An Introduction to Counseling, Mentoring, and Youth Development

IMPACT is being published by Healthy Learning, one of the world’s foremost publishers of instructional materials for health/wellness, fitness, exercise, sports medicine, and camp professionals. Founded in 1997, Healthy Learning offers a content library of over 3500 titles that feature several of the most respected individuals in their area of expertise.

Here is what people are saying about IMPACT

As a veteran of the camp experience, a former camp director, and a current educator and camp researcher, I am excited about IMPACT. The graduate courses I teach at Clemson University emphasize practical, research-based strategies in organizational leadership and staff training and reflect many of the same topics Stephen covers in this book. Our non-traditional students—who are working in camps, after-school programs, faith-based organizations, juvenile justice organizations, and in many other youth settings—crave resources and models that can help them prepare their staff. Now I have a new book to share with my students. I know you’ll enjoy it, too!

Barry A. Garst, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Youth Development Leadership, Clemson University

IMPACT masterfully captures the pivotal skills that we often take for granted working in K-12 education. Stephen Wallace's experiences and insight will motivate leaders and mentors for the millions of children and teens attending camps each summer. His intentionality provides a thoughtful approach to training educators, from camp counselors to classroom teachers. A must-read for anyone working with children in the 21st century!

Dan Michel, Director, Brewster Day Camp, Brewster, Massachusetts

Stephen Wallace has hit another home run with IMPACT, which will prove to be a must-read for every camp counselor and anyone in the camp business. Readers will find the contents both instructional and inspirational. The chapters are chock-full of insights on how to provide the best experience for campers, why counselors do what they do, how they can become better counselors, and how they can be an inspiration to campers even throughout their adulthood. Wallace provides evidence that demonstrates how the camp experience molds successful youth and how that experience helps them to evolve into successful adults. He pinpoints how the counselor is an integral part of that growth process.

The examples provided throughout the book come from research, counselor experiences, and management, as well as parents reflecting on how their children have grown from specific camp experiences. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter are great opportunities for readers to be introspective and reflect on what they got out of their reading and how they can contribute more to the camp experience.

Although this book is directed towards counselors, IMPACT is a must-read for all camp experience providers past, present and future. Even if you have been in the camp business for several years, you will find that the value of this book is that it will confirm that your actions are paying off. It will encourage you to continue to develop and lead programs that have an overwhelmingly positive effect on youths. It will instruct and inspire new counselors to provide the most influential experience for youth while also ensuring that the campers will benefit from the experience mentally, physically, and emotionally. All in all, Wallace’s IMPACT should be on the bookshelf of every person who has a part in providing the camp experience.

Leann Mischel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Coastal Carolina University

Decades of experience and research are packed into Wallace’s guide for leaders at summer camp. Wallace communicates the responsibility and life-changing impact counselors can have and the many facets of their role, which go far beyond what most people think of when they hear the job “camp counselor.” Covering a multitude of topics that are critical for counselors to understand, with discussion questions at the end of each chapter, the book is user-friendly and can be quickly incorporated into staff training. Lists that offer key takeaways of each concept on topics including developmental stages, disciplinary dos and don’ts, leadership styles, and effective teaching techniques (to name just a few) are instrumental as both a reference and training tool for camp staff. IMPACT needs to be assigned reading for every camp counselor, as the guide clearly communicates the magnitude of the responsibility counselors have for the physical and emotional well-being of other people’s children, the critical importance of developing positive relationships with each of the campers they serve, and an understanding of what to expect and how to handle the different challenges they will face. Camp leaders wanting to be informed and have a positive impact (without having to read the scores of books and articles Stephen Wallace has read) need to read IMPACT and keep it as a resource to refer to when planning training and coaching staff.

Audrey Monke, camp director, speaker, & author of Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults

Stephen Wallace’s IMPACT is an indispensable compendium of camp counselor knowledge and lasting wisdom from many different well-respected educators, psychologist and thought leaders. Wallace has thoughtfully distilled a priceless companion for every camp staff member’s training. A resource to be treasured!

Tom Rosenberg, President/CEO, American Camp Association

About the Author

Stephen Gray Wallace

During his career as a school psychologist, adolescent and family counselor, SADD Chairman and CEO, camp director, researcher, motivational speaker, and college professor, Stephen has gained broad experience with young people and unique insights into their development, attitudes and behavior. This site was created to share what he has learned! It is also intended to be a resource that empowers teens and parents to communicate openly about the critical issues young people face, collaborate on the choices they make, and celebrate the positive steps they take on the way to becoming happy, healthy, and productive men and women.

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