Welcome to the Kids Family

I am looking forward to seeing all of you very soon.  We have a terrific show planned, and an experience you will never forget.  You have already received music.  Please be working hard on it and attend the scheduled ZOOM rehearsals.


I hope you all enjoy learning and performing the show as much as we on the artistic staff have enjoyed putting it together. 

You will perform this music about 60 times for thousands of people - the best summer I can think of!


Singer/dancers, I strongly recommend that you arrive at camp in good physical condition.  Camp is physically demanding because of the number of hours of dance rehearsals. More than half of the 2019 singer/dancers wished they would have trained aerobically to ease the strain at camp.  Horn players, arrive in good playing shape as well, with chops ready to go!  

Understudies, thank you for giving us your days at KIDS camp.  I hope you have a great experience learning alongside the Principals.  I also hope to see you throughout the summer at shows and, of course, at auditions in 2022.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at tnahirniak@charter.net. or our Executive Director at michael.sander@kidsfromwisconsin.org



Taras Nahirniak, KIDS Producer and Chief Orchestrator


Policies and Expectations

The KIDS FROM WISCONSIN has developed an outstanding reputation over the years as a group of young people who exemplify the highest professional standards, both on and off the stage. This reputation and public image are something we take very seriously, both for the future good of the KFW program and for the benefit of each member.  Because of the unique public role played by each “KID,” a wholesome, courteous and professional image is essential and expected.


Additionally, it is our hope that the guidelines will help to ensure the smooth and safe operation of the KFW camp and tour as well as to foster good relationships among the KIDS, staff, sponsors, parents and friends. 

Auditions from 2019 and 2020 have led us to our current casting decisions. With the production show in its final stages of completion, we will be assessing how talents will match the show. Artistic staff, as in any professional production, have a responsibility of placing the appropriate talents in slots that best enhance the production. We have a commitment to the organizations who contract our show, and its audience, for the production to be at its highest entertainment value. Artistic staff reserves the right to adjust roles and solo/features at camp or during the tour season. Also note every performer is NOT guaranteed a solo or featured position.

The attached document includes guidelines, policies and expectations for each member of the KFW. 

We need to make sure the standard of the organization is upheld with each and every member of the organization.  With this comes the responsibility of representing the high standards and integrity of each member that has been chosen to represent the group in 2021.  Our social media policies must be followed in order for your name and bio to be represented on our page.  Please be in check and send us those bios soon.  Please print guidelines and policies and keep for your reference.


Show Camp

Virtual Rehearsals

Virtual rehearsals will continue at the regular time until camp begins.  Solo auditions will be scheduled on May 16th and May 23rd.  We hope to also put together sound recordings for the ease of choreography rehearsals when the band is rehearsing on their own.

Show Camp Day 1 (June 18)

Show Camp will open on Friday, June18th.  Report to Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) STIMAC HALL, 8800 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, between 9AM and 11:45AM to check in. 

Days of Show Camp

During the show camp, 43+ students are brought together to learn a fully staged, two-hour, Broadway style performance.  In order to stay healthy during COVID all students are required to reside at the WLC dorms and be able to rehearse and learn every day in order to get the show on the road at its highest quality.


Students entering college will have to do all they can to fulfill the entire season.  Please read the College Conflict Guidelines

Basic Camp Schedule


7:30 am               Walk led by Student Leaders

8:00                      Breakfast

8:45                      Morning rehearsal

10:00                    Break

10:15                    Resume morning rehearsal

12:00 pm              Lunch

1:00                      Afternoon rehearsal

2:30                      Break

2:45                      Resume afternoon rehearsal

5:30                      Dinner

6:30                      Evening rehearsal

9:30                      Announcements

10:30                    KIDS return to dorms

11:00 pm              Room check 


2nd Sunday: June 27

The morning will be free for rest, worship, laundry, etc.


