Founder & Director of Operations
From a very young age running through the hardwood bottoms of Northeast Georgia and the Piedmont Region of South Carolina, Joshua Barnes was raised knowing that the woods offer three things: Sustainability, Peace, and Enjoyment. He credits his experience and knowledge gained in the outdoors from his Father and Great Grandfather; he spent every opportunity he could with these great woodsmen learning everything about hunting, fishing, and woodslore. They instilled in him that it was essential to always hone skills, acquire knowledge, and strive to experience everything in the wilderness he could. This created in him a great appreciation for the outdoors and set him on the path to pass on the skills and knowledge that he teaches today.
Before starting The Woodsrunner School he spent many years protecting and serving the citizens of Upstate SC as a Law Enforcement Officer. He specialized in training in Domestic Terrorism, Criminal Gang Detection & Investigations, Advanced Supervision and Management, Advanced DUI Detection, Training Instructor Certifications, Firearms, and Defensive Tactics. With his extensive outdoor, law enforcement, and teaching experience it became Joshua’s goal to teach others the skills which would help them feel comfortable, confident, and become their best in everything they do.
On the recreational side, Joshua enjoys woodslore, college football, cabinet making, campfire cooking, spending time with his wife Janna and his furry son Rex, the occasional adventure into the mountains to trout fish, and his constant planning for the next step at The Woodsrunner School.
Joshua’s teaching philosophy is to create a learning atmosphere that first instills confidence, thus allowing his students to effectively acquire knowledge and useful skill sets that are relevant, not just in survival situations, but in their everyday lives.
Lead Survival Instructor
The father of two girls that he considers his most precious achievement in life, Judson Zeigler grew up in Southeast Georgia as a farmer’s son. The chores of farm life were everyday life for him. Through his Grandfather, he learned how to build fires, cook food over a campfire, and the many other skills needed for backwoods camping. He remembers his first pocket knife and his Grandfather teaching him how to whittle. His Grandfather instilled in him whether using a knife for whittling slingshots, making traps, or in a pinch making a shelter, having a sharp knife with him at all times was crucial. He started carrying a knife from day one and it still holds true today.
Later in life, he spent every chance he could hunting, fishing, and exploring the outdoors. Over the years, life got in the way but his love and passion for the outdoors never stopped. Through the good and bad he began focusing on a more traditional side of survival and began to practice Bushcraft. The honing of these skills led to the creation of his YouTube channel “Southmen Bushcraft”. His videos showcase various gear and tools he puts through the paces. Giving an honest opinion on the type of gear to make your outdoor experience safe and more fun is the hallmark of the videos he produces.
In 2017 “Jud” joined The Woodsrunner School and says he couldn't be happier to be around the fine group of instructors and students that he now teaches. His goal is to teach others the ways of being more self-reliant in nature and how to develop the passion and love for the craft as he does. He hopes to continue to teach and pass along all that he knows. All he wants to do is to help others to learn for as long as he is on this earth!
As a military veteran, Lee has been living close to the wilderness from the young age of 12, and his skills include Native American wilderness living and study, as well as Japanese Koryu Martial Arts. His approach to nature is one of deep respect and appreciation with an emphasis on the utilitarian aspects of the woods and the harmony that this attitude brings.
Lee has been passionate about the outdoors from a very young age. Taking his knowledge of Native American living and combining Western survival techniques he has created a new way of looking at our wilderness that is both respectful and multifaceted. This attitude is mirrored in his teaching style. He brings a love of nature that feeds his students’ desires to learn more about the outdoors and how to thrive in the wilderness.
Lee is proficient in carving, camp-craft, bowl and basket making, intermediate knot making, cord work, and weaving. He loves carving on a piece of wood! He enjoys spending time in the wild.
Shawn Patterson “Mouse” hails from the mountains of Northwest Georgia where he lives with his wife and two children. He is an experienced woodsman and avid outdoorsman. Shawn grew up loving the woods and spent several years in the Boy Scouts of America program as an adolescent where he gained a foundation to build upon with the knowledge that he has today. His go-to saying is “Knowledge weighs nothing,” meaning that the more you know about how to operate in the world around you, the less you require to survive in it. He has spent many years honing his skills and enjoys learning new techniques and ways to make life in the wilderness not only sustainable but comfortable as well.
Mouse is a United States Army combat veteran who spent time in Eastern Afghanistan as a combat medic. During his time in the military, he was called upon to teach other soldiers vital Combat Lifesaving Skills. This was where he realized that he had a love for teaching others. This love for teaching led to the creation of his YouTube channel, where he has over 100 videos that serve to share his various skills.
On the recreational side, Mouse enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, shooting, riding motorcycles, and is currently working towards his recreational pilots' license.
Mouse joined The Woodsrunner School in 2018. He believes that engaging skills and laughter help students remember the lessons they are taught.
Self-Reliance Skills Instructor
David was born and raised in middle Georgia. He grew up where there was nothing but woods and swamp in which he would run, play, camp, and craft daily. His family is spread all up and down the Eastern seaboard in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Vermont and Florida, which has given him the ability to travel and experience many different ecosystems and woodlands. From the swamps of Florida to the mountains of Tennessee and the bogs of Massachusetts, he has practiced survival and traditional skills in all of these environments.
This ability has created in him an avid outdoorsman who seeks the peace and knowledge of nature that our primitive ancestors knew all too well. After years as an adult and single father, he joined the workforce and began to stray too far from his roots. Slowly he began camping again and then started going to primitive bushcraft and survival training classes. He is a lover of the water and has been running the rivers since he was a child. He is very proficient in cleaning and processing animals and making amazing wilderness food and recipes. As well making beautiful brain-tanned buckskin products, he is very proficient in tracking, trapping, leatherwork, camp craft, river navigation, wilderness cooking, shelters, blade maintenance, primitive skills, and many other outdoor luxury-based skills to make a survival situation into an enjoyable and comfortable situation. He has become an avid bushman and seeks knowledge daily. He has learned that his passion is to educate and share the joys of nature with others.
His goal is to educate people in the art and skill of living with nature, whether your objective is to live completely off the land or to be a weekend hobbyist. He wants you to have the knowledge and the ability to handle any situation the great outdoors presents you with, as our ancestors did. He wants you to be free from dependence on modern conveniences and confident in your ability to survive and thrive in any wilderness situation.
Janna has always loved being outdoors- camping, hiking, exploring- doing anything as long as it was outside. Her father was in the Navy so she moved around quite a bit; she has been to every state but Alaska as well as eight different countries. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to her surroundings has never been a problem for her. However, she also likes having a sense of stability too.
She likes knowing that she has a place to plant a garden and grow herbs, but exploring new places and meeting new people is something she also enjoys. When her husband spoke to her about turning his passion for the outdoors into a way to transfer his knowledge and passion to others she was thrilled; she wanted a piece of the action too.
She has been trained in Sustainable Agriculture and strives to better her understanding of how to grow and use what nature has supplied to help the whole person -- body, mind, spirit, and emotions -- in the quest for optimal health and wellness, which is something she is passionate about. Life is about learning and utilizing the resources that have been provided in nature, and that is what she wants to continue to study and practice.
SIR REXIMUS "Rex" BARNES
The Real Boss
Rex definitely runs the show at The Woodsrunner School. We rescued him from a life on a chain and made a promise to him that he would always be free to run and play.
He loves to run the trails and makes sure that everyone stays with the group. There will be no straggling with Rex!
His favorite activity is splashing in creeks and ponds. His favorite food is anything you're eating. His Mama says he is not supposed to have people food, but if you sneak him some he promises not to tell.
Don't be fooled by that "I'm starving" look; he is well fed, believe us. He loves people but will let us know if someone is coming that he doesn't know. His daddy calls him a fur missile because when he starts running all you see is a flash of fur. He has two speeds: wide open and dead stop.
We did not just rescue him he- also rescued us and he is a very sweet boy.