NewsSpelling Bee


The youngest Bee speller is also the most honest

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-27 19:50:01-04

Cameron Keith, 9, is the youngest speller of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“I’m going to try my best. I studied a lot,” he said. “Some of it’s really boring and annoying when you do it."

He’s honest.

Cameron, who lives on a farm near Boulder, Colorado with dogs, cats and chickens, loves the “long words with funny definitions.”

He plays chess and has a room so full of fantasy novels that the dogs will start to chew on them.

“His room is stuffed with books,” said his father Greg, who works in online marketing. “Ever since he was so tiny, he was interested in books and reading.”

Cameron wants to be a writer when he grows up.

His mother, climate scientist Synte Peacock, said Cameron’s memory is nearly photographic. The biggest challenge for him is the vocabulary test.

“He remembers most of the words he sees,” she said.

Cameron is still a regular 9-year-old — he then realized he forgot something in the auditorium.

On Wednesday, Cameron took the stage for the first time at the national level in round two. His first word was "Kabuki," which he got right.

"I could feel my heart beating," Cameron said.

Though he correctly spelled both of his words, Cameron did not score high enough on the preliminary tests to advance to the Spelling Bee finals.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.