Admittedly, Nancy Sadvar signed up to go on the 2008 We See D.C. trip because she was worried about her eighth-grade daughter traveling across the country on her own.
Sadvar said she came away impressed by the trip as something that was just as much for her as for her eighth-grade daughter.
"I'm not big on politics or history, so I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it," she said. "But, I'll tell you what, I'd go back without my daughter in an instant."
We See D.C. has been a trip offered to Craig Middle School students and parents as well as community members since 1985. Courtney Jenison went on the trip when she was in middle school and is now the coordinator of the trip.
"I like how the trip is well organized, and I think it's beneficial and fun for anybody to go," Jenison said. "It's a tradition that a lot of the community knows about."
Sadvar had similar statements about the positives of the trip.
"Everything was run smoothly, and it was so much easier than a family vacation," she said. "It's all set up for you, and they take us to lots of great places."
Sadvar said another reason she appreciated the trip was that she wasn't used as a chaperone.
"The adults get to do their own thing pretty much," she said. "I learned just as much as (my daughter) and I think I had just as much fun and relaxation. It's the right way to do a vacation."
The 2009 trip will take place from June 7 to 12. There are 18 students and two adults signed up for the trip.
Jenison said she needs about 15 more to sign up for it to be a Craig-only trip.
"A couple of years ago we shared the trip with another group because of lower numbers," Jenison said. "I wasn't on the trip, but it was my understanding that it wasn't ideal. We'd like to reach the level where we can have our own trip."
School Tours of America organizes the trip. The trip's participants leave Craig on a bus and travel to Denver International Airport. From there, they fly to the nation's capitol. During the trip they will see memorials, museums and other landmarks they've read about in books.
Included in those landmarks is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where local youths who win an essay contest will place wreaths.
The students also will tour the Capitol building and visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian Institution and Washington National Cathedral.
Additionally, the group will see the Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War Veterans, Marine Corps War and Thomas Jefferson memorials, attend a dinner and dance cruise on the Potomac River and take in a play at the Kennedy Center.
Traditionally, students who sign up for this trip raise money for their portion of the trip (the cost is $1,929 for students and $2,179 for adults).
Six students teamed up to raise more than $1,000 with a chili feed at St. Michael Catholic Church last week.
Jenison said she could still remember her major source of fundraising.
"My mom and I made lots and lots of suckers," she said. "I would sell them at school all the time."
There will be an informational meeting for anyone interested in the trip at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Craig Intermediate School. For more information, call Courtney Jenison at 824-5651 or e-mail her at email@example.com.