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Founder & Director of Operations

In a world dominated by automation and modern conveniences, Joshua Barnes stands as a beacon, urging individuals to reconnect with the simplicity and wisdom of the wilderness. As the Founder and Director of Operations at The Woodsrunner School, Joshua brings a wealth of experience, a passion for self-reliance, and a commitment to instill essential skills in his students.

Joshua's journey took a turn when he realized that the hustle and bustle of contemporary life had veiled the innate peace and fulfillment found in the wilderness. Raised amidst the hardwood bottoms of Northeast Georgia and the Piedmont region of South Carolina, Joshua's formative years were spent immersed in the woods, learning invaluable skills from seasoned woodsmen—skills that seem forgotten or overlooked in today's fast-paced world.

Camping, hunting, fishing, and hiking were not merely recreational activities for Joshua; they were a way of life instilled by mentors who taught him to scout, hunt, fish, trap, camp, and thrive even in adverse conditions. The woods became his sanctuary, a place devoid of fear because he was equipped with the knowledge of how to handle situations.

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Before founding The Woodsrunner School in 2016, Joshua served as a Law Enforcement Officer for many years. His extensive background in outdoor pursuits, law enforcement, and teaching now uniquely positions him to guide others in their own journeys.

Living off-grid with his wife Janna and their German Shepherd, Rex, Joshua has embraced the principles of self-reliance, returning to the values he once took for granted. Through The Woodsrunner School, he endeavors to revive lost skills and empower individuals to thrive in both crisis situations and their everyday lives.

In 2021, Joshua also founded the Woodsrunner Youth Project with a profound vision of a world where every child has the opportunity to discover, explore, and thrive in the wilderness. The mission is to make this vision a reality by offering meticulously designed activities and hands-on learning experiences that empower each youth participant. The wilderness serves as a powerful catalyst for growth, character development, and self-discovery.

In a world captivated by technology and material culture, Joshua invites you to take a step back, feel the wind on your face, and rediscover the profound satisfaction of a simpler life—a life rooted in self-reliance, practical skills, and a connection with the great outdoors where you can embark on a transformative journey. The promise is one of building confidence, competence, and experiencing a renewed sense of purpose.

Instructional Philosophy:

Joshua is firmly grounded in the concept of lifelong learning, positioning himself as a perpetual student in the school of experience. Joshua consistently seeks out new challenges, immersing himself in hands-on experiences in the wilderness and staying informed about the latest developments in outdoor education.

This dedication to personal and professional development is not only a testament to Joshua's passion for teaching but also plays a crucial role in enhancing his expertise. By remaining at the forefront of outdoor education advancements, he ensures that his teaching methods remain not only relevant but also infused with the latest insights. This proactive approach not only benefits Joshua personally but also elevates the quality of education provided to students at The Woodsrunner School.

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  • 10+ Years of Experience as a Self-Reliance/Wilderness Skills Educator

  • Licensed Minister/Campcraft Outdoors

  • Coordinated and supervised initiatives and activities aimed at assisting young individuals dealing with challenging or high-risk situations

  • Emergency Medical Responder Certification/ASHI

  • Wilderness First Aid Certification/ASHI

  • First-Aid Certification/American Red Cross

  • STOP THE BLEED Certification

  • Adult & Pediatric CPR & AED Certification/ASHI

  • Domestic Terrorism

  • Criminal Gang Detection & Investigations

  • Advanced Supervision & Management

  • Various Instructor Training Certifications

  • Firearms Instructor

  • Defensive Tactics & Martial Arts Training

  • Leadership Courses

  • Wilderness Survival Instructor

  • Youth Protection/Boy Scouts of America

Medical Training & Certifications:

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Additionally, Joshua has certificates & other training in the following:



Joshua consistently produces content about the events at Woodsrunner School and creates various educational posts.

Interests & Hobbies:

Joshua enjoys woodworking, college football, cooking over an open fire, spending time with friends, fishing in mountain streams, and most importantly, sharing about his relationship and the Gospel of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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