10:30 am               Brunch (not required)

12:30 pm               Announcements                       (all KIDS must be present for announcements)

1:00                        Afternoon Rehearsal

2:30                        Break

2:45                        Resume  rehearsal

5:30                        Dinner

6:30                        Evening rehearsal

10:30                      KIDS return to dorm floor

11:00                      Room check 

Times and activities are subject to change

Families are welcome to attend evening rehearsals starting on June 28th with social distance and bubble policies in place.

Snacks for the troupe are a welcome treat!

Dietary Restrictions. How is this handled?

The physical exam form at the end of this page has a space for your physician to insert any dietary directives.

  • If your dietary needs are a medical requirement, we will do our very best to accommodate your needs.

  • If not directed by a physician, it may be necessary for you to make your own arrangements during tour.


Housing at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC)

Each dorm room has 2 –3 beds. There are 2 –3 KIDS per room which have a shared bathroom with an attached room.

A dresser for each kid, Large closet with two bars (bring hangers), Microwave and small fridge, air conditioning, WIFI, laundry facilities, common area with a television/cable, a common kitchenette on each dorm floor which is open for kids to use.


IMPORTANT: Cleaning services are NOT provided.  Kids must take responsibility to cleanup after themselves at all times.  Cleaning products as well as vacuums are always available.  Staff will be monitoring cleaning at room checks.

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To honor the space that WLC graciously provides and help guide the respect needed of members to continue our great relationships, there are camp policies.  Please see the Camp Policies here.   Print and keep a copy


Preparing for Show Camp




GUY Dancers

· Well fitted sweatpants (lycra, cotton or nylon)

· Jazz pants or biker shorts

· NO slippery, baggy, oversized shorts


GIRL Dancers

· Leggings, jazz pants, tasteful biker shorts, tights, leotards with support bra or sports bra

· Rehearsal skirts are recommended but not required.

· Hair to be tied back or away from face at all times.



· Tennis shoes; NO bulky or heavy treaded tennis shoes. Should be light weight/cross trainer type, or jazz shoes.


· Females: Heeled character shoes for girls (any color). They are quite easy to find used.

 · No hats please

· Tasteful T-shirts and/or tanks, No bulky clothing



· Brass players: variety of mutes, valve oil

· Percussion: Drum Set, variety of sticks/brushes and headphones with 1/4” adapter

· Guitar/Bass:  picks, replacement strings, small practice amp, pedals if desired and earbuds with 1/4" adapter (preferably without mic for cell phone use)


· No hats please

· Tasteful T-shirts and/or tanks.

A rooming list will be sent out before the June Show Camp begins.  Make sure to connect with your assigned roommate and introduce yourself. 


Having the proper rehearsal attire is very important for the singer/dancers.  Please see the sidebar list of items to the left.

Singer Dancers: Be prepared to sing and dance like you never have.  Aerobic conditioning is recommended. 

Band: You will be playing a lot.  Start to condition for this. 

Music: Music is available to you in pdf format at a private website page.  It will be announced on the 2021 KIDS and Tour Staff Facebook group when medleys are available. Pay attention to emails. If a response email is needed, be respectful by responding to email promptly.  Learn your music prior to camp. 


 - Print copies of all music will be provided at camp.  

 - Due to copyright restrictions, the KFW music is not to be shared outside of the organization.



KFW prides itself in selecting some of the best teaching artists from across the country.  Prepare to learn from these talented professionals. The staff bios area available here.


Principals and Understudies, please make sure to connect on the private Facebook group for staff and troupe.


Parents, there is an alumni family page we hope you will connect on.  Past parents are also connected on this group. It is a great place to ask questions on how to handle certain aspects of the summer.  Once a KID parent, Always a KID parent!  



How do I dress on tour?  Please refer to the tour wardrobe guidelines document

Can I ever go home? In normal circumstances, pre COVID, we would encourage kids to go home on OFF days during tour, or after a performance to reconnect with friends and family.  They were to clear arrangements first with the tour staff and follow the expectations of sign out and sign in.   Since we must keep everyone safe from attracting COVID, a bubble type summer has been designed along with all outdoor performances.  The safety of our troupe and staff is our highest priority.

A ZOOM parent and troupe member Q and A time will be scheduled shortly in order for our staff to help answer questions on how the summer will be handled in this manner.

Tell me about per-diem. Per-diem is a weekly stipend supplied to the Principals once tour starts.  $200/week is directly deposited to a checking/savings account while on tour.  The stipend is intended for any incidentals while on tour. There is also an opportunity to earn through button sales. In 2019 these sales averaged $40/week per KID.  This is cash in hand.  Disbursement is handled on Mondays or Tuesdays. If a KID has an infraction of policy or expectations, typically a fine is incurred and taken from button disbursement.  

Are my meals provided? On tour days, meals are typically provided.  There will be some instances where kids purchase their own, but not often.  There are refrigerators at WLC in each dorm room.   During the fair, vouchers will be disbursed each day for a meal provided at the Tommy Thompson Ctr.  We will find an isolated location in the building in order to eat safely while at the Wisconsin State Fair.


Can I bring a car? You can bring a car but NOT as a form of transportation to and from performances.  Free parking is available underground at WLC. 


Leadership Opportunities

All troupe members will take part in a valuable leadership training on June 18th that will allow each participant the opportunity to grow in their leadership capabilities and provide necessary guidance to the troupe and in other areas of their lives.  Leaders are chosen from amongst their peers and staff.  Leadership Roles for 2021 include:

2 - Singer/Dancer, Main Leaders, 1 - Dance Captain, 2 - Band Leaders, 2- Choral Captains, 2 - Outreach Leaders, 1 -Activities Leader 1 - Staging Leader


Workshops & Outreach

Like most professional performers, you will have duties outside of performing.  Some duties include stage set up and strike, performance workshop sessions and many other duties that help the troupe and organization run smoothly and stay on mission.   

Along with performing a live show, an important aspect of your experience will be mentoring and sharing your talents with Wisconsin’s youth.  All of the kids performers take part in this activity. Understudies are also invited to participate in any workshops over the season.


In many of the communities we visit, the troupe hosts an hour-long workshop called “Realize Your Dream” for youth ages 7-15, along with a Jam Session for instrumental students in junior high and high school to play along and JAM with the iconic KIDS band.  Since 2014, KIDS have “paid it forward” to hundreds of youth who typically would not have the opportunity to experience a hands-on performing arts workshop.  The number of participants can vary from small to large groups with different backgrounds and levels of experience.  If you reside or have connections within any of these communities, we hope you will spread the word.  Workshops will be held in a socially distanced manner for 2021.


TBD  Individual & Group Performance Opportunities

It is yet to be determined if KFW will once again offer variety performances by KIDS Encore on the Activity Stage during the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.

Performances are typically 2 x a day, once in the AM and once in the early evening.  
Unlike the regular KIDS show, much of the preparation for KIDS Encore comes from you the performer. The Encore is produced and directed by Taras from your own prepared pieces.  Taras will select from the best qualified pieces that fit into the 30-45 minute time frame of 5 different Encore Sets.

  • vocal soloists

  • duos (quartets?) doing pop

  • Broadway or current hits, etc., with rhythm section, or possible rhythm section and a solo horn or two 

  •  jazz combo work or special band features


We will begin work on this during camp. Please bring whatever music that is needed for your audition for Encore.
*Understudies are invited to participate when they are available.  Fair Park Day Passes will be provided to those understudies participating.
More to follow on this determination.


Role of a Kids Parent

Parents who are new to the KFW program, you are in for a real treat.  There is nothing better than seeing your son/daughter perform at the level of KFW in front of thousands all summer.  You will become their biggest fans.  

Parents are a very important part of a KIDS summer.  We ask all kids parents to connect with each other via the parent Facebook group. We found this a great way for parents to meet and get to know each other, AND update you on any last minute details. You are now part of a very special family.

We like to have at least one parent at each performance.  We call this parent a "TOUR PARENT". Of course we ask you social distance from the group this summer, although having you available for emergencies is a safety net for the tour.   It is a great opportunity to observe what these performers do each and every day.  The Tour Parent responsibilities include arriving at the performance site the same time as the bus, having a car available for any emergency runs and for possible help that the tour staff might need at any given time. Setting up the promotional table and being available to sell items before the show, intermission and at the end.  This last duty can be a shared responsibility between parents attending the said performance.  When the Directors are present, he/she will take care of the promotional table. 

“Without a solid mission and stellar organization, volunteers can be more of a hindrance than an asset.  The staff at KIDs are the reason parents were willing to help and in turn bring this organization one small step closer to providing our children with an amazing experience. It takes a village !”
- Parent of a Alumni

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Some of the ways you can get involved are: 


  • TOUR PARENT: Stated above

  • LUNCH/DINNER HOST: At some locations, a meal is not provided - dates of needed meals will be shared with you at a ZOOM meeting before camp begins.  These can be served in a local park or other type of area that social distancing can be observed by the hosts, or simply dropped off at the performance site.

  • SNACK HOST: The KIDS love snacks to share either at camp, at the dorms or on tour.

  • PROGRAM DISTRIBUTION: We always need help during the State Fair, making sure all our fans receive a printed program.  Understudies, if performing at Encore will assist with this as well.

  • COSTUMES:  During camp we will need help from a few parents to label, press and sort costumes.  Typically the last week of camp is our greatest need for costume assistance.  Come for a couple hours and then observe at a distance during the evening rehearsal.

  • SHARE KIDS NEWS: A simple thing that all can do that makes a big impact...share our posts on social media.  Talk about your kids experience while you are glowing with pride.  

  • Parent opportunities will be presented to you and with postings on the Facebook group.   We couldn’t do KIDS without involved Parents!


Forms etc...

I know you just want to get started in this thing we call KIDS, but we need to stress the importance of getting the forms filled out and in place before the season gets underway.  

Please return your agreement form to be part of KIDS ASAP, and your measurement forms should be completed by February 1st.

Here are links to all the forms and items that must be returned by February 1!  

Sooner if possible.​


Once all of the above documents are completed, you can scan and send them to keven.riggle@kidsfromwisconsin.org or fax them to 414-266-7069.


Communication and Itineraries

All parents and kids will be invited to view a special Google Calendar with all dates and times of every activity, including bus load, meals, performances and workshops.  The instructions will be sent to you by our Tour Director, Ashley Patin.

Dates to take note of:

July 4: Premier Performance at 7 PM TBD.  Understudies should join us to be recognized that evening.  Understudies are then released  after the performance.  Or the next morning.

July 5 - 14

The tour will head NORTH.  The POD home base will be UW Stevens Point dormitories.  Each night after a performance the troupe will always travel back to this location.


July 15 - August 15

The tour will  heads SOUTHEAST.  The POD home base will be back at the WLC dormitories.  Each night after a performance the troupe will always travel back to this location.

August 5 - 14 

Wisconsin State Fair


August 16 - 20: 

Possible rain date performances.  TBD


Address of facilities below:

This address for Mini Camp and for MAIL

Kids From Wisconsin Office 

640 S 84th St

Milwaukee, WI 53214

(State Fair Grounds)

Wisconsin Lutheran College   Do not use for mail

8800 W Bluemound Rd,

Milwaukee, WI 53226

Ashley Patin, Tour Director

Alex Knoepker, Band/ Tour Director and Outreach Assistant


Tour Director - Intern


Keven Riggle, Administrative Assistant and Volunteer

Michael Sander, Executive Director



Tina Weiss, Managing Director

Taras Nahirniak, Producer