Erika Preval - Simply Put

Tag: camp

Summer Social


It’s that time of year! We’ve survived that last trip to the carpool lane and now it’s time to find something productive for our children to do during summer break. That something is typically camp! If you’ve chosen to send your child to sleepaway camp this year, you’re providing a great opportunity to encourage the growth of their social skills.  Support them in making goals to do the following while they’re away:

Make new friends – Even if you’ve scheduled them to attend camp with a friend, urge your children to make new ones while away at camp. They should also exchange contact information so that they might keep in touch beyond camp. Mastering introductions and finding common interests in others as a child will make those interactions easier as young adults and beyond.

Leave things better than you found them – No one wants a messy roommate. Before heading to overnight camps, make sure that your child is adept at cleaning up after themselves and making their beds so that they’re not viewed in an unfavorable manner. They’ll use these skills again when they go away to college, so this is great practice!

You’ve got mail – Your child will be more inclined to write home if all of the items necessary to do so are readily available. Local stationers like Paper Source and Paper Affair have great camp inspired stationery for children – let them pick some out. Include fun writing utensils and stamped envelopes, and mention that you can’t wait to read about their adventures. Be certain to prepare letters and care packages for them, as well, so that they’ll receive them periodically during mail call.

Camp is a social event, and with social events come rules of etiquette. Even if your child will be attending a variety of day camps this summer, ensure that they’re being considerate of other campers and their counselors. After all, the Golden Rule is the most important one. I wish you and your family a safe and happy summer break!

Erika Preval is a certified etiquette consultant and founder of both simply put, a blog that simplifies the intricacies of manners for adults as well as Charm Etiquette, the premiere source for boutique etiquette events created for modern youth in Atlanta. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Guest Post: Must Make Basil Simple Syrup Lemonade

Through Charm, I’ve been able to partner with some of the most talented entrepreneurs in Atlanta. See what fun my friend Kate and I had making basil simple syrup and get the yummy recipe to make at home. It’s what’s cooking at Camp Rock Paper Scissors!

Via Kate Byars, Kate Byars Photography

What fun! I joined Manners Maven, Erika Preval, who has made a name in Atlanta teaching etiquette to kids, for a fun afternoon of making her Homemade Basil Lemonade – a refreshing and sophistocated summer bev for the little ones.

Now you may have had a restaurant cocktail or two with some delicious herbal simple syrups in it (I know I have!), but it is quite the Lovely Southern Hostess thing to have this on hand to dash here and there into drinks of all sorts, you feel like it.

In fact, Erika is doing this fun kitchen activity in her upcoming Camp Rock Paper Scissors, where kids will take the blend home to parents to sample. Camp occurs on June 19+20th at the Georgian Terrace and the Westside Provisions District. She has a spot or two, if you would like to be one of the last sign ups!


Want to know how to do this recipe at home?

Let’s get to it! All you need is basil, water, sugar and a whole lotta lemons.


First, make the simple syrup.  All you need is equal parts water and sugar. If you want to be sassy, you can match your cup to your dress, as Erika has. Boil equal parts water and sugar, and then let it cool. It’s really pretty easy to do, and a lovely kitchen staple to have on hand. But, if you are worried about this bit, read a guide to simple syrup-making, like this one, on a post by Stir and Garnish. I may add, also, that with the leftover simple syrup, you can easily add sweetness to other bevs and … drumroll please, to morning iced coffees – which are a soon to be MUST in Hotlanta!



After you take the simple syrup off the heat, add a handful of basil. Remember, use fresh basil, and pinch off individual leaves, one at a time. Basil stems do not make for tasty syrup!


With kids, this is a fun time to talk about gardening and where our food comes from … even if it is the delicious and sweet kind!


Steep the basil for 3 minutes and then strain out the leaves.

Then, slice the lemons and make yourself a yummy lemonade while the simple syrup cools. Easy peasy. I recommend making homemade lemonade, using a recipe like this one.… which, as it turns out, also uses simple syrup!  Did I say it would be awesome to have on hand, or what? (Or … cheat, and buy some at the store. Just make sure you buy a high quality, mostly juice recipe).


Add a dash of basil simple syrup to a glass of your lovely lemonade, garnish with more fresh basil, and serve with ice (mommas and daddies can also add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to the mixture for an, ahem, Big Kid basil lemonade).

But wait, there’s more! Jar the basil simple syrup for up to 3 refrigerated weeks. AND, make a few extras as gifts for your friends. Or, party favors for kids at the next birthday party. Tie them up with a cute bow or a tag, distribute and you, my friend, will be the talk of all of Pinterestdom for the rest of the week. Or, at least the kids summer activities circle. Or, the cocktail club. Whichever. You decide. =)




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