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.  Be on the lookout, we will begin sending you music and a way of listening to recordings, to help you prepare for camp. 


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.  Horn players, arrive in good playing shape as well, with chops ready to go!  More than half of last years singer/dancers wished they would have trained aerobically to ease the strain at camp.


It is our expectation that you will attend every day of camp, and be present for every show, unless you have specifically requested and have been granted an excused absence.  Don't assume this - ask if you're not sure.


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 2021.

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



Taras Nahirniak, KIDS Producer

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 is 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 operation of the KFW camp and tour as well as to foster good relationships among the KIDS, staff, sponsors, parents and friends. 

Auditions 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 paying audience, that the production is at its highest entertainment value. Artistic staff reserves the right to adjust roles and solo/features at mini-camp, 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.  Please print and keep.

Show Camp

Mini Camp-May 22 to 24

All Principals and Understudies take part in camps. Arrive at Youth Center at State Fair Park by 6 PM on the 22nd.  (640 S 84th St, Milwaukee, WI 53214) Rehearsal will conclude by 4 PM on the 24th.  Be prepared with your music.

Tina Weiss, the Executive Director, will hold a short meeting with parents from 6-7 on May 22 to help answer any questions about the summer.

Show Camp Day 1 (June 6)

Show Camp will open on Saturday, June 6th.  Report to Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) STIMAC HALL, 8800 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, between 1PM and 2:15 PM to check in. Taras will hold a welcome meeting for parents and troupe members at 2:30 PM in the Schwan Theatre.  A brief parents meeting will follow at approximately 3:30 PM and KIDS will begin rehearsals.


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 make every minute count, all students are required to reside at the WLC dorms and be able to rehearse and learn every day. 


What if I have a conflict with camp or tour dates?

Every effort must be made to attend both camps. If your graduation or other important event falls during the May camp or KIDS Camp, you will need to submit a conflict notification to the office.  All conflicts must be approved by the Producer. We appreciate your every effort to schedule around the camp and summer performances.

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

Basic Camp Schedule

JUNE 6 – JUNE 20


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 14

The morning will be free for rest, visiting families, 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 14.

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 use.


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

Campus Map.JPG

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 will be made available to you in pdf format at a private website page before camp.  It will be announced on the 2020 KIDS and Tour Staff Facebook group when each medley is 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 the May and June camps.  

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



The KIDS organization prides itself in selecting some of the best teachers from across the country.  Prepare to learn from these talented professionals. The staff bio’s area available here.


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


Parents, there is a private parent page as well.  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? Of course.  We encourage KIDS to go home on OFF days during tour, or after a performance to reconnect with friends and family.  Make sure to clear arrangements first with the tour staff and follow the expectations of sign out and sign in.  You are expected to be on time for the next bus departure or load in. 

Although, during Show Camp we require all principals and understudies to remain at the dorms except on Sunday morning, June 14th where you will have time to connect with family.

Tell me about per-diem. Per-diem is a weekly stipend supplied to the Principal's once tour starts.  $200/week is directly deposited to your 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. Last year's 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 is plenty of refrigerator space on each dorm floor and a grocery store is within walking distance of the dorm. During the fair, vouchers will be disbursed each day at the fair for a meal at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center.


Can I bring a car? You can bring a car for personal use but NOT as a form of transportation to and from performances.  Free parking is available underground at WLC.  Starting August 3rd, vehicles can be parked at either WLC or the Radisson West Milwaukee.

Leadership Opportunities


KFW will once again offer leadership preparation training to returning members on June 5th.   The annual training session has led to terrific results in a cohesive troupe environment through out the summer.

Returning troupe members arrive to camp one day early to take part in this valuable training 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. You will also help to prepare camp for opening day! More information will follow.
Leaders are chosen from amongst their peers and staff.  Leadership Roles for 2020 include:

2 - Singer/Dancer Leaders, 1 - Dance Captain, 2 - Band Leaders, 2 - Outreach Leaders 1-Activities Leader



Like most professional performers, KFW troupe members will have duties outside of performing.  Some duties include stage set up and strike, outreach 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 KFW host 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.



KFW will once again offer variety performances by KIDS Encore on the Activity Stage during the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair.

Please see the Google Calendar once it is shared, for times of Encore performances.  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 at camp.


“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

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 the KIDS 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".  It is a great opportunity to observe what these KIDS 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 Executive Director is present, he/she will take care of the promotional table. 

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 the May and June camp.

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

  • HOME-STAYS: If overnight in your hometown, we could use assistance. When dorms are not available during August 16th and 17th we will need area homes for KIDS from afar to depend on.

  • 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 watch the KIDS rehearse after dinner. 

  • KID INVITES: Some KIDS live too far away to get home on off days.  It is so wonderful when a KID can go home with a local family to have a home cooked meal.  Always a fun time getting to know the other KIDS.

  • 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 at camp orientation and with postings early on the Facebook group.   We couldn’t do KIDS without involved Parents!



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 have been completed before your audition.  YEAH!

Here are links to all the forms and items that must be returned by April 5th!  

Sooner if possible.​


Once all of the above documents are completed, you can scan and send them to tina.weiss@kidsfromwisconsin.org or fax them to  414-266-7069, or mail them to the KIDS office AT:


Kids From Wisconsin

640 S 84th Street

Milwaukee, WI 53214




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:

June 20th at 1PM  there will be a preview of the show and final run before all KIDS are released  Come be the audience and cheer these KIDS on.  At  around 5:00 PM all  principals and understudies are released. Go home or simply take a day of rest on campus.


June 22nd  at Noon: Principals ONLY report back to the dorms to strike the rehearsal space, load in for tech week and be part of workshop training. 


June 24th: at 6:30 pm is an open Dress Rehearsal for our significant donors held at Wauwatosa West High School.

June 25th: Premier Performance at 7 PM Wauwatosa West High School.  A ticket will be provided to all understudies to join us to be recognized that evening.

It is truly a celebration with horseduvers and circumstance.


June 26 - August 1:

In preparation for changing our dorm space to move into the Radisson Hotel for the remainder of the tour, we ask that during any down time, off day etc. start to downsize,  pack things up, get parents to take items home etc. that won't be needed for the rest of tour. 


August 3rd: No performances scheduled. NOT AN OFF DAY

Move out of WLC

9 AM - 2 PM Room Check and return keys. Move into Radisson Hotel from 3PM - 6PM

August 16th - 17th: Move out of Radisson on the 16th in the AM (time TBD).  No overnight accomodations on the 16th or 17th.  We can help make arrangements with area hometown KIDS if travel is not available. 


August 18th: Bus load at WLC (time TBD AM).  Bring only necessities.  KIDS are on the road for the rest of week. 


KIDS vehicles during the last week of tour can be left at WLC in a lot pre-designated TBD.

Ashley Patin, Tour Director

Alex Knoepker, Band/ Tour Director and Outreach Assistant


Alyssa Eiden, Tour Director - Intern



Keven Riggle, Administrative Assistant and Volunteer

Tina Weiss, Executive Director

Taras Nahirniak, Producer


Address of all 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

(June 6 - August 2)

Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West Do not use for mail

2303 N Mayfair Rd.

Milwaukee, WI 53226

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