This February I was lucky enough to be selected as a Tragos Quest to Greece scholar at the Conclave Leadership Academy. It was easily one of the best moments of my life as this is not something that is just handed out to every SigEp brother. Out of around 300 applicants, only 19 brothers from across the country were selected for this 10-day journey throughout Greece. I was beyond excited to meet all of my fellow scholars and mentors and be on my flight to Athens in June.
Unfortunately, coronavirus hit the world around that time and put a halt on pretty much everything. The quest was no exception. I will always remember the moment I got an email saying that the quest would be moved to an online version. I was obviously disappointed at the situation but knew it was nobody’s fault. I was also quite curious about how SigEp was going to fit a whole trip to Greece into a bunch of zoom calls and meetings. As much as I was frustrated that I would not be going to Greece as I hoped, I was somewhat optimistic heading into the summer that maybe I would be fulfilled by the online program. It was ultimately a great experience in which I got a lot of value.
Typically the quest takes place in the span of 10 days but due to the situation, we stretched it along 7 weeks with multiple zoom meetings a week. Each meeting had a different topic to it. Some were “wild card events” in which all the scholars got on a call and ultimately learned more about greek culture. In one event we made a greek salad, the next there was a yoga session, and we even got to talk to a local tour guide! Despite the situation, I was able to learn a lot about Greece while connecting with brothers from across the country in a fun way.
The other meetings were held in small groups of around 3-4 brothers and a mentor. In these meetings, I was really able to connect with the scholars and mentors as we were doing group discussions about greek mythology and how it relates to the SigEp fraternity. It was a super interesting discussion as it dived into what the Greeks valued and how SigEp was founded on those principles. It turns out that they valued the same things our brothers value: Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love and it showed in their daily actions. I’ve always practiced those values since joining the chapter in 2019 because I really believe in these cardinal principles, but it was super cool learning about how these go back in time to ancient Greece.
Overall, as much as it was a bummer not being able to experience being in Greece in person, I got a lot of value from the online quest. I made great relationships with brothers from across the country and look a lot from learning from the ancient Greeks on our zoom calls. I look forward to meeting all these brothers in person when it is safe to do so, and I am for sure damn proud to be a SigEp!