ABOUT THE POSA
We support and pledge to defend the Constitution of the United States and the rights of every citizen to enjoy the liberties set forth in that document. To that end, we encourage the preservation of historic landmarks for the benefit of present and future patriots, so that they may never forget the sacrifices of our founding fathers and the patriots who continue to serve and defend this great nation. We also support the education of all citizens and teach respect and proper care of the American Flag.
Bernville/Robesonia Camp 113 remains active in the community and focuses on the preservation of history, freedom and the American way of life. Camp 113 runs multiple events throughout the year including parades, ceremonies and a music festival.
The Patriotic Order Sons of America was founded in 1847 and is one of America's oldest Patriotic and fraternal societies still in existence. We invite all native-born or naturalized American male citizens, 16 years and older, who believe in their country and its institutions, who desire to perpetuate free government, and who wish to encourage a brotherly feeling among Americans, to the end that we may exalt our country, to join with us in our work of fellowship and love.
The Patriotic Order Sons of America was organized December 10, 1847 to preserve the Public School System, The Constitution of the United States, and our American way of life. It was incorporated by an Act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, February 27, 1867.
Dr. Reynell Coates
The organization was established on December 10, 1847 by Dr. Reynell Coates of Philadelphia, PA, as the Junior Sons of America, for young men aged 16 to 21. It is difficult to trace records from 1847 to 1868, due to the Civil War and many members that gave their final rewards and records were lost or destroyed. Camp #1 of Pennsylvania was granted the right to organize and charter camps in other states for native-born Americans.
By this time, there were camps in 20 states. In 1868, the organization was renamed the Patriotic Order Sons of America and membership was now open to anyone above the age of 21. The First National Convention was held from March 5-6, 1872, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At this convention, subordinate camps outside of Pennsylvania were released to the National Camp.
The founder of the organization, Dr. Reynell Coates, was invited to join the Patriotic Order Sons of America at the age of 75. He died in 1886. Originally, he prepared the entire Ritual for the Junior Sons of America. He prepared the constitutional laws, and was the author of the preamble. He also selected the odes, opening, closing, and initiation -- all of which are still used today. By 1882, there were camps in six other states.
Founded in 1847 in Philadelphia, the P.O.S. of A. once had camps in 20 states. At its peak, there were more than 600 camps nationwide consisting of an estimated 75,000 members. Today, the society maintains a presence in Pennsylvania, where it has 14 camps. The national headquarters are in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
POSA CAMP 113
Washington Camp # 113 was instituted on May 6th, 1869 and rechartered on January 10th, 1870. During its first regular meeting on May 12th, 1869 its first members were inducted, officers elected, and the following first officers were installed: Brother Missemer (President), Brother Smith (vice - President), Brother Brownmiller (Master of Forms),
Brother Burkhart (Recording Secretary), Brother Leaman (Financial Secretary), Brother Conrad (Treasurer), Brother Gruber (Conductor), Brother Nunemacher (Inner Guard), Brother Werner (Outer Guard), Brother Sando (Right Sentinel), and Brother Sando (Past President). Members of the camp were predominantly Pennsylvania German as
evidenced not only by the last names of the camp’s initial members, but also by a motion passed on July 28th, 1869 that “Brother Pivere [was] instructed to translate the obligation into German.”
Camp 113 first met in the Odd Fellows Hall in Bernville. Later it shared a hall and furnishings with the Knights of Phythias. In 1881 when the Knights of Phythias ceased to be a viable organization in Bernville, Camp 113 purchased their furniture; the bulk of which is still in use by the camp today. From 1913 to 1947 Camp 113 owned its own
building. Since 1982, Camp 113 has met the last Thursday of the month in the Robesonia Furnace office, Robesonia, PA. The building was owned for many years by the Breininger Family, but it is now owned by Robesonia Borough.
Camp 113 has been active in its community since its founding. It has participated in numerous parades, dedications, flag raising, dinners, and calls for funds such as the Johnstown Flood disaster, the erection of a monument to local hero, Conrad Weiser, and recently, to the victims of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. In the early 1970's it
erected a monument to honor its departed brothers at the Bernville Cemetery. On Veterans Day 2004 it aided in the dedication of Henry P. Robeson Park in Robesonia. The Camp donated the funds for the flag pole on which the national ensign now flies over that park.
As the county order has reduced its numbers, many camps merged with Camp 113. These include Skull Hill Camp 339 in 1917, Bethel Camp 214 in 1947, Mt. Aetna Camp 69 in 1990, and Stouchsburg Camp 237 in 2001, and Sinking Spring Camp 282.
Now in its 154th year, Camp 113 continues to contribute to the community and to our order. The camp can boast that it has had two past national presidents, two past state presidents, and numerous past county presidents on its membership rolls as well as the current National Vice President Randy Yarnall.
The members of Patriotic Order Sons Camp 113 devote their time and efforts promoting patriotism not only in their Western Berks County community, but across the Eastern part of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Whether marching in parades, hosting ceremonies or properly retiring tattered American Flags, the brothers at Camp 113 remain an active part in their community.