Babysitter: Hasn't every female done this at some point? I took the safety course when I was 12 and started sitting shortly thereafter. I was on the top of the list with a few local families, and had one standing gig (Tuesday night from 5-11p) for years. Luckily in the families I sat for the kids were always decently behaved, so I only have one or two horror stories.
I don't really have Pros or Cons for this gig, too long ago.
Cook at Dairy Queen: This was my first real job, started the summer before I turned 16. Cooking at a Dairy Queen is really more about assembly, everything is mechanized enough that it's difficult to screw up (well unless you leave the fries down too long). The man who owned the store was awesome: he hired local kids and kept more of us on payroll than he really had to so that we could still participate in extra-curriculars and he still had staff. I was there for 2.5 years- through the end of high school and back for two summers.
Pros: I learned a lot about what it meant to have a job and the responsibilities, food was half-price when you were on breaks, I wasn't at the front counter so I didn't have to deal with customers
Cons: smelling like a french fry after a shift, it was damn hot in the kitchen in the summer
Pickle Factory: I worked third shift at a pickle factory the summer after high school. I worked a variety of jobs, third shift only had one line going so most of us got moved around. I was a sorter, a glass inspector, a topper, and for one week the operator of the capping machine.
Pros: amazing stories from a summer job, I learned that I didn't want to work a factory job for the rest of my life
Cons: third shift destroyed my social life that summer, smelling like brine after a shift (nights I worked at DQ from 5-10:30 and the pickle factory from 11:30p-7a were always interesting).
Temp gigs: I worked a few different temp gigs throughout college, usually to fill a gap of a few weeks. The best one was a one week assignment with a company that makes ice cream treats. My job was to take one of their products, carefully cut it out of the (usually paper) packaging, create a styrofoam double of it, and reseal the styrofoam inside the original packaging. They were doing a presentation overseas and wanted a huge board of everything they make that didn't have to be refrigerated. And the ice cream? I could eat as much as I wanted. I think it's the only week in my life where I had too much ice cream.
Summer Janitor: I went home for two summers in college - and I moved past the pickle factory to being a summer janitor for the school district. This meant things like super cleaning the rooms (first graders should not be allowed to keep glue in their desks, changing all of the locker combinations, waxing the floors, etc.
Pros: It was decent $ for a summer gig, the job changed every few days, and I was working mostly on my own. I discovered another job that I didn't want to do for life.
Cons: Students are messy, both in grade school and high school.
PA for a summer theatre: This was the only professional theatre gig I had while in college. It was for an outdoor summer theatre that produced "Young Abe Lincoln" and "Big River" YAL is about Lincoln's life when he lived in IN from the age of 4-16 or so. Do you know what happened to Lincoln in that time? Not much. Most of the excitement of the summer came from the outdoor aspects.
Pros: I was given a lot of responsibility, and got to stay in the town my boyfriend was in for the summer. I learned eucher.
Cons: They had done the show for six years so there was nothing new, we just recreated what the last people had done. Outdoor theatre, in the summer, in IN, and I had to wear blacks.
Workstudy @ college: Since I was a theatre student I was assigned to the costume shop.
Pros: If you gave me fabric and a pattern I could still make you clothes. I never had to leave the theatre.
Cons: I never had to leave the theatre (it was a double-edged sword.)