GNAT to host cabin fever camps for kids


SUNDERLAND >> Despite the delay in winter weather, it's still easy to catch cabin fever not being able to snowboard or ski with the lack of snow. Some will find their winter coat this season by munching in front of the TV, while others will search for a hobby to stay busy.

To avoid such woes, Greater Northshire Access Television (GNAT) is offering four video camps for children between age four and 11 at $50 per class in the new year. An iPad animation camp will be help on Saturday, Jan. 9 and March 19, while a cooking show camp will be held during school breaks on Wednesday, Feb. 17 and April 20. Both camps run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

"It's really cool to see the kids sitting in the control room and operating," Ann Hammerle, youth program producer at GNAT said.

GNAT is the region's community media and training center in Sunderland and represents 11 towns with news programs in five schools.

In the past, video camps have been conducted during the summer, but Hammerle said it might be a good idea to do a winter series. Last summer, a news camp was organized where children interviewed each other and wrote their own news stories.

"What I see is that a lot of times the schools are having to cut budgets and GNAT is a community access center where people can get the equipment they need," Hammerle said. "The kids gain a lot of confidence from using the technology and wind up doing these super creative projects."

The iPad animation camp allows for six children and the cooking show can have up to 12. In the summer, Hammerle said, there are bigger groups because video cameras can also be used for taking still-shots and generating animation, which also requires more time for editing.

Aside from iPads and HD video cameras, GNAT owns professional audio and lighting equipment, GoPro cameras and professional editing suites. For people who are educated on how to use said equipment, they can operate what they wish at no cost. Training, however, is $25.

"It's not for people to use to make money, but for people's personal projects," Hammerle said.

Set-up for the iPad animation camp includes animation stages that have been built on tables. Attendees are given various creative components to generate a scenario, such as paper and markers or Legos and animal figurines.

For the other camp, children will write, produce and act out their own cooking show. GNAT has a fully functioning kitchen set as well as a control room and studio.

"It's for the kids to have fun and learn something new," Hammerle said. "Sometimes there will be kids with no confidence or unsure and by the end of the day they're laughing and learning and gained confidence and had a lot of fun doing it. That's the most satisfying thing."

For more information and to register, visit

Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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