SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- "Forget Camp Meeting," Pastor Doug Batchelor announced today on Amazing Facts TV. "This summer we're taking spiritual retreats to an amazing new level! I am personally inviting you to Cave Camp!
Batchelor, whose conversion to Christianity took place in a cave when he was a young man, went on to explain his thinking: "Caves are incredible places. My life was changed forever from living in a cave."
The pastor reminded viewers that he had started life as a disillusioned son of highly affluent parents and had turned to crime, drugs, exotic travel and cave living in search of meaning. Everything changed when he finally found a Bible in a cave and was convicted by the truth he found in it.
"I have always wanted to get back to that kind of simple living. This summer I am doing just that. And I am inviting you, your family and friends to join me!" Batchelor said that camp activities will include nightly presentations illustrated by flashlights and hand shadow art; Bible scavenger hunts; cave gymnastics and, perhaps most controversially, dumpster diving.
"All food will be procured by periodic dumpster diving outside local restaurants. I used to do it all the time! I want you guys to feel what it was like for me back then," said Batchelor. "And don't worry, all the dumpsters we will frequent have been pre-selected and are outside strictly vegan restaurants."
Batchelor explained that he will be demonstrating correct dumpster diving protocol. "Done right, it's not dangerous. Just for fun, I will even do one of my famous backflips, right into a dumpster!" said the pastor whose physical fitness is the envy of pastors half his age.
Although most reactions to the news have been positive, some viewers have been concerned about just how far Cave Camp will go in recreating the evangelist's wild youth. "Absolutely no crimes will be committed and nothing but charcoal powder and essential prescription drugs will be taken," said Batchelor.
Phones in the Amazing Facts call center have been ringing constantly since the announcement and the reservations website has crashed repeatedly. "Feels like signing up for Obamacare," said Joanie Rodgers who has vowed not to give up until her whole family is registered for Cave Camp.