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Wolfville's ‘Kidcation Testers’ back from all-inclusive Dominican Republic trip

Maddox Acker got up close with a parrot.
Maddox Acker got up close with a parrot. He and his sister Paige were selected from nearly 400 applicants by Sunwing to be Kidcation Testers. They have recently returned from an all-inclusive week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. - Submitted

'Happy kids make a family trip much more fun for everyone'

WOLFVILLE - Two kids from Wolfville recently returned from the trip of a lifetime.

‘Kidcation Testers’ Paige, 13, and Maddox Acker, nine, won an all-inclusive, seven-night trip for five for their family to the RIU Bambu resort hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The siblings were selected from almost 400 applicants to review the trip, critiquing everything from restaurants and dining choices, to waterparks and excursions at the Sunwing family-friendly property.

For Paige, the best part of the trip was swimming and playing in the waves, while Maddox especially loved the waterslides and pools. They both couldn’t get over the size of the resort, saying it was huge, so they did a lot of walking.

Paige and Maddox Acker, of Wolfville.
Paige and Maddox Acker, of Wolfville.

Although the family was there to work, they still got to do all the things they wanted to do.

“Filming was only for the first three days, and mostly in the mornings and a bit in the evening at the restaurants,” the siblings said in an email interview.

They said it was cool to reach celebrity status, sometimes with small crowds of people watching and whispering to each other.

“One day, we went to the water park connected to our resort and had some time before it opened to do stuff. We had the whole water park to ourselves for a while and it was great. Later in the day, we had people recognize us as the kids with the camera crew following us - that was cool,” they said.

Back at home, the celebrity status continued amongst their friends. Winning the contest, they said, was a surprise for most of their friends. Some of them said they wanted to hide in their luggage and go with them, the siblings joked.

Throughout the experience, the Acker siblings said they learned that parents should listen to what their kids have to say in terms of family vacation.

Paige Acker is all smiles with an iguana on her head.
Paige Acker is all smiles with an iguana on her head.

“Happy kids make a family trip much more fun for everyone,” they said.

Staying at a place like the RIU Bambu resort hotel in Punta Cana, which had two Kids Clubs’ where children can play, means youngsters can have fun while mom and dad have time alone too, they said.

Paige and Maddox said the trip makes them want to go back to some place tropical again soon.

“We both like to play in the waves and the ocean water. Around here, it is just way too cold any time of the year,” they said.

No trips, though, are on the horizon. Instead, the family has just purchased a piece of land near Digby, so they will spend this summer exploring in the woods and practicing survival skills with their dad. 

Paige and Maddox’s Sunwing Kidcation Tester video can be found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7KoEX-OOZA.

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