Thanks for the prayers!
Usually when we get to the site we get the kiddos busy with toys or an activity and then we set everything up. My 4 1/4 year old is able to help set up and I am sure my 3 year old will start on the next trip, though her duty maybe keeping the baby busy. When we took our kids when they were real little, we always took a playpen. That way they could lay or sit, depending on the age, and still see us moving around them setting things up. AS they got older we set boundries. We would walk them around the camp site and let then know they couldnt go past those boundries. As for the poster who said that her kids tend to run off, I would just explain ahead of time that if they cant follow the rules of camping and safety then they cant go camping. I know it is hard, but for everyone to have a safe and fun time, it is important that your kids can follow rules of some sort. As always, parents have to supervise their kids, there are too many things outdoors that can harm them. Around water areas, our kids always wear life jackets also.
One thing I would add that we have found beneficial is not to try to keep your kiddos on a strict schedule or the same schedule as if they were at home, at least for the sleeping part. When your kids are outdoors all day long, they will tire out. We didnt ever push the naps because we knew that they would fall asleep much earlier and going to bed wouldnt be an issue. I have seen alot of kids that have a hard time going to bed when camping because it is a stange enviroment to them and they fight it, especially if they have napped earlier or are just too excited. We dont usually even have to say it is bedtime, they usually will want to go lay down, so we dont keep a specified bedtime when camping. Everything is very leisure and laidback, that is the idea of vacation
AS for meals, we usually always have eggs and bacon or sausage,at least once, nothing like the smell of breakfast on a campfire in the morning. We also take cereal and milk. Lunch is usually sandwiches or some other no cook meal. Dinner is usually some thing on the grill, hamburgers, chicken and always at least one night of roasting hotdogs over the fire. We try to cook most stuff over the fire as to not have pots and pans to clean up, except breakfast of course. Some times we will make meals ahead of time and freeze them in foil so all we have to do is put them right on the fire to warm them up.
We also use disposable plates and cups, but we try to use paper instead of styrofoam, so that isnt quite as bad.
I guess the main thing is to not get uptight, stay flexible, stay safe and have a blast!
Oh yea, depending on where we go and the season, we swim, fish, canoe, paddleboat, hike, though that isnt always as easy as it was before kids, and we just generally explore and learn and teach about nature. It is amazing how the kids come up with their own games to play and invent with the most basic rocks and pinecones.