A rare, almost century old British Boy Scout document has come into the possession of the Trapper Trails Boy Scout Council — just in time for the 2010 American Centennial of Scouting.
This 1915 Charter of Scouting to King George V includes some hand-written notes in the margin by Robert Baden-Powell, who started the Scouting movement in 1907. Scouting came to America in 1910.
Ray Kimber, a Weber County businessman, donated the document.
"He wanted to donate something to the cause of Scouting," Mark Whaley, a volunteer with the Trapper Trails Council, said.
Kimber recently found the artifact in England during an estate sale. His cable manufacturing business often takes him on international travel.
"I was dumbfounded when I saw it," said Whaley, who collects rare books. "It's the only one in the world like it."He said there are plans to build a special display case for the 20-page document at the council offices. Whaley also believes some reproductions of the document might be made, so that the public can study it more closely.
Whaley said the National Boy Scout Council has also expressed a desire to have the document, but it is unlikely that Trapper Trails will be permanently parting with it.
However, Whaley believes it might be loaned to the National BSA for their touring semitruck history display of Scouting, which will travel the nation next year.
Trapper Trails has compared the handwriting in the document to other handwriting by Baden-Powell and it does appear authentic.
To remove any doubt, Whaley said the document will eventually be taken to the rare collections department at Brigham Young University for additional verification.