Thursday, September 8, 2011

Estelle Cooper's Daughter In Park Camp Pay Dust Up

Ilene Balsamo, the daughter Assistant Commissioner for Queens Parks and Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator, Estelle Cooper runs a private day camp on parks property. Arnold Diaz looked into allegations that counselors from Community Day Camp, were not getting paid. The unpleasant two-part report was broadcast on MY Fox.

The camp - which uses Flushing Meadows Corona Park - charges fees ranging from $ 900 dollars per child for two weeks to $ 2, 675 for eight weeks. The camp however pays the city just $ 1 dollar per child per day according to a source.

According to the report, Camp director Balsamo had a mother of one of the counselors arrested for assault after they got into an altercation over her daughter not getting paid.

At one point in the footage, a person identified as Ilene's son, lifts up his shirt, exposing his huge hairy belly and dances around calling himself a bear in an apparent attempt to block the camera from filming his mother.

More vendors have now come forward saying they too have not gotten paid.

A Parks Department spokesperson confirmed the $ 1 dollar per child per day fee paid by the camp to the city. Asked if the camp would be allowed back, Parks said no permit has been requested for next year. - Geoffrey Croft


It started with a plea for help from some counselors at a local day camp. It ended with Arnold Diaz trying to get some answers from the camp's director. It was easier said than done. It involves the private, family owned Community Day Camp in Queens. Fox 5 News had received complaints that more than 30 counselors had been paid by the camp director.

Read/View More:

Camp Counselor Pay Issue
My Fox NY - August 17, 2011 - By Arnold Diaz

The summer session is over at Community Day Camp in Queens, but the problems continue for the camp's counselors trying to get paid. They're not the only ones complaining about the camp director's broken promises. Other vendors are complaining, too. Fox 5's Arnold Diaz has a follow-up report.

My Fox NY - September 7, 2011 - By Arnold Diaz


  1. insult to injury the tax id number for community day camp hasnt been provided and cant be located can you help

  2. I worked at this day camp and i still was not paid for my time there. Please Help

  3. WORST CAMP EVER!!!!!!!!!
    Stay away!!!!!! Google the camp and the people running it on Fox 5 News / Shame.
    The owners are liars and mean spirited. They did not follow through with what they promised campers, parents and employees. They are pure evil in the way they speak to people. Do not send your children here...they will be extremely disappointed and when you ask for a refund, good luck with getting it. They never even paid their employees for working a full summer and they owe everyone money...from the bus drivers, to the counselors, to the parks department.
    Google Ilene Balsamo or her mother Estelle Cooper...they are under serious investigation for running a camp illegally in a public park.
    These people need to be exposed for the low lives that they are!!!!!!!

  4. Its sad but true. I feel sorrow for the children, they had to be outside all day everyday. Even when it was over 95 degrees.

  5. I had Ilene Balsamo as my 6th grade teacher in '99/'00. Her teaching methods were questionable at best and we all strongly suspected that she was mentally unstable. This really does not surprise me at all.