SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

From the new Cranberry Citrus Crisps to the classic favorite Thin Mint, Girl Scouts know their cookies.

"I love being in Girl Scouts because you get to learn new things each and every year, and it really just helps you in further years to come," said Mikayla, a Girl Scouts junior.

Mikayla says her sales this year are down.  She's only sold about 300 boxes.  That's way less than last years sales of 1,500.  Although, nationally, cookie sales make $790 million annually, at the local level it's a lot less.

"It's more difficult this year because older girls have a harder time selling cookies because everyone wants to buy from the younger girls because they are so cute and they really don't understand how hard it is for us," said Mikayla.

That's a reason that the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland created the first ever Smart Cookies Girl Scout Gala.  With tickets costing $150 apiece for a cocktail hour and dinner evening, it'll give the girls a chance to raise more for their programs.

"Girls are learning amazing skills through the program.  They are learning goal setting, decision making, people skills, money management and business ethics, so it's truly an amazing and important program for all of our girls," said Lori Enyart, public relations and digital media manager for the council.

Of course, nothing can beat the sales of cookies.  Pretty soon a room at the regional council service center will be filled with about 44,460 boxes.  In a few days, it will be emptied and filled again.  Nationally, Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes.

"It's the most important fundraiser of the year.  Not only does it support the girls, it also supports the troops and the council, but the girls can't do it alone.  It takes volunteer support.  It also takes support from the community in terms of volunteering for us and also in terms of financial support to be able to do all the fabulous things we do for Girl Scouts," said Enyart.

The Gala will be Saturday at 6:30 at the Vester room right across the street from the regional council office.

For more information on the gala or cookie sales, check the council's website or call (toll free) 1-877-312-4764.