Camp Oo-Tah-Nee-Noh-Chee is Cherokee for "camp among big pines" and is located on beautiful Watts Bar Lake. In 1951, City Park School became the first public school in Tennessee to try a program of school camping when Harold "Prof" Powers, principal of City Park School at that time, established the school camp program. In 1959, the Athens City Board of Education signed a lease with the Tennessee Valley Authority for 25 acres of land on Watts Bar Lake; this land became known as Camp Oo-Tah-Nee-Noh-Chee.
Today, Camp Oo-Tah-Nee-Noh-Chee offers programs for students in second- eighth grades each fall and spring. The Camp operates for nine weeks each school year with more than 500 students taking part in the experience each year. It is the only group camp in Tennessee that is completely dedicated to the purpose of giving school children practical training in outdoor science and conservation, and was built mostly by volunteer labor and money.
School principals, teachers and volunteers serve as directors, camp counselors and class teachers for the Camp, and lead students in fun and educational activities such as outdoor art, boating, fishing and archery. Prof Powers continues to attend each Camp to assist with teaching classes and to share his infamous stories around the nightly campfire.
Camp Director, Larry Lane