-on and interactive approach to etiquette.

“We include things like cultural differences with manners. We talk about introductions, as well as conversation skills to break down the lack of confidence that people may have when they first meet someone new,” says Villalva.

In a day where everyone is dependent on their phones, this program gives girls the confidence to carry on a face-to-face conversation. 

“So many times, I see young and old people at restaurants without even talking to each other at the table. They’re just on their phones,” says Serrone.

“Cell phone use is a big one because so much of today’s society, I think adults as well, any time we’re in a situation where we’re uncomfortable or we don’t really know what to say, out pops that phone and it’s in our face. We’re really trying to encourage the girls to keep those cell phones tucked away. In fact, we don’t let them out when they’re dining,” says Villalva.  

Putting down their phones and picking up a thing or two from the past, the program culminates with a meal where they’re able to put their skills to the test.  

“They get to learn which fork do you grab, which spoon do you grab, and what do you do if you need to take a break and you’re not done with your plate yet, where do you put your meal, where do you put your napkin,” describes Villalva. “We have some fun napkin folding activities that we do as well just to kind of break it up.”

The Dayton Woman’s Club hosts the Miss Manners program twice a year–once in the spring and once in the fall. 

For more information about programs at the Dayton Woman’s Club click here or call them at 937-228-1124.