Troop 116
Canoeing in British Columbia, Canada

Hiking in Alaska

The 116 Spaghetti Dinner

Our annual fundraiser

What is the Spaghetti Dinner?

This annual 116 fundraiser is a combination dinner, bake sale, raffle, and silent auction.

It serves three purposes:

  1. Scout dues, because, unlike most other troops, we do not charge annual dues; we cover everybody's BSA registration costs and basic materials (books, patches, etc.) through this fundraiser.
  2. The troop itself, to purchase new troop gear.
  3. The individual scouts, to fill their individual troop accounts that they can use to pay for trips.

We have had several gung-ho scouts in the past who have raised enough to cover the costs of all weekend trips for the coming year, and some have even managed to defray most if not all of the cost of their summer trips.

How do they do that? Well, scouts are in charge of two elements:

  • Selling tickets
  • Providing items for the silent auction, raffle, and bake sale

The first five tickets each scout sells goes to the troop—partly to defray the cost of the event, partly to cover BSA dues, and partly so we can buy new water filters (all of ours are officially broken), tents, camp stoves, and other things that seem to wear out amazingly quickly.

The proceeds from any tickets beyond five go directly into the scout's individual account. Basically, for every 3-4 tickets you sell beyond the first five, that’s a free weekend trip for you.

(Remember, distant relatives will likely buy a ticket even if they don’t live anywhere nearby and will not actually be attending, just to support you. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. are good for this.)

Scouts also receive 100% of the proceeds from their contributions to the silent auction, raffle, and bake sale. For more on that, see "For Scouts" below.

For Scouts

You need to come up with items for the silent auction and raffle.

You must provide at least two items. Smaller ones—like a gift certificate for ice cream or something—end up in the raffle; larger ones in the auction.

One item must involve your sweat equity—in other words, you are offering to do some kind of work. Typically this is yard work, babysitting, dog walking, help with spring cleaning, car washing, etc. Some kids have gotten more inventive, marking particular skills like web page coding, cooking, or artistry. Some kids kick it up a notch (one year I won a “parents' night out” package that included babysitting, two tickets to Jenkintown’s Hiway Theater, and a gift certificate to cover dinner at the Drake).

The second item can be more of the same, or it can be… well, anything, really. It can be donated by an area business or just cleaned out of your closet. I’ve seen office chairs and ukuleles, gift baskets and bicycles, gift certificates for spa days and for car maintenance and for rock climbing lessons, cases of home-brew beer and dozens of backyard chicken’s eggs. My son is now a fencer thanks to a gift certificate for beginner lessons at FAP. (Last year, a couple of kids cleverly donated some cool toys and other things they were no longer using and ended up making money off just cleaning out their closets.)

To help you secure donations from area business, use the “begging letter" linked at the end of this page.

If you like to bake, you can do the bake sale, too. Hint: We've found that single-serving items (a cookie, or maybe bag of three) sell better than, say, a whole pie or cake.

For Adults

The spaghetti dinner is run by the parents. And by that I mean typically not the parents who are official adult leaders in the troop (all the Assistant Scoutmasters and such).

Each year we have a Capo, an event captain, but she or he will need several other adult volunteers (to help in the kitchen, with the silent auction and raffle, with the bake sale, etc.).

Please volunteer. Remember: The better the dinner goes, the more money your Scout will earn and the less you'll have to shell out for trips!

When is the Spaghetti Dinner?

It is held on a Saturday in the spring, very often the day before Mother's Day.

For 2019, it will be on Saturday, May 18.

Related pages