This chapter includes info on helping newbies, keeping a group functioning, and how to handle conflicts.
Tenth Day Syndrome
Take a group of people with various personalities and idiosynchrasies and place them in an environment where they cannot get away from the group (unless they want to start talking to rocks) and what happens? Add in an enclosed feeling from a deep canyon, huge rapids that can be heard from a distance and physical stress. First, a leader of a group needs to realize that people will either find the Grand Canyon to be an incredible experience or, less commonly, they may find the Grand Canyon to be a nightmare. In an extreme case a participant on a trip had to be removed in a strait jacket. But more common is what is called the "tenth day syndrome." If there is some annoyance or difficulties between members of a group, it is likely to erupt about the tenth day of the trip. It may even be people that have done many trip on shorter rivers together but on such a long trip as the Grand Canyon little things can erupt and cause dissension within the group. A good leader is aware of the tenth day syndrome and if he/she senses little problems between members it may erupt and possibly it should be addressed in some way. If the tenth day syndrome strikes your group (and it does not happen to every group) then knowing that many groups encounter dissension at about this time may help you keep it all in perspective.