Born in 1909, Buck Burshears became the first Eagle Scout in southeastern
Colorado. Scoutmaster of the Koshare Indian Dancers from 1933 until his
death in 1987, Buck was awarded the highest honors given to an adult Scouter
- the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope, the Silver Buffalo, and the Distinguished
Eagle Scout award. A Paul Harris Fellow in the Rotary Club, Buck was also
blood brother to the Chippewa, adopted into the Blackfoot tribe, received
an honorary Doctorate for his work with youth, and was awarded the President's
Volunteers in Action Award by President Ronald Reagan.
Buck built the Koshare Indian Museum and its collections literally
from the ground up, and developed the Koshare Indian Dancers into a world
famous troop of Boy Scouts, dedicating the whole of his life to over 3500
boys who grew into young men as Koshares, and graduating over 575 Eagle
Scouts. The recipient of awards and accolades too numerous to mention, Buck
never forgot a simple phrase that he borrowed from Forest Witcraft:
"A hundred years from now, it will not
matter how big the house I lived in was, or what kind of car I drove, or
how much money I had in the bank. What will matter is that I was important
in the life of a boy."
A Scoutmaster's Prayer
This poem was written years ago during World War II on a night preceding
a Koshare Christmas party. Buck Burshears, while trying to figure out something
to say at the banquet the following night had just learned that another
of his boys, one of his Koshares was missing in action. The result was the
poem, "A Scoutmasters Prayer", which Buck spent most of
the night writing.
A little boy came knocking at my Scout
An awfully little fellow, just twelve and no more.
His eyes danced as he watched my gang at rowdy play.
"I would like to be a Scout," he said, "Im twelve just
In the weeks to come he found his place, a trim young Scout he made.
The tests he passed with eagerness, a thorough job sure paid.
The oath, the laws, the knots and flag, were taken to his heart.
A better man he was sure to be tho hed just begun to start.
By the candle lighted darkness I watched his round face beam
As the oath and law he pledged to keep - just like a prayer it seemed.
The years to come were happy ones as we followed the trail -
That greater men had laid for us far up where eagles sail.
I watched him grow from boy to man, the days were far too few,
To try to teach the important things that Scouting said were true.
I didnt know so long ago our nation he would defend,
I only saw a job to do, a helping hand to lend.
Now hes flying higher still with silver wings up there.
I pray to God the job I did was better than just fair.
He thanked me once for what I did so many years ago.
It was not his thanks that paid me because he did not know
That greater thanks hed given me a thousand times before
By his dancing eyes and smiling face - could one ask for more?
There are other boys a-knocking, I must invite them in.
Please, God, give me strength to make them better men.
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Most recent revision 01-27-99