The World Ocean School has announced its summer program schedule aboard its National Historic Landmark schooner Roseway. The nonprofit organization has operated in Camden for the last nine years.

World Ocean School operates programs in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the winter and spring, servicing local island middle school students. The school spends its summer months back in New England waters — most years. This summer, however, Roseway will join the tall ships fleet as they visit over 10 ports throughout the Great Lakes and cover more than 6,000 miles of water.

Participation in the summer festivals throughout the Great Lakes will constitute only part of Roseway’s activities. This summer marks the fourth year that World Ocean School will host three sessions of the Summer Ambassador Program that usually takes place in Massachusetts and Maine. The 2010 sessions will begin in Montreal and include ports such as Toronto, Bay City, Duluth and Green Bay.

The Summer Ambassador Program is an opportunity for students worldwide, ages 12-16, to set sail for 16 days — expanding their perspectives, immersing themselves in and contributing to different cultures, and practicing community building aboard the historic landmark schooner Roseway. During their expedition at sea, students will learn and practice seamanship and navigation as they operate and maintain the 137-foot schooner that is their home. They will also carry out lessons in history, environmental responsibility, teambuilding and language arts.

But the coming summer isn’t only for young students. It will also provide an opportunity for those seeking to gain experience working aboard as a crew member. World Ocean School accepts a handful of gap year applications each season for college or university students or graduates to take a break and get on board, learning the skills needed to work on an historic ship, as well as working with younger students.

“We don’t typically see a lot of Maine kids come through our programs and it’s something I’d like to see change,” said Abby Kidder, executive director, in a news release. “Maine is World Ocean School’s home and I’d love to see more students and crew from our own backyard set sail with us.”

Part of this could be because most of the scholarship money World Ocean School gets is to support students from the islands in which they work all winter. Their main constituency in St. Croix is heavily under-served and under-funded children who need an experience like Roseway can provide. Nonetheless, the school said it is working to find sponsors and scholarship money for students from anywhere in the country who want to participate in the Summer Ambassador Programs.

Roseway operates with a trained crew under the highest safety regulations and is a certified U.S. Coast Guard sailing vessel. For more information and program applications, visit worldoceanschool.org or call 236-7482.