Passages: One Young Man’s Outward Bound Journey

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Sam Levine
161 pages. $24.99.

As one of 10 boys embarking on a 12-day Outward Bound kayaking expedition in the Boston Harbor Islands, 13-year-old Sam Levine panics. How can he eat yucky boxed food? On Day 3, he celebrates his first meal without someone vomiting. Icy dips in the sea, 4:30 a.m. wakeups and endless camp chores are balanced with enjoyment of nature, an 1850 fort and a lighthouse. By Day 8, Sam shares a vow to be more helpful at home. For graduation, he conquers his fear of heights to climb a 65-foot tower, having found “a part of myself that I never knew existed.”

Sam preserves his life-changing experience by writing this book, with color photos, journal entries and insightful observations. In his Foreword, Outward Bound President John C. Read notes Sam’s “perception beyond his years” as his story shows the “careful sequencing … of this and every OB course.” This guide for anyone interested in such programs is also a personal testament to leadership development and inspiration for young writers and other youth, parents and youth workers of all kinds.