Former Overland Park scoutmaster booked on charges of rape, child abuse

Andrew Rowland, pictured above, earned the title of Outstanding Scoutmaster in 2018 in the Shawnee Trails Scouting District. Rowland was booked on charges of rape on July 5. Photo via Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

A man who until recently served as the scoutmaster of a Boy Scouts of America troop based out of an Overland Park church was arrested last week on charges of rape and child abuse.

Andrew Todd Rowland, 45, was booked into Johnson County Jail July 5 and released on $100,000 bond two days later.

Johnson County District Court records indicate charges against Rowland include rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child involving sex, and two counts of abuse of a child younger than 18. Dates associated with the charges range from 2010 to 2019. The booking log shows the Overland Park Police Department as the arresting agency.

Rowland had served as a leader for BSA Troop 284. In 2018, he earned the title of Outstanding Scoutmaster in the Shawnee Trails Scouting District.

On Thursday evening, Brick Huffman of the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council issued the following statement on the arrest:

This described behavior is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) stands. Upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to remove this individual from Scouting and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs.

Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs – it is our top priority. The BSA has a multi-layered process of expert-informed safeguards, including the following, all of which act as barriers to abuse: a leadership policy that requires at least two youth-protection trained adults be present with youth at all times and bans one-on-one situations where adults would have any interactions alone with children – either in person, online, or via text; screening process for adult leaders and staff including criminal background checks, and the prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse.

The BSA also offers a 24/7 Scouts First Helpline (1-844-SCOUTS1) and email contact address (scouts1st@scouting.org) for help reporting suspected abuse or inappropriate behavior and to request funding for counseling by a provider of their choice.   

For more information about the BSA’s youth protection policies, our commitment to supporting victims, and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse, please visit: www.scouting.org/youth-safety.

Rowland has not responded to invitations to comment.

Rowland’s name and contact info can be found throughout Boy Scouts of America promotional content, including this 2019 Adventures in Scouting newsletter and a 2015 ad for Camporee 2015 “Caveman Games.”