Where do residents of New York City go camping when they don’t want to go far? Governor’s Island, a 172-acre area off the coast of Manhattan Island, permits outdoor types to camp there on one special night every July. Despite a heat wave and threat of thunderstorms, this year about 100 people left their air-conditioned homes and comfortable beds to experience the pleasures of camping for one evening, the New York Times reports.

The account tells of camping neighbors meeting camping neighbors, sharing food and telling stories while meat sizzled on a portable stove. Everyone had a fabulous time.

There is something unique about camping that fosters friendliness. Sometimes residents of a major city like NYC may not normally speak to their neighbors, but on this night the campers seem to embrace the openness of the interpersonal dynamics associated with this activity. When the only thing separating your family from the next one over is a canvas tent, natural barriers come down and strangers quickly become friends.

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