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Girl Scouts Launch Membership Campaign

NEW YORK (AP) — With an assist from Michelle Obama, the Girl Scouts of the USA is launching an unorthodox recruitment campaign this week aimed at reversing a steady decline in participation by girls and adult volunteers.

Instead of placing ads on TV and in newspapers, the decentralized campaign will unfold in neighborhood initiatives and on social media as local Girl Scout councils target elementary-school girls with promises of adventuresome fun.

The first lady is pitching in with a video lauding the Girl Scouts and urging adults to be volunteers. The campaign launch follows a trying stretch for the Girl Scouts, who celebrated their centennial in 2012 but have confronted multiple difficulties this year.

These include a deficit-strapped pension plan and revenue shortfalls that prompted buyouts and layoffs at the head office.

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