At summer camp in the mountains nine-year-old David insists that he is ready to go out on his own for an "overnight." Although the counselors are skeptical and the other campers mildly supportive or openly derisive, David goes ahead doggedly, trying to show everyone that he is now capable of "solo camping." When his parents send their permission, the camp director relents, but imposes some conditions. David, now all the more self-assertive, sets off to prove himself. He is given only three matches to use-the limit for solo campers. After some initial success in finding a site and scavenging for food, he watches his matches die out one by one. The program ends with David's dilemma of whether to stick it out or return to the main camp.