The group of 20, plus their three chaperones, plan to catch a flight out of Cedar Rapids early Sunday morning.
Sophie Thomsen, a junior at Union High School, spent Friday afternoon organizing her suitcase.
She made sure to bring her contacts.
"I don't wear them very often, but I just don't want to have my glasses get dirty and then I miss something because I was cleaning my glasses," she said.
Thomsen said she was bringing extra layers in preparation for cold weather. She knows her group will have to wait outside for a few hours Monday before the ceremonies begin.
"How many kids can say that they went to see the first black president get sworn in for a second term? I don't think a lot can say that, and there's only going to be 19 or 20 from my school, so it gives me a little bit of bragging rights," she said.
Thomsen said the trip costs about $1,800.
Thomsen and her classmates spent the past year fundraising, but say this opportunity is priceless.
"It's a lot of money when you think about it, but we're also getting to like all these museums and we get to see the constitution and all these big historical events that happened in D.C. It's really priceless. You can't put a price on that," she said.
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