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Why do patrols eat together?

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When you were a new scout, you had to explain to your Scoutmaster or ASM why patrols eat together.  Do you remember that conversation?  Have you ever thought about it since then?

When we eat together as a patrol, we unite as a team and a family. We learn to rely on each other and trust each other not to always burn all of the pancakes.  When we eat together, we talk, we laugh, we share stories and we know that we belong. 

All of us like junk food, but we all know it's not good for us and we can't live on junk food alone. When we get together as a patrol to plan our meals, we talk about what foods we all like and sometimes we even mention foods that are healthier. We might not always remember to choose well, but when we have a group, chances are good that at least one of us will remember our pledge to keep ourselves "physically fit and mentally awake" and we'll choose foods that are better for our physical and mental well being. Hopefully...

A scout is cheerful....and friendly.  When we eat together as a patrol, we enjoy each others company. Meals are fun.  They let us relax. After dinner, when we're well fed, we are happier and less stressed. 
Eating together might also broaden our horizons.  We might get a chance to try new foods that we never had before, and we might learn that we really do like foods that we never ate very much simply because somebody in our family didn't choose it. Minds are like parachutes, they only work when they're open.  Trying new foods opens our mind to other new experiences...

There are a lot of reasons to eat together as a patrol.  Have you ever thought about how boring a campout might be if you had to go off and eat by yourself?


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Eating together is critical to bond.  Each patrol individually eating together is critical to forming and bonding as a patrol.  Cook stations and eating areas need to be separated and away from each other.  It's part of being a patrol.  

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