Sam is a distant, misunderstood loner and has trouble making friends. His parents died when he was very young and he has been in foster care ever since. Adults commonly state that he has "emotional issues". Shakusky is also a fairly talented watercolor painter.
Sam is a Khaki Scout under Scout Master Ward's Troop 55. One year after meeting the similarly standoffish Suzy Bishop, Sam ran away from Troop 55 to walk the historic Chickchaw Trail for ten days. After meeting in a prairie, the two hiked along the trail with the aid of the skills he learned in Khaki Scouts. At a bay which they later named "Moonrise Kingdom", they professed their love for each other, kissing. The morning after their second night of camping, the two were found by Suzy's parents and Captain Sharp.
Captain Sharp housed Sam while they waited for Social Services to pick him up from the island. Troop 55 then broke him from Sharp's trailer so he could escape with Suzy. They canoed over to the nearby larger island where they were wed by Cousin Ben. While retrieving Suzy's binoculars before their final escape Redford alerted the Khaki Scouts to their presence and a chase ensued. Sam was struck by lightning but soldiered on to the church with the rest of Troop 55 and Suzy to escape the tropical storm.
Suzy and Sam escaped to the steeple of the church and were followed by Captain Sharp who offered to adopt Sam after Social Services revealed that Sam would have to enter a Juvenile Refuge or submit to shock therapy. Sam agreed and became a junior member of the Island Police and continued his relationship with Suzy.
Badges and patchesEdit
Among the badges and patches on Sam's uniform are ones that read "Field Mate" (above the left breast pocket), a "3rd Class" star (below the left breast pocket) and "Singal Corps" (above the Troop 55 numerals on his left sleeve).