Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Group dynamics

Waiting ..... waiting

Paddling in a small group of 4 to 6 people has different dynamics than in a group of 24. That's obvious but sometimes I forget that and get entangled in a large group.

Sunday we had a club paddle where 24 members showed up to share a paddle in Cape Broyle. We were to meet at 10:00 and put-in by 10:30. That got pushed back to 11:00. Most were on time, some were late. Some of us were organized quickly and got on the water. We sat patiently at first while the rest got their act together, then some got impatient and started off. By the time the stragglers got on the water it was 11:30 and the group was already spread out.

In a smaller group where we all know each other things go more to schedule.

On the return leg after dinner herd mentality set in and the group seemed intent on finishing the paddle as soon as possible. The group made a bee-line for the put-in. There was no opportunity to improvise and no discussion of what everyone wanted to do, like explore the nooks and crannies of the north side.

In a smaller group where we all know each other we can revise the plan to suit the mood at the time satisfy everyone's paddling aspirations.


  1. 24 is a very large group. I teach courses that have between 13 and 15 students with 3 instructors, and on the water we tend to split up the group into 2 pods. It's much harder to have good group dynamics with a group that large.

    On the flip side I am very impressed you can pull together 24 sea kayakers. that's amazing.


  2. PO, I've been on club paddles here where we had in excess of 40 paddlers...

  3. Like Dean said, we've had 40+ paddlers out on occasion. True its hard to have good group dynamics in a group that size but there's usually a good mix of experienced and novice paddlers so the size of the group isn't so much an issue. The experienced paddlers just have to accept its a day dedicated to novice paddlers and subjugate their paddling requirements to that of the lesser expereinced.

    Tony :-)