Why walk with a club? It’s not just to go bushwalking – you can do that by yourself. We join a club mainly for social reasons, which means sharing the experience with others. Part of the spirit of being in a club is that a group walks together as much as reasonably possible. It’s unsociable to either race off at the front or to leave a struggling member lagging far behind.
There are also obvious safety reasons for staying together. Even on very easy walks if a group separates and one part takes the wrong route they could be seriously inconvenienced (where are the cars??). And in more remote locations staying together as a group is fundamental to safety should anything go wrong.
There is a third reason for togetherness – the sanity of the trip organiser. Leading a group of more than a handful of people is a constant exercise in counting heads. Herding cats is stressful enough without people disappearing off the front or dropping far behind to take photos. Please be considerate of the organiser who has gone out of their way to put the trip on for your enjoyment. (There’s another post here about a split group.)
The organiser has a duty to look after the whole group but only insofar as the group cooperates. Party members who wander far ahead, without notice, have essentially removed themselves from the walk and may not be covered by the club’s insurance.
Of course there can be exceptions, as long as you make your intentions known. By all means ask the leader if a few of you want to go ahead for a while before regrouping at an agreed rendezvous point.
Having said all that, the great majority of club trips don’t have a problem with group cohesion. But those rare occasions when a group splits can be most stressful for the organiser. If you can’t cope with these social niceties then you are of course free to walk by yourself.