September, 1965, a storm is three days away from the New England coast. At an island camp, a Khaki Scout's gone missing: he's Sam, 12, a bespeckled misfit, an orphan. Ward, his by-the-book scoutmaster, organizes a search after calling Captain Sharp, the local police. Sam is running away with Suzy, his pen pal, the laconic oldest child in a quirky and unhappy household of two lawyers (one of whom is having an affair with Sharp). As Sam and Suzy sort through their own issues, they stay a step ahead of the searchers while the storm gets closer. Social Services suggests Sam may need electroshock therapy and an orphanage. Is there scouts' honor, and what of the sad Sharp